21-year-old sentenced to 25 years in prison for second-degree murder


GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Demetrius Aponcedeleon Hardy, 21, has been sentenced to 25 years in state prison following a nolo contendere plea to charges of Second Degree Murder, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and battery by a person detained in a jail facility.

Hardy was arrested on March 9, 2020, and charged with the murder of Kayla Jackson (also known as Kayla Bing) and the attempted murders of Elijah Hinde and Deorlos Anderson, Jr., in the early morning hours of March 6, 2020. Hardy had just been released from prison on February 2, 2020, after serving a 2-year sentence for grand theft and fleeing. Hardy had earlier served a sentence of 1 year and 7 days for discharging a firearm from a vehicle, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, burglary, and battery. Hardy first went to state prison at the age of 17.

According to a press release from State Attorney Brian Kramer’s office, Jackson’s family wanted to participate in the Restorative Justice Project, which set up a meeting between Hardy and Jackson’s family. The Restorative Justice Project was facilitated by Gretchen Casey of the Amend Initiative. According to the release, “Restorative justice is a process which seeks to restore balance and repair harm. The defendant must be willing to admit he or she caused harm.”

Hardy entered a nolo contendere plea to a reduced charge of Second Degree Murder, which has a maximum sentence of Life and a minimum sentence of 25 years in Hardy’s case. He will serve the full 25 years, with credit for 843 days time served. He was also sentenced to 20 years for a reduced charge of aggravated battery, 15 years for the firearm possession charge, and 185 days (time already served) for the battery by a detainee charge. All the sentences will be served concurrently.

  • Voter referendum for “3 strikes and make lawyers starve Act” needed. Send hardcore convicts to private prisons in Haiti, etc. to prevent overcrowding/corrupting lesser offenders here. Problem solved.

    • We got “build back better” and should make more prison space here now and it will create construction jobs ….real effective sustainable escape proof jail with low carbon footprint to help with climate change.

  • Case in point right here, convicted felon discharges a firearm (that he’s not supposed to have) from a vehicle, burglary and battery charges and plea bargains to a little more than a year in prison after they give him time served in the county, and they wonder why dip dizzy whizzle will never learn a lesson? These slaps on the hand and weak sentences will never deter somebody that lives the type of criminal lifestyle that these punks live (isn’t their motto “rather be judged by twelve then carried by six”?). Prison is nothing more than a badge of honor to people like these and gives them more crap to rap about in they’re garbage azz songs. At least our community won’t have to worry about him for 25 years!

    • Wow this is pure racism if I ever seen it. I guess that’s why your name is Trump2024. Even though he was given 25 years which I see is right it doesn’t give you the right to say that murder is just a badge of honor. People make there own decisions In life and in most cases if they don’t get it right the first time or make poor decisions then they repeat what they already know. And rap music isn’t trash it’s a way a lifer just like country and classical and techno. Some people are only dealt the cards they are received and in some peoples lives the American dream of living in a white picket house is far and between. The time you used writing this could have been better in used in trying to understand what makes people different and your comment could have been anything else instead of “ Yep we got another one of THEM off the streets”. In order to make out country great again we have to figure out what we can do to help those less fortunate than us and even though we can’t touch the whole world and evil is just apart of everyday life how are you reaching out to help the underprivileged youth and what can you do as a person to make it better instead of passing judgement. With people like you in the world racism will never truly come to an end because of your mindset. I thank God everyday that Trump isn’t the one leading our country because his way of thinking is just like you Negative in every way. Try being apart if the solution and not the problem sir.

      • I knew him when he was in first grade. He was always in trouble then. I recognized then that his home life was less than adequate. It’s sad to say that he never had a chance.

  • Here we go again. Kid was in prison at age 17, an age at which a father figure would have had a lot of influence. Maybe someone should compare the cost of developing and implementing a program to keep a family intact vs. the cost of keeping this guy in prison for 25 years. Not to mention the cost of a human life.

    • It would be interesting to know his 3rd grade reading scores. As well as those of all the ‘locals’ with cases running through the courthouse. Can’t help but wonder if he was sentenced to this future by ACPS long ago.

      • I knew him when he was in first grade. His teacher referred him to me because he was often disruptive in the classroom.

  • His parents should get some jail time for giving him that middle name.

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