Lionel Tate appeared briefly in court Wednesday and denied he violated the terms of his house arrest, 7 1/2 months after he was released from prison for the murder of a 6-year-old girl, reports the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Tate’s attorney said outside court that he and prosecutors are trying to negotiate a settlement of the case, which the presiding judge would have to approve.
Tate was arrested Sept. 7 and accused of two house arrest violations because he had been out of his home without permission at 2:20 a.m. on Sept. 3. The deputies also said he had a pocketknife with a four-inch blade. Tate, now 17, was walking with his cousin about two blocks from his Pembroke Park home when the deputies, who were on hurricane duty, stopped them. Tate was freed from prison in late January after an appellate court overturned his conviction for first-degree murder and subsequent life sentence in the beating death of Tiffany Eunick, 6. He later pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to the three years he had already served in juvenile detention, one year of house arrest and 10 years of probation.