Man pleads guilty in 2014 'thrill killing' at bus stop

Arsenio James sentenced to 35 years in prison for murder of Gary Bell

By Francesca Amiker - Reporter, Chris Parenteau - Reporter

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office booking photo of Arsenio James

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Arsenio James pleaded guilty Thursday to the October 2014 killing of Gary Bell (pictured below), who police said was gunned down while waiting for a bus to take him to work.

James, 28, was sentenced to 35 years in prison.

Prosecutors said James asked an 18-year-old friend, Timothy Webster, if he’d ever seen someone get killed. When they approached the bus stop near Moncrief Road and West 35th Street, Webster asked Bell to use his cellphone, then James shot him.

James reached into Bell’s pockets looking for money, leaving his DNA on Bell’s clothes. That led to James' arrest on a charge of second-degree murder.

Webster was arrested months later after tips to CrimeStoppers.

At the time, Jacksonville police said the killing was a "totally random" crime and called it "evil and heinous." In announcing James' arrest two years ago, Jacksonville Sheriff's Office called Bell's murder a "thrill killing."

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