Tyree Washington and Kyle Walling were resentenced for their role in the death of Chris Pitcock. This was the last of the juveniles whose cases were reheard.

FORT WALTON BEACH — Okaloosa County Circuit Court Judge William Stone ruled Wednesday that life without parole was not an appropriate sentence for 16-year-old Kyle Walling for his role in the 2010 murder of Christopher Pitcock.


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He reduced Walling’s murder sentence to 25 years in prison, which, because he’s been serving time since being convicted July 26, 2011, means he could be released in 2036.


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Stone left unchanged a 15-year sentence Walling is also serving for the attempted armed robbery that resulted in the 17-year-old Pitcock being fatally shot, but that prison term is being served concurrently, or alongside, the first. Walling will be eligible for a review of Wednesday’s resentencing in 15 years.


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Walling’s family, many of whom were also present in 2011 when the life sentence was handed down, appeared almost stunned as they left the courtroom.


“I think, obviously, the family has a sense of relief. He now sees some light at the end of this,” said attorney Barry Beroset, who represented Walling at Wednesday’s hearing. “There’s a big difference between being sentenced to life and being released in 16 years. We’re very satisfied with the ruling.”


David Pitcock, the father of the victim, cursed under his breath when Stone announced his decision.


Pitcock lost his 17-year-old son on March 4, 2010, when Christopher went to meet his friend Tyree Washington to consummate a sale of marijuana. Washington, Walling and Timothy Chavers had been talking about arranging the meeting since earlier that afternoon, and planned to rob Pitcock.


Chavers pulled a gun after he and Washington met Pitcock at the intersection of Lula Belle Lane and Oakland Circle in Fort Walton Beach, and ultimately fired the shot that killed Pitcock.


Washington, who was also resentenced Wednesday, did not fare as well as his former cohort. He was resentenced to life in prison.


Like Walling, Washington will continue to serve a 15-year concurrent sentence for armed robbery and will also be eligible for a review of his resentencing in 15 years.


Chavers had previously been resentenced to life.


Washington’s mother demanded to know after the hearing what accounted for the discrepancy between Walling’s sentence and that of her son.


“I don’t know, but I’d like to find out,” Angie Washington said.


Clifton Drake, who represented the State Attorney’s Office at the resentencing hearings, said he could understand to some degree why Stone had ruled to reduce Walling’s sentence.


“When you look at their roles in the case, Chavers was clearly the most culpable, but, as I said during the initial hearing in this case, if it were not for Tyree Washington, Chris Pitcock would not be dead,” Drake said.


Washington convinced Pitcock to come to the scene of the robbery, and he was there when the shooting took place.


Walling helped plan the robbery as well, and gave Chavers the gun that actually would be used to kill Pitcock, court testimony showed. But his attorney presented evidence that Walling had removed two bullets from the weapon in a misguided attempt to prevent anything bad from happening during the robbery.


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The life without parole sentences of Walling, Washington and Chavers had to be reviewed following a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles were unconstitutional.


The court ordered cases in which those sentences had been handed down reheard, with circuit judges given more discretion in deciding what action to take in the event of a guilty verdict.


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