NEW: Sentenced to life in prison at 17, man re-sentenced in 2001 homicide 


A man who had been sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 2001 fatal shooting and robbery of a man in Riviera Beach when he was 17 years old has been given a new sentence. 

After several hearings this year, Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Laura Johnson on Monday resentenced Rogyne O’Neal to 40 years in prison, with credit for 6,363 days, or more than 17 years, that he has already served. O’Neal must serve a minimum of 25 years for the first-degree murder charge, according to records.

RELATED Third man takes plea in fatal shooting of grandfather in Delray Beach

In two rulings in 2010 and 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without the chance of parole, recognizing that adolescents’ minds are still developing and can be rehabilitated. In 2015, the Florida Supreme Court ruled any juvenile who previously had been sentenced to life should be resentenced. 

Rogyne O’Neal was 17 when he was arrested in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old D'Taurean Gibbs in March 2001. He had been with his girlfriend when he called for his sister to pick him up. Instead, his sister’s boyfriend picked him up and told him he was about rob someone, according to court records. 

A jury found O’Neal, now 34, guilty in 2002 and sentenced him to life in prison. 

RELATED Wellington teen facing adult charges in robbery of pizza deliveryman

Over the course of several hearings this year, O’Neal’s family, psychologists, several people from prison and Gibbs’ family spoke before the judge. During one hearing in June, Gibbs’ family spoke about the “loving kid” and “big teddy bear” they missed. 

Timothy Wyngate, who is not Gibbs’ biological father but had raised him since he was 5, said he has forgiven O’Neal, but that he still misses Gibbs. 

“The loss of my son has been tough for me, but because I am a minister of the Gospel, I believe he should be given a chance,” Wyngate said.

Gibbs’ sister, Ypreshus Goodwin, said her children never got to meet their uncle and that she still grieves for her brother to this day. 

“I have a 14-year-old son who looks like him, so I see his face every day,” she said in court in June.

In court Monday, Johnson said she found Gibbs’ family’s words of forgiveness “very moving” and that it was apparent the family was still grieving from their loss.

RELATED Man reportedly broke into 2017 Boynton homicide victim’s home minutes after shooting

At the June hearing, O’Neal read from a letter he wrote and that said since he’s been in prison, he has gone into substance-abuse treatment and has worked to “become a man of integrity.” He said he has asked for forgiveness from everyone involved. 

“I stand here before everyone as a different person than I was 17 years ago,” he said. 

In her written final arguments, Assistant Public Defender Crystal Kim said O’Neal lost both parents at a young age, failed several grades in school and his older sister was in and out of prison while he was growing up.

“The circumstances of Rogyne's childhood and adolescence made him particularly vulnerable to peer pressure,” she wrote. “He had virtually no parental guidance after the age of nine. Identity formation, self-esteem growth, and morality forming were all developmental tasks for which Rogyne was left to his own devices while surrounded by role models who were getting drunk or high and committing crimes.” 

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

She wrote O’Neal’s only previous arrest was aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for throwing rocks at a school bus when he was 15.

Kim asked the judge to resentence O’Neal to 25 years in her written final arguments. Assistant State Attorney Andrew Slater asked for 45 years, according to court documents.   



Next Up in Local

Pistol-whipped drug dealer arrested after bad deal, Gainesville police say
Pistol-whipped drug dealer arrested after bad deal, Gainesville police say

Gainesville police arrested two suspected drug dealers Sunday morning, while the buyers who robbed them at gunpoint remained unidentified.  After a police investigation, it was determined that Billie A. Carter, 19, and Quade Eubanks, 20, had traveled to Gainesville from Daytona Beach for a drug deal, Gainesville Police Officer Ben Tobias wrote...
Florida neighbors can't bear the sight of nude gardener
Florida neighbors can't bear the sight of nude gardener

Adam and Eve may have been naked in the Garden of Eden, but neighbors in a South Florida city are not happy about a nude gardener in their paradise. >> Read more trending news  Residents in a north Stuart neighborhood called the Martin County Sheriff’s Office to complain about a man who does yard work and walks around his property...
EXCLUSIVE: In video, grandmother begs missing Delray woman’s husband not to take baby
EXCLUSIVE: In video, grandmother begs missing Delray woman’s husband not to take baby

A distraught grandmother throws herself on Lewis Bennett in the driveway of the woman's Boca Raton home.  "Don't take my baby. Don't take my baby," Amparo Alvarez sobs in Spanish before staggering away and collapsing. Inside Bennett’s car is the woman’s granddaughter. "You already killed my sister. What else do...
BREAKING: Motorcyclist killed in wreck near West Palm Beach
BREAKING: Motorcyclist killed in wreck near West Palm Beach

A 33-year-old man is dead after crashing his motorcycle late Tuesday on Congress Avenue north of Gun Club Road, the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office said. Joseph Hurff Jr. was about 2 miles west of his West Palm Beach home shortly after 9:30 p.m. when he lost control of his 2007 Harley-Davidson Sportster, crossed three lanes of traffic...
More Stories