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Accused 'told brother of evidence'
A teenager accused of killing two British tourists called his half brother from prison saying police had found evidence which could "f*** him up", a court has heard.
In the call, Shawn Tyson said police had found bullets connected to the shooting of Britons James Kouzaris, 24, and James Cooper, 25.
The men were gunned down in the impoverished Newtown area of Sarasota, Florida, in April last year.
The friends, who were holidaying with Mr Cooper's family, drunkenly walked into a rundown public housing project known as The Courts. They were found shirtless, with their trousers round their thighs after being shot several times.
Tyson, 17, denies two counts of first-degree murder. If convicted he faces life in jail without parole.
The court heard a recording of a call made by Tyson from Sarasota County Jail to his half brother. In the conversation Tyson, then 16, said: "Somebody say they saw me out there...", and adding: "they found the bullets". Asked about the discovery, he replied: "It's the only thing that's going to f*** me up."
The court also heard that Tyson's DNA was found on James Cooper's trousers. Detective John Todd said there could have been a "thousand different reasons" why the victims were found with their trousers pulled down but it suggested an attempted robbery. Detective Anthony Defrancisco told the court he had seen 14 similar cases involving victims' trousers down.
The court heard that Tyson told friend Marvin Gaines he killed Mr Kouzaris, from Northampton, and Mr Cooper, from Hampton Lucy, Warwick. Mr Todd said Mr Gaines had said that Tyson told him: "I killed those two guys, you know those two bodies back there, I did that." The court has heard that Mr Gaines led police to seven bullet casings buried in his yard.
The court was shown photographs of both men's wounds, including a picture of Mr Kouzaris' heart, which was penetrated by a bullet.
Medical examiner Dr Suzanne Utley said both men died of "perforations of the heart and lungs" - Mr Kouzaris due to gunshot wounds to the back and Mr Cooper of a gunshot wound to the chest.