JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A jury hearing murder charges in the trial of a man accused of shooting and killing a 24-year-old outside a Southside nightclub in March 2017 found him guilty instead of manslaughter and carrying a concealed firearm.
Toray Ricketts was charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of Sina Sharifai outside Suite nightclub at the Markets at Town Center, which is adjacent to the St. Johns Town Center.
A third charge against Ricketts, witness tampering, was dropped by the judge. Ricketts could be sentenced to a maximum of 35 years -- 30 for manslaughter and five for the concealed firearm. He will be sentenced the week of April 30.
According to police, the shooting followed an argument that started in the club and spilled over into the parking lot. Sharifai's family claimed he was breaking up a fight outside when police were called to the club on Big Island Drive about 2 a.m. on March 24, 2017.
Witnesses said Ricketts went to his car, got a gun and returned. Jacksonville police said two off-duty officers working at the club heard shots, responded and saw Sharifai running away from Ricketts, who was running after him with a gun.
Sharifai died from gunshot wounds at a hospital.
Ricketts claimed he fired in self-defense after Sharifai punched him in the face, knocked him to the ground and continued to punch him, but his "stand your ground" petition was denied.
According to an arrest report, Ricketts threatened violence toward at least one witness while in jail, which resulted in the witness tampering charge.
Investigators said Ricketts sent a third party to contact a witness in his murder case and tell the witness not to testify against him. Police said Ricketts used another jail inmate’s number to take a call from his girlfriend, and during that conversation, discussed how and where the witness could be intimidated and threatened.
The arrest report also states that Ricketts was telling other jail inmates to contact that witness when they were released from jail.