Prosecutors in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. have decided not to seek the death penalty against three teenagers they say were involved in three beatings, one last January in which a homeless man was beaten to death with a baseball bat.

According to reports, that decision was made because one defendant, Thomas Daugherty, was 17 at the time the crimes were committed, which makes him ineligible for the death penalty. The other two teens — Brian Hooks and William “Billy” Ammons — were 18. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people charged with crimes they committed before the age of 18 cannot be given the death penalty.

Prosecutors say the teens killed 49-year-old Norris Gaynor and injured two other homeless men badly enough to need hospital treatment on January 12, 2006.

A surveillance camera at Florida Atlantic University in Fort Lauderdale filmed one of the beatings. The footage was broadcast worldwide and helped detectives solve the case.

The teens have pleaded not guilty and remain in jail without bond. They face up to life in prison if convicted of the first degree murder charge. They also are charged with attempted murder. A trial date has not been set.

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