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Manatee man convicted in 2017 murder

Karrie Sanderson
Karrie Sanderson(Manatee County Sheriff's Office)
Published: Apr. 13, 2022 at 1:40 PM EDT
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MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WWSB) - A Manatee County man faces life in prison after being convicted Wednesday of shooting his friend during an argument in 2017.

The Manatee County State’s Attorney’s office says Karrie Lee Sanderson III, shot and killed Melquisedec Betancourt in August 2017 in a car parked at a business near Sarasota Bradenton International Airport.

Sanderson and Betancourt had an argument and physical altercation earlier that day. They drove into the parking lot of the business where Betancourt worked. At some point, Sanderson got out of the car, walked around to the driver’s side, Betancourt was sitting, and shot him three times.

Sanderson threw the gun away and fled on foot to the nearby Bearded Clam bar where he downed two shots of tequila before police found him.

Sanderson admitted to being in the car with Betancourt but said Betancourt was shooting at him when he ran away.

Detectives recovered a gun at the scene. Ballistics tests matched it to the crime. Sanderson’s DNA was also found on the weapon.

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