A man convicted of robbing and shooting a Belle Glade football player in August 2000 was found murdered in Mangonia Park early Friday, according to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office.
Gilbert Stokes, 39, was found shot to death inside a car in an industrial park in the 4700 block of Australian Avenue, just north of 45th Street. Deputies responded to the scene about 1:30 a.m.
Stokes, of Belle Glade, was sentenced to life in November 2002 for killing Jyron Seider, 18, as he played dice with friends. Seider was the son of longtime Belle Glade High athletic director Jay Seider.
An appellate court overturned Stokes’ first-degree murder conviction and ordered a new trial because the jury was allowed to hear testimony that he belonged to a gang.
Stokes went on trial a second time, but prosecutors dropped the murder charge after a key witness balked at testifying. A plea agreement was reached October 2006 in which Stokes pleaded guilty to manslaughter and aggravated assault with a firearm and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Stokes was released from custody in September 2012 after serving a little over nine years for Seider’s death.
“It’s a shame when anybody loses their life,” Jay Seider said Friday after learning of Stokes’ death. “It’s really sad to hear. But the good lord has a way of handling these types of situations.”
PBSO asks that anyone with information connected to Stokes’ murder contact Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 1-800-458-TIPS (8477).