SEBRING — When authorities first arrested a suspect in connection with the death of a former Avon Park High School star football player, the intention was to charge him with second-degree murder, an official said Tuesday.
But after the suspect, Javon Douryan Moses, 19, of 448 W. Perry Drive, Avon Park, admitted that he decided beforehand to murder Dwayne Council Jr., the charge was upgraded to first-degree murder, Assistant State Attorney Steve Houchin said.
Houchin commented based on the release of files in the case, which became accessible to the public under state law following the release of information to the defense.
No decision has been made whether to seek the death penalty in the case, Houchin said.
Moses was originally charged with tampering with evidence following the murder of Council in November 2013. Council was shot numerous times, officials said.
In May, he was charged additionally with second-degree murder; since then he was charged and indicted on a charge of first-degree murder.
During a subsequent meeting with a detective after being charged with second-degree murder, Moses stated that he was in a store with another man when it “clicked” in his mind that he should kill Council.
The detective asked Moses repeatedly why he killed Council, but Moses would only answer, “I really can’t tell you.”
At the same time, though, he at one point seemed to blame his actions on the use of a form of Ecstasy, an illegal street drug.
“I wasn’t in the right state of mind,” he told the detective. He also said that if he ever is released from incarceration he will not use the illegal drug anymore. He also blamed the crime on the devil.
A witness had told authorities that they saw Moses and Council together and that Council handed Moses a gun just before the shooting.
Moses indicated in the interview that the intent was to sell the gun. But other witnesses had told authorities that Moses wanted to buy the gun from Council and had sought from other people money for the purchase without success.
In regards to the shooting, Moses told the detective that he emptied the weapon by firing nine shots at Council, hitting him seven times.
“I’m the type of person that if I shoot (at someone), I shoot repeatedly,” he said, adding that he doesn’t give the person a chance to recover.
Moses said that at times he could have a warm personality, but added, “Sometimes, I can get as cold as a rock.”
He told the detective that earlier in his life, he wanted to be an astronaut or a truck driver.
During the interview, the detective questioned Moses about a robbery at a convenience store where the robber shot the clerk, but Moses said he wasn’t involved.