Today, October 16, 2023, the honorable Judge Robert Hodges sentenced 20-year-old Brandon Jordan Merizier to 50 years in the Florida Department of Corrections. Merizier was originally found guilty of First-Degree Murder back in June of 2023 when a jury returned a verdict of guilty.
The case, which began with then 17-year-old Merizier’s arrest back in November of 2021, revealed the senseless killing of 18-year-old Kobe months earlier.
Back on June 5, 2021, the Marion County Sheriff’s Office responded to a call shortly before 4 p.m. regarding a shooting in Ocala Park Estates. Upon arrival, deputies located Kobe, later identified as the victim, who transported to a hospital where he was later pronounced deceased.
This sentencing hearing comes just one day after what would have been the 21st birthday of Kobe Jeremiah Bradshaw.
“Sentences are a solemn reminder of the gravity of crimes and the consequences that come with them. In this case, Merizier not only determined Kobe’s fate, but his own,” said William “Bill” Gladson, Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney. “Merizier had an extensive criminal history involving firearms and clearly demonstrated he is no stranger to gun violence. His fifty years for first-degree murder is nothing in comparison to the loss of a life which is irreversible.”
During the investigation of this case, which included search warrants for Merizier's phone and social media accounts, officials located multiple pieces of incriminating information including various Snapchat photos and videos of Merizier.
The successful prosecution of this case was a result of the dedicated efforts of Marion County Sheriff’s Office Homicide Detective Andrew Canterberry and the relentless pursuit of justice by Assistant State Attorneys Toby Hunt and Rich Buxman, who tirelessly presented the case.
The victim's mother was unable to read her impact statement to the courtroom, however, ASA Hunt delivered her statement before the court on her behalf.