They will haunt you
Brit's court message to sneering teen who killed his two friends in Florida
A FRIEND of two Britons shot dead in Florida told their killer across a courtroom: "They will haunt you."
Brave Joe Hallett directly addressed sneering teenager Shawn Tyson after sitting through days of harrowing evidence and distressing photographs.
Tyson, 17, had just been convicted of the murders of tourist pals James Kouzaris, 24, and James Cooper, 25, in a rundown public housing estate in the city of Sarasota.
Joe — who attended four days of the trial with another British friend Paul Davies — stood and looked Tyson straight in the eye as he told him: "You have taken us all on a journey to hell."
In an emotional impact statement, the killer was forced to listen to Joe saying: "I want you to think of my friends who you murdered.
"James Kouzaris and James Cooper continue to inspire those who knew them yet they will haunt your thoughts to the day you die.
"You pierced both of their hearts with bullets and you robbed them of their dignity, their freedom and their futures.
"You have ripped the hearts out of so many of us. Shawn Tyson, I need you to understand the pain you have caused and the amazing personalities that you have killed."
Joe also asked Tyson to try to think of two people he loved.
He said: "Imagine them being killed. Imagine that they died because someone crept up on them and shot them numerous times for no good reason. Welcome to our world."
Joe and Paul were both given the chance to speak directly to Tyson after he had declined to say anything in his own defence.
Yesterday a photo of the word "Savage" tattooed on the killer's chest emerged for the first time. But he avoided the death penalty because of his age and instead will be in prison until he dies.
When Judge Rick De Furia asked if he wanted to say anything before sentence was passed, Tyson mumbled: "No."
In Paul's impact statement he told the gunman — just 16 at the time of the killings on April 16 last year — he was a coward.
He said Tyson had killed his friends when they were lost, drunk, defenceless and pleading for their lives.