Fla. suspect pleads guilty in 2 killings Columbia men were slain after trying to aid woman

August 28, 1998|By SUN STAFF

One of the seven Florida suspects in the April 16 killings of two Columbia men pleaded guilty yesterday to attempted first-degree murder.

Florida Assistant State Attorney Ed Davis said Daniel Beard, 18, of New Smyrna Beach, is agreeing to work with prosecutors in their case against the remaining suspects in the death of Matthew Wichita, 21, and Kevans Bradshaw Hall II, 23, of Columbia.

Police said the fight that led to the killings began when the Columbia men went to the aid of a woman who was being harassed by Florida men in New Smyrna Beach, south of Daytona Beach. The Florida men are accused of returning hours later and attacking the Columbia residents.

Officials said they suspect that three brothers -- Jonathan, 27, Joshua, 18, and Christopher Trull, 25 -- led the attack and that they do not anticipate a plea from the men.

Beard was the second suspect to make a plea before the Daytona Beach judge. Daniel Stephan Osborne, 19, pleaded guilty last month to attempted first-degree murder. Both men's testimony will be used in the case against the Trull brothers.

Pub Date: 8/28/98

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