Court corrects error that could have released man guilty of shooting, paralyzing former Jaguars player years early

Shooting in Riverside left Richard Collier paralyzed

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man who was convicted of shooting a former Jacksonville Jaguars player could’ve been released from prison too soon after his sentence was modified from life to 27 years.

Tyrone Hartsfield’s sentence was reduced from life to 27 years last year for the shooting incident that involved former Jacksonville Jaguars offensive tackle Richard Collier but the department of corrections accidentally gave Hartsfield double credit.

Though Hartfield’s sentence was changed from life to 27 years, there was an error.

The reduced sentence went into effect June 21, 2022, with 13 years, 9 months and 13 days but somehow Hartsfield’s credit was doubled, which would have released him from jail in a few months.

On Monday, that was fixed and Hartsfield will now get out after serving the rest of his 27-year sentence.

Local attorney Belkis Plata, who is not affiliated with this case, said this type of error is rare.

“I’ve never seen that happen before,” said Plata, of Plata Schott Law. “I’ve seen people actually not get enough credit, but I have never seen the Department of Corrections actually give too much credit.”

In September 2008, Collier was critically wounded in a shooting on Riverside Avenue. He and a former player had met two women at a San Marco bar and followed them home so they could drop off their car. Collier was in a car when he was shot 14 times. He was left paralyzed and had a partial leg amputation.

Hartsfield was eventually arrested and charged with attempted first-degree murder. Prosecutors said Hartsfield went gunning for payback after Collier beat him up at a bar in April 2008.

The State Attorney’s Office released discovery evidence, including an interview with Stephfan Wilson, who said Hartsfield was with him the night he spotted Collier in San Marco. He told the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office that Hartsfield was “hellbent” on getting revenge on Collier for the April beatdown. Wilson said Hartsfield “prayed” for a chance at payback.

The case went to trial in 2009, and Wilson was the state’s key witness. Wilson testified that Hartsfield got out of the car in Riverside and that he heard many shots before Hartsfield ran back and told him to drive, saying “I got the m***********.” He told the jury that Hartsfield said he burned his clothes and ditched the gun.

Collier testified but admitted he did not see the man who shot him. Hartsfield took the stand in his own defense and denied any involvement. He said Wilson lied to police to avoid going back to prison.

The six-person jury deliberated for three hours before finding Hartsfield guilty of attempted first-degree murder. His conviction was affirmed by the First District Court of Appeals in 2011.

In 2019, Hartsfield, acting as his own lawyer, filed a motion for a new trial, claiming ineffective counsel and naming several witnesses who came forward in 2013 to say Wilson lied to JSO and lied on the stand so he wouldn’t have to go back to prison. One witness even said Wilson was with him the night Collier was shot. The appeals court denied the motion that same year.

In 2021, Judge Mark Borello ordered an evidentiary hearing, which was not held.

Then on June 21, 2022, the life sentence was set aside at the motion of the state attorney’s office. Hartsfield pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and was re-sentenced to 27 years in prison, with credit for almost 14 years of time served.

This was done with Collier’s approval.

Hartsfield was recently returned to the Duval County jail from prison.

The State Attorney’s Office sent News4JAX the following statement:

“This case was slated to be litigated for a 3.850 motion (ineffective assistance of counsel) filed by the defendant. With the victim’s full agreement and his request for finality, the State entered into an amended sentence that called for Hartsfield to serve a total of 27 years in prison — the sum of time he has already served, plus an additional 15 years.”

FILE - Former Jaguars player Richard Collier talks about the support he received from the Justice Coalition after he was shot 14 times in 2008.

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