A prominent St. Augustine footballer claims there was a double self-defense shooting in 2020 that killed a 16-year-old and her boyfriend.

ST. JONES COUNTY, Florida. — Former St. Augustine High School football standout charged with two counts of first-degree murder in a 2020 double shooting that killed a 16-year-old classmate and her 21-year-old boyfriend, hoping to convince a jury he acted. for the purpose of self-defense.

Anferni Wilson, who was 19 when he was first charged with the double murder, initially pleaded guilty to the deaths of 16-year-old Sidney Rownsville and her boyfriend, 21-year-old Kyle Stein. They were fatally shot in the parking lot of an apartment building in October 2020.

The plea deal that Wilson agreed to would have sentenced him to 45 years in prison, and Rounceville’s mother told News4JAX she “put up with it.”

But Wilson filed a petition last October to change his statement — a request that was granted in April, and a double homicide trial was scheduled this week in which Wilson’s lawyers allege he fired at the truck out of fear for own life.

READ: Anferni Wilson’s letter to the judge withdrawing application

Prosecutors, however, have a different take: it was Wilson who chased Stein and Rownsville in the truck before opening fire, which gave him enough time to think about what he was doing.

In addition to the two murder charges, Wilson also faces charges of shooting at an occupied vehicle and robbery with a firearm.

According to Wilson’s arrest report, witnesses told detectives that a man with a gun was seen chasing a black pickup truck in the parking lot of the Florida Club condominiums near Florida Club Boulevard, which is off State Road 16 in St. Augustine. They said the truck changed direction and began to drive towards the man with the gun before crashing into a parked car.

“Mr. Wilson met with Kyle Stein and Sidney to buy marijuana. Mr. Wilson gave them the money, but then demanded a refund due to the poor quality of the marijuana he was given. They said no and an argument ensued,” Attorney Daniel Hernandez said in an opening statement on Tuesday.

But when Hernandez questioned the witness about whether the truck was chasing Wilson and trying to run him over, the witness said no.

During the shooting, witnesses told police that after the truck crashed in the parking lot, a man later identified by police as Wilson fired four to six shots at the truck, then removed some items from the cab of the truck and ran away. towards a nearby golf course.

“When he pursued them, he had the opportunity to think about what he was going to do. After Kyle crashed his truck, he didn’t, and it’s called first-degree homicide,” State Attorney Kenneth Johnson said in a statement. “Then when he used that force and entered their car and stole money, a cell phone and marijuana, it was a robbery and it’s called a felony in the first degree.”

Deputies said several witnesses identified Wilson as the shooter who escaped from the parking lot.

Booking photo of Anfernie Wilson (Courtesy of St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office)

And before she was taken from the scene, Sydney also pointed her finger at him.

On Tuesday, registered nurse Tara Shields and neighbor Faye Kenny testified that they were at the scene in October 2020 and tried to save Sidney. Her family listened to the testimony with tears in their eyes.

The teenager asked the women if she was going to die.

“We’re trying to keep her alive and on guard,” Shields said.

And they asked who shot her.

She said, “Anferni. Anfernee,” Kenny recalled in the stands. “We asked: “Anthony?” And she said, “No, Anferni.”

Despite the efforts of the Good Samaritans and rescuers, Sydney and Kyle later died in local hospitals.

Wilson was found less than an hour after the shooting in a holding pond about a mile from Shadel Way and North St. Johns Street, deputies said.

The state said Tuesday that Wilson left a trail of money, clothes and drugs from where he shot the couple to the pond where he was found. Witnesses also took pictures of him running through the neighborhood.

Shaleen Rounsville said that Wilson and her daughter had known each other since high school.

“I have not forgotten that three young people died. Not only Kyle and Sydney, but he too. It didn’t escape me,” Rounceville said.

Shaleen said it was unfair that she never saw her daughter’s graduation and that Sydney would never marry or have children. She said that Sidney’s brother had recently had a baby, and Sidney would love being an aunt.

CONNECTED: ‘Their lives matter’: Mom wants people to remember 16-year-old, her boyfriend as jury selection begins in murder trial

Her brother named the baby after Sidney.

“It really was a test of my faith,” Shaleen Rownsville said. “I don’t think about him too much. He is indifferent to me. I just want him to be where he is and stay there for the rest of his life. This is what I want.”

Shaleen said she left some of her daughter’s ashes at Kyle’s grave. She plans to scatter the rest over the mountains and along the beach, two of Sydney’s favorite places.

But she said she would not do so until the trial of the man accused of Sidney’s murder was over.

Copyright 2023 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

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