Court upholds conviction of former FAU student Donovan Henry


Saying the case could be described as an “American tragedy,” an appeals court Wednesday upheld the conviction of a former Florida Atlantic University student who took part in a drug deal that led to the murder of another student.

A panel of the 4th District Court of Appeal upheld the second-degree murder conviction of Donovan Henry in the December 2015 death of Nicholas Acosta. Henry, who knew Acosta, and four other men went to Acosta’s apartment to obtain marijuana. During the incident, a co-defendant shot and killed Acosta.

RELATED: Donovan Henry found guilty in marijuana-robbery

In the appeal, Henry’s attorney argued the prosecutors had made improper comments during cross-examination and closing arguments. But the appeals court rejected the arguments and alluded to quotes from William Shakespeare that had been used by a prosecutor.

“In December 2015, appellant (Henry) and Nicholas Acosta were young men attending college in South Florida, with promising lives ahead of them,” said the six-page ruling, written by appeals-court Judge Alan Forst and joined by judges Martha Warner and Melanie May. “One year later, Acosta had been dead for a year and appellant had just been convicted of murder, burglary and robbery, sentenced to spend the next three decades in prison. This is not necessarily a Shakespearian tragedy, as the state suggested in closing, but it certainly can be characterized as an American tragedy.”

READ ALSO: FAU shooting: Suspect says he was ‘pawn’

Henry, now 21, was sentenced to 35 years in prison on the murder charge and burglary and robbery charges. He is in prison at Charlotte Correctional Institution, according to the state Department of Corrections website.




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