LATEST: Man pleads guilty to lesser charges in fatal shooting of step-grandfather in Delray


A man who originally was arrested on first-degree murder charges for his role in the 2015 fatal shooting of his step-grandfather in Delray Beach pleaded guilty to lesser charges Thursday. 

Harut Saroyan pleaded guilty to manslaughter with a firearm and attempted robbery before Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Glenn Kelley. Saroyan, 22, was sentenced to 20 years in prison, with credit for more than three and one-half years for the time he’s spent in jail awaiting trial.

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On Feb. 6, 2015, 65-year-old Lucanes Joseph was walking out of his Delray Beach home when he was approached in his driveway by two men in masks, later identified as Saroyan, then 18, and James Jones, 30. Desmond Davis told police that he acted as the lookout, but that when Joseph and Jones got into a physical fight, he fired shots in their direction to “scare” Joseph.

A witness who ran out of his home after he heard the shooting told police Jones shot at him when he approached to see whether Joseph was OK. It’s unclear from the police reports who fatally shot Joseph because shell casing from multiple guns were found at the scene.

Davis told police Saroyan had planned the robbery, telling Davis and Jones that he knew his step-grandfather had “50 stacks,” or $50,000, in his home. 

Davis and Saroyan were arrested soon after the fatal shooting, and Jones was arrested in Winchester, Va., on March 6, 2015, according to police.

RELATED Cold case: Mystery of 1902 murder of West Palm Beach pioneer revealed

In January, Davis plead guilty to the lesser manslaughter charge and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. As part of his plea, he must testify against his co-defendants truthfully. 

Jones’ first-degree murder trial is set to begin Monday, according to court records.  



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