No New Trial for Brazill

By Al Pefley  email

West Palm Beach, FL (WFLX)

A killer who gunned down his teacher at Lake Worth Middle school won't get a new trial.

That was the ruling today in the case of Nathaniel Brazill.   Brazill said practically nothing during the hearing, which lasted a little more than an hour and a half.

Brazill, 23, was brought back to West Palm Beach from prison for the hearing.

His attorney argued Brazill's previous lawyer was ineffective at his trial and allowed in some evidence that was prejudicial.

He says had prosecutors not been allowed to present that evidence, the outcome of the trial might've been different and Brazill might've gotten a lighter sentence.

Brazill was convicted of murdering his teacher Barry Grunow at Lake Worth Middle School in May 2000 on the last day of school when he was a 7th grader.  Brazill has said the gun went off by accident and that he did not intentionally shoot his teacher. He was 13 at the time of the shooting.

Following today's ruling  that he should not get a new trial, some of Brazill's relatives spoke outside the courtroom.

"We'll try again. What do you mean? It's not over. It's not over? Well it looks like the judge has determined he does not deserve a new trial. We'll get a new one. Why are you so confident? Cause Jesus is real," said Shamelle Buckley,  Brazill's aunt.

"It's a done deal for now. We aren't gonna give up. Why not? For what? He's still living. Life should go on. How strongly do you feel he deserves a new trial and why? Everybody deserves a new trial, no matter who they is," said Derry Josey, Brazill's uncle.

Barry Grunow's relatives attended the hearing, but declined to comment after it was over. His widow did not attend.

Brazill is serving a 28 year sentence for second degree murder.

Circuit court judge John Kastrenakes  today called the evidence of Brazill's  guilt "overwhelming" and said it would not  have mattered during the trial if the disputed evidence was not presented by prosecutors, because Brazill would've been convicted anyway.

In fact Kastrenakes said it should be considered a victory for Brazill that he was only convicted of second degree murder,  because there was enough evidence to convict him of first degree murder, a crime that carries life in prison, and also a possible death sentence.