Man, 24, gets life for 2009 murder


Published: Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:14 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 26, 2013 at 8:14 p.m.

A Gainesville man was found guilty Friday and sentenced to life in prison for the 2009 murder of a man in southwest Gainesville.

A jury deliberated about three hours before finding Asa Stewart, 24, guilty of the murder of Frank S. Dean, 22. Dean’s body was found in the 400 block of Squire Drive on a path between the Cornerstone Mobile Home Park and the adjacent Holly Heights neighborhood on July 24, 2009.

Dean died from a single gunshot wound to the head from a high-powered assault-style weapon. Authorities said Stewart was in a dispute with another man when gunfire erupted.

Stewart was attempting to shoot the other man but ended up shooting Dean instead, authorities said.

The weapon that was used to shoot Dean had been stolen by another man, who told authorities he had sold it to Stewart, officials said. That information led to the charging of Stewart in 2011 with Dean’s death.

In addition to first-degree murder, Stewart was found guilty of possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and tampering with evidence.

Darry Lloyd, spokesman for the State Attorney’s Office, said Friday evening that Circuit Judge Mary Day Coker sentenced Stewart to life for the murder, 15 years for the weapon charge and five years on the tampering charge.

Officers reported several homes apparently were struck by gunfire that night. One shot went through a bedroom window of a home where a couple of toddlers were sleeping that night.

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