Petition Closed
Petitioning President Obama and 9 others
This petition will be delivered to:
President Obama
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
Florida State House
Florida State Senate
President of the United States
Pam Bondi
prosecutor
John Aguero
Jerry Hill
Judge Mccarthy

Acquitted, but still serving life without parole since he was 16!

 

 My husbands name is Curtis Shuler Jr and he is currently serving a term of natural life in prison without the possibility of parole. He was a sixteen year old juvenile when he was arrested in 1998. He was charged with Premeditated First Degree Murder on a victim that a 'sworn' jury 'ACQUITTED Him'. The jury never found him guilty of killing the victim. In fact the jury acquitted himof every 'essential element' to constitute the crime. Yet instead of following state and federal laws when it comes to legally inconsistent verdicts the prosecutor persuaded the judge to find jim guilty as charged and the court adjudicated him guilty as charge despite the judges confusion as to the verdict. Federal and state law requires that verdicts rendered like his  'REQUIRE ACQUITTAL”.  He has  a life sentence without benefit of parole for a murder he was never convicted of doing. He was wrongfully convicted and railroaded by the state.

Iin 1998, there were a totat of 7 teens who were convicted of murder and prosecuted by the same states attorney, John Aguero. He gave the white teenagers, less then life in which two are already free and the other two will be coming home soon. The three black teens were given life without parole. Why did he feel compassion for the white teen's and not the black teen's?

What I am asking is for immediate release of my husband.


Letter to
President Obama
U.S. House of Representatives
U.S. Senate
and 7 others
Florida State House
Florida State Senate
President of the United States
Pam Bondi
prosecutor John Aguero
Jerry Hill
Judge Mccarthy
To whom this may concern:

I am an advocate for Curtis Shuler and I am reaching out to you in hopes you will hear his story of injustice. I hope that within your mind you can afford him the benefit of an all but certain doubt as to my intentions and these facts which I am presenting. Curtis was a 16 year old juvenile when he was arrested on 1st degree murder charges with a Firearm, for the murder of Larry Steven Tyler of Haines city, commonly referred to as the Greenleaf homicide.
He has always felt that I would be vindicated by a court who would follow the law. From the outside looking in I know this case appears to be an open and shut case, but I am here to offer you some specific facts and demonstrate them by proof that this case is nothing of what it appears to be.
He has tried the Innocence Projects, but they are reluctant to touch a case without d.n.a evidence, Curtis’ case was just a credibility fight. He has maintained his innocence from day one and he still does. Polk county has a dark history of racism, prejudice, and a huge gap in the legal system of its treatment of African American juveniles in relation to their comrades of other races of who commit the same exact crimes and i believe that this is something that the system is purposefully overlooking and something that needs to be exposed.
I am not looking to make this a race issue, but the facts are the facts. You’re free to interrupt them as you see fit, but I hope that you have an impartial eye because this has the potential to be nationally recognized problem. Allow me to demonstrate. In 1997 and 1998 there were nine juveniles arrested in Polk county on 1st degree murder charges most of these juvenile offenders were prosecuted by assistant state attorney John Aguero and were tried in judge Robert young’s courtroom. Five of these juveniles’ offenders were black, four of these juvenile offenders were white. Jeremy Barman, Tony Headly, Steven Etheridge, Donald Mcpherson, Robert Pugh, Harry Davis, Curtis Shuler, Victor Lester, and Slylathum Streeter. Barmin received four years, Headly received 12 years, Etheridge received 30 years for stabbing, beating, strangling, and killing his father. They all confessed to the crime and were guilty. None are serving a life without parole sentence. Donald Mcpherson strangled his girlfriend and left her in an orange grove, confessed to the crime and is currently serving a 30 year sentence. Harry Davis killed his parents and is serving a life without parole sentence, Sylathum Streeter confesses to murder and a whole slew of other crimes and he has 2 life sentences plus 320 years. Victor Lester confesses to murder, 3 life sentences. Curtis Shuler accused of murder not convicted but serving life without parole. Robert Pugh, 10 years for his testimony against Davis, Pugh guilty also. The discrepancy is evident; everybody had the same charges, with the exception of Pugh. All of the African American juvenile offenders are serving life without parole sentences. None of the white juvenile murderers are condemned to the rest of the natural lives in prison.


Curtis was accused of killing Larry Steven Tyler. The state said that he shot Larry Tyler with a firearm. Larry Tyler was shot and killed. The bullet pierced his portal vein and he died from blood loss. They also charged Sylathum Streeter with his homicide. Curtis was taken to trail four times on these charges based on the testimony of Adrian Moore, slyathum streeter, and victor Lester. They all testified that he shot Tyler.
In October 1999, shortly after his 18th birthday he was convicted of first degree murder with a firearm, armed burglary with assault or battery with a firearm and shooting into an occupied vehicle. Curtis was convicted because they said he did it. There was no physical, scientific, or d.n.a evidence linking me to this crime and they had plenty of it. A gun was found with Streeters prints. Gunshot residue was lifted from the hands of Streeter and Lester. Shell casings, bullets, masks all of this evidence was found in Streeters possession along with the gun that reportedly took Tyler’s life. Curtis was tested for gunshot residue was any found? No, not his car, home, and bedroom was all searched, there was nothing linking him to this crime except their testimonies.

In 2002, Curtis won direct appeal and was granted a new trial based on the fact that court found that John Aguero had a black juror excused based merely upon her race. She was an African American woman and they found his excuse pretextual. Curtis was sent back to trial on these charges. In their first attempt to prosecute after the reversal a mistrial was ordered by the judge, Michael McCarthy and a change of venue was granted to the 12th judicial circuit where Judge McCarthy and Mr. Aguero relocated.

In the 3rd attempt to prosecute a jury was sworn and a trial ensued at this point, Streeter and Lester both recanted their prior sworn testimonies at to Curtis’ involvement in the shooting death of Tyler. Both having realized that by lying on him it still did not get them off. They both testified that he had nothing to do with the Tyler homicide. Streeter initially testified that Curtis shot Tyler and that Lester ran to the truck and that he never left from behind the sign. This is very important because in his recanted version of events, Streeter testified that Lester approached the passenger side door of the car armed with the firearm that assaulted, burglarized, and shot Tyler. Streeter testified that he ran to the driver’s side door of the car.
Why is this important? Because Mr. Aguero the state attorney testified that no fingerprints belonged to anybody, to none of the defendants. Shuler or Streeter, which was in fact an absolute fabrication, had the jury known that Streeters thumb and ring finger prints were found on the driver’s side door of the car it would have corroborated his recanted testimony and demonstrated that he was finally telling the truth.
Upon request we can submit to you an FDLE lab report and a police report by Herman Malden that clearly demonstrates Streeters prints were in fact found on the driver’s side door of the victim’s vehicle. Tyler was shot from the passenger’s side of the car. Streeter did not kill Tyler. it would have been impossible. I can also submit to you john Aguero's fabricated testimony to the jury, you can see it for yourself. When has it ever been permissible for a prosecutor to purposefully lie to a jury without even so much a reprimand? The jury in his 3rd trial returned a verdict of 10 for not guilty and 2 for guilty. A mistrial was declared.
He was pushed again into a fourth trial. The jury never heard Lester’s testimony that he did not kill Tyler because the judge would not allow it. He called it hearsay when the witness testified that he did not kill Tyler and was not present but called it credible testimony when he said Curtis did kill Tyler. We sworn in a jury and went to trial again. You have to remember this whole trial was a credibility contest. There was one witness, Lester’s brother who admitted to busting out the lights and helping them initially that said Curtis killed Tyler. Funny how that was the only thing he could remember at the trial. Both he and Lester could have been charged and should have been charged. At the end of Curtis’ fourth trial the jury returned their verdict. The jury found Curtis guilty of 1st degree murder and attempted burglary. The jury further found him not guilty of carrying, displaying, or using a firearm in all 3 counts. Not guilty of making an assault or battery on Larry Steven Tyler. Curtis was acquitted or armed burglary and the jury found him not guilty of shooting into an occupied vehicle. Tyler was shot, a bullet pierced through his portal vein, that is how he died. He was shot with a gun. Tyler sustained bruises to his knuckles fighting with the guy who shot him. There was no such thing as an attempt in this case. Tyler is dead, his vehicle was burglarized, and he was shot. Had the door to the passenger side not been breached, Tyler would possibly still be alive and I would not be in prison for his murder that I was clearly acquitted of. There were two people charged with his homicide, Curtis Shuler and Sylathum Streeter.
Streeters fingerprints on the driver’s side door proves he was not the shooter. Curtis was acquitted by the jury of shooting and killing Tyler. So who shot Larry Tyler? There is a theory that the state failed to look at, yet the evidence demonstrates clearly. The three people that admitted to being there were the ones who in fact carried out the crime, yet Lester and Moore were never charged. They are brothers. Moore never testified to anything that would hurt his brother. John Aguero was so hell bent on prosecuting him that he let the ones who should have been charged get away. Had it not been for their initial testimonies his case would not have gone to trial. Curtis was not smart enough as a teenager to outwit savvy homicide investigators or smart enough to not leave some physical or scientific evidence that would lead them to believe that he was there. He was not smart enough to scramble all 11 alibi witnesses or forge church documents to demonstrate on Sunday April 26, 1998 that they were having an assistant pastoral anniversary for my grandfather. It was the first one ever. He went to Wal-Mart and purchased fuses and speaker wire to hookup a ken wood amp to his speakers in his car. The Wal-Mart video would have absolutely proven without any doubt that he was not with Lester, Moore, or Streeter that day. There were other witnesses Shirley Hill, Robert Smith, Brenda Faniel, Derrick Downing, Deloris Commings (his mother), and Elbert Commings (his grandfather) and all of them knew and saw him working on those speakers that night and throughout the day.

Based on the jury’s acquittals he could not legally be found guilty of any crime in this indictment where shooting into an occupied vehicle, carrying, displaying, or using a firearm, armed burglary or assault and battery. This was essential to carry out this homicide. Can you see what I am showing you? This is not a technicality it is an injustice, one that was dealt to a 16yr old kid. Curtis did not lose that last trial which explains why the judge did not understand the verdict.
He said it out of his own mouth that it did not make sense to him, yet he still sentenced Curtis to life without parole for it. After the prosecutor tried to explain away the acquittals what they forgot to do was factor in how the not guilty verdicts applied by the law affected those proceedings. You can’t be guilty and not guilty of the same crime.
Since the jury absolutely acquitted him of even so much laying a finger on Tyler, do you still believe that he is guilty of shooting him in cold blood which resulted in his tragic death and by virtue of the jury’s verdict do you think I deserve to be in prison for the life without parole?
Where Etheridge, Mcpherson, Pugh, Barman, Headly, and Rose are all guilty of murder. Curtis should have never been adjudicated guilty in that fast and swift proceeding. as soon as the jury left the court room he was called up and promptly sentenced to life without parole.
According to the judge based on the jury’s verdict, which was not true, because he based his findings on the interpretation of the Prosecutor. Polk counties harsh treatment of black juvenile offenders is massive in comparison to that of its white children. They are given harsher penalties for the same crimes. Waived over for adult charges and penalties more often. They are subject to go to prison more often for the first time offenses. Are often assigned to the worst facilities devoid of programs that can facilitate emotional, mental, and spiritual growth. All of this is statically proven yet ignored by the system. A system that is constitutionally obligated to be fair and impartial. The problem is, is that no one is paying attention.
Well I am paying attention and I have paid attention for the last 16 ½ years. Curtis did not kill Tyler and he is not a murderer as evident by the jury verdict and the states inability to prove a case. I don’t know why the jury made those findings, however he was the only man on trial and the jury could only determine my guilt or innocence no one else. The
jury acquitted him of shooting and killing Tyler. Streeter did not kill Tyler. His fingerprints were found on the driver’s side door of the victim’s vehicle. Which does not exonerate him but certainly demonstrates that he did not shoot Tyler. That leaves two uncharged men who admitted to helping facilitate the crime, the brothers Lester and Moore, who were never charged and based on the facts the state absolutely let them get away by throwing the blame on someone else. That is what happens when we rely on our feelings and not the facts such as what the prosecutor did in this case and he dropped the ball. Do I think that children should be allowed to commit crimes without punishment? No. Justice however as applied in Polk county has not been a good steward to Polk counties children especially when we examine the sentence disparate of minority children compared to the white children. Curtis pled guilty to his involvement in the Cathy Boyd shooting. When Streeter shot Boyd, Curtis made him let him out of the car and his involvement ended there. Curtis did not know that Streeter, Lester, and Moore killed Tyler four days earlier or that they shot up the hotel or killed Christina Large and shot her cousin. Curtis had no involvement in any of those things.
Eleven people testified as to his whereabouts the days of the homicide of Tyler. Lester and Streeter were caught lying because they gave two diametrically different versions of events. Moore could only remember as he claims that Curtis shot Tyler and nothing else. Ultimately when you rely on the physical evidence in this case it points to Moore, Lester, and Streeter... the ones who got away with it. Please just take a look at the facts, they have not changed. After professing his innocence for 35 years, even after the state had convinced themselves that James Bain was their man, they were wrong. d.n.a. proved Bain was telling the truth. The facts did not change, they were the same. The state cannot explain away d.n.a. they were wrong on that case and they are wrong on this one. Curtis should have been freed when the jury returned their verdict because he cannot lawfully be adjudicated guilty. The acquittals negated essential felony elements to constitute a legal conviction for 1st degree murder and to meet the burden of the 14th amendment due process clause it clearly states “due process of law requires that a criminal conviction rest upon a determination that the accused is guilty of every element of an offense or due process is not satisfied.”
Curtis have been imploring even begging for someone to look at this case impartially for the last 16 1/2years and process by which the prosecution and the judge used to interrupt the verdict and their intent at the time the verdict came back was biased and prejudiced in a whole capacity. This is not factually or legally accurate when compared to the true verdict of the jury.
I do not know you personally, what ideals or what motivates and inspires you to write and keep track of the cases you follow, but I am giving you a case that truly represents and injustice of a 1950's legal lynching. Four trials, no physical or scientific evidence, no d.n.a evidence, 11 alibi witnesses, recanted, fabricated and false testimonies liberally preached before a jury, prosecutoral misconduct in racism, black children hammered for the same crimes as white children but given harsher penalties, jury votes 10 for not guilty 2 for guilt, acquitted of all the crimes elements still sentenced to life without parole. These are the facts that are evident and should raise questions and concerns about our current legal system and whose dispensating what is supposed to be a blind justice.
I would encourage you to look deeper into Polk counties history of prosecutions in relation to its current and past prosecutions of African American juveniles and certainly in my case where despite John Aguero's feelings Curtis is innocent and legally innocent as a matter of law. Life without parole in any case of this magnitude considering the facts and the verdict is incredibly harsh and excessive where he was never convicted of one violent act in relation to the death of Steven Tyler. If Curtis did not shot Larry Tyler, then how did I kill him? If I did not carry, display or use a firearm, how did he kill Larry Tyler? If he didn’t commit and armed burglary, how did he kill Larry Tyler? If he did not assault and batter Larry Tyler, how did he kill him? Curtis can’t just be guilty of murder without those elements essential to its commission.
Curtis doesn’t deserve to be there any longer. He has served his time for his role in the Cathy Boyd shooting to which he pled guilty. He was a naïve, ignorant, selfish 16year old kid who helped facilitate a crime against Cathy Boyd something that he will live with for the rest of his life. AS OF Now I am a facilitator of men in the horizon faith based program at Tomoka Correctional inst where I teach art, bible study, g.e.d and writing classes. These duties put me in the position to encourage men and work on leadership skills to halt recidivism in its tracks and teach them the proper common sense skills of how to live in a community without going back to crime and violence.
He has written over 43 books, five published by Shuler Publications, and can be found on Amazon.com. He has learned to play four different instruments, he has written over 1000 songs, from country, r&b, gospel, rock and hip hop. Curtis has discovered talents that he did not know he had in the isolated cell of Florida state prison.
He has been gassed, beat up, put in isolation, he’s had urine and feces thrown in his face, spit on, written false disciplinary reports, insulted, called nigger by white corrections officers, yet he is still determined in his mind and heart to reject the bitterness, the hatred and strive for something better, to be that man when he looks into the mirror and see not some hovering black vulture riding around shooting people because he never was that. There is a reason he was not charged nor convicted of the senseless, cowardly and unjustified acts that Lester and Streeter did April 26th and May 1st 1998. Because Curtis was innocent then as is innocent now. His character has forever been changed and my faith in Christ is what has kept him focused, enduring, and hopeful that one, someone can in fact see the injustice in his incarceration and help do something about it. Come interview him, see that he is not lying. Read his books. By the time you get this letter he will be 33years old. He has lived in prison longer than he has actually been alive on the streets. How much longer will this injustice be allowed to go on? He has an online petition on www.change.org with over 4300 signatures calling for justice. Please review it.

Thank you & God bless,

I am Curtis Shuler

To contact you may reach out to the following to answer any questions, ask for documentation and/or any other reason:


Melissa Shuler Phone- 386-266-6529
Mailing address- 4900 Grand Ave De Leon Springs, Fl 32130
Email- justice4shuler@yahoo.com

Curtis Shuler- H07645
T. C. I
3950 Tiger Bay Rd
Daytona Beach, FL 32124

Attorney Marc Reiner
Mailing address- 224 Datura St Suite 313 West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone- 561-408-2709





To whom this may concern:

I am an advocate for Curtis Shuler and I am reaching out to you in hopes you will hear his story of injustice. I hope that within your mind you can afford him the benefit of an all but certain doubt as to my intentions and these facts which I am presenting. Curtis was a 16 year old juvenile when he was arrested on 1st degree murder charges with a Firearm, for the murder of Larry Steven Tyler of Haines city, commonly referred to as the Greenleaf homicide.
He has always felt that I would be vindicated by a court who would follow the law. From the outside looking in I know this case appears to be an open and shut case, but I am here to offer you some specific facts and demonstrate them by proof that this case is nothing of what it appears to be.
He has tried the Innocence Projects, but they are reluctant to touch a case without d.n.a evidence, Curtis’ case was just a credibility fight. He has maintained his innocence from day one and he still does. Polk county has a dark history of racism, prejudice, and a huge gap in the legal system of its treatment of African American juveniles in relation to their comrades of other races of who commit the same exact crimes and i believe that this is something that the system is purposefully overlooking and something that needs to be exposed.
I am not looking to make this a race issue, but the facts are the facts. You’re free to interrupt them as you see fit, but I hope that you have an impartial eye because this has the potential to be nationally recognized problem. Allow me to demonstrate. In 1997 and 1998 there were nine juveniles arrested in Polk county on 1st degree murder charges most of these juvenile offenders were prosecuted by assistant state attorney John Aguero and were tried in judge Robert young’s courtroom. Five of these juveniles’ offenders were black, four of these juvenile offenders were white. Jeremy Barman, Tony Headly, Steven Etheridge, Donald Mcpherson, Robert Pugh, Harry Davis, Curtis Shuler, Victor Lester, and Slylathum Streeter. Barmin received four years, Headly received 12 years, Etheridge received 30 years for stabbing, beating, strangling, and killing his father. They all confessed to the crime and were guilty. None are serving a life without parole sentence. Donald Mcpherson strangled his girlfriend and left her in an orange grove, confessed to the crime and is currently serving a 30 year sentence. Harry Davis killed his parents and is serving a life without parole sentence, Sylathum Streeter confesses to murder and a whole slew of other crimes and he has 2 life sentences plus 320 years. Victor Lester confesses to murder, 3 life sentences. Curtis Shuler accused of murder not convicted but serving life without parole. Robert Pugh, 10 years for his testimony against Davis, Pugh guilty also. The discrepancy is evident; everybody had the same charges, with the exception of Pugh. All of the African American juvenile offenders are serving life without parole sentences. None of the white juvenile murderers are condemned to the rest of the natural lives in prison.


Curtis was accused of killing Larry Steven Tyler. The state said that he shot Larry Tyler with a firearm. Larry Tyler was shot and killed. The bullet pierced his portal vein and he died from blood loss. They also charged Sylathum Streeter with his homicide. Curtis was taken to trail four times on these charges based on the testimony of Adrian Moore, slyathum streeter, and victor Lester. They all testified that he shot Tyler.
In October 1999, shortly after his 18th birthday he was convicted of first degree murder with a firearm, armed burglary with assault or battery with a firearm and shooting into an occupied vehicle. Curtis was convicted because they said he did it. There was no physical, scientific, or d.n.a evidence linking me to this crime and they had plenty of it. A gun was found with Streeters prints. Gunshot residue was lifted from the hands of Streeter and Lester. Shell casings, bullets, masks all of this evidence was found in Streeters possession along with the gun that reportedly took Tyler’s life. Curtis was tested for gunshot residue was any found? No, not his car, home, and bedroom was all searched, there was nothing linking him to this crime except their testimonies.

In 2002, Curtis won direct appeal and was granted a new trial based on the fact that court found that John Aguero had a black juror excused based merely upon her race. She was an African American woman and they found his excuse pretextual. Curtis was sent back to trial on these charges. In their first attempt to prosecute after the reversal a mistrial was ordered by the judge, Michael McCarthy and a change of venue was granted to the 12th judicial circuit where Judge McCarthy and Mr. Aguero relocated.

In the 3rd attempt to prosecute a jury was sworn and a trial ensued at this point, Streeter and Lester both recanted their prior sworn testimonies at to Curtis’ involvement in the shooting death of Tyler. Both having realized that by lying on him it still did not get them off. They both testified that he had nothing to do with the Tyler homicide. Streeter initially testified that Curtis shot Tyler and that Lester ran to the truck and that he never left from behind the sign. This is very important because in his recanted version of events, Streeter testified that Lester approached the passenger side door of the car armed with the firearm that assaulted, burglarized, and shot Tyler. Streeter testified that he ran to the driver’s side door of the car.
Why is this important? Because Mr. Aguero the state attorney testified that no fingerprints belonged to anybody, to none of the defendants. Shuler or Streeter, which was in fact an absolute fabrication, had the jury known that Streeters thumb and ring finger prints were found on the driver’s side door of the car it would have corroborated his recanted testimony and demonstrated that he was finally telling the truth.
Upon request we can submit to you an FDLE lab report and a police report by Herman Malden that clearly demonstrates Streeters prints were in fact found on the driver’s side door of the victim’s vehicle. Tyler was shot from the passenger’s side of the car. Streeter did not kill Tyler. it would have been impossible. I can also submit to you john Aguero's fabricated testimony to the jury, you can see it for yourself. When has it ever been permissible for a prosecutor to purposefully lie to a jury without even so much a reprimand? The jury in his 3rd trial returned a verdict of 10 for not guilty and 2 for guilty. A mistrial was declared.
He was pushed again into a fourth trial. The jury never heard Lester’s testimony that he did not kill Tyler because the judge would not allow it. He called it hearsay when the witness testified that he did not kill Tyler and was not present but called it credible testimony when he said Curtis did kill Tyler. We sworn in a jury and went to trial again. You have to remember this whole trial was a credibility contest. There was one witness, Lester’s brother who admitted to busting out the lights and helping them initially that said Curtis killed Tyler. Funny how that was the only thing he could remember at the trial. Both he and Lester could have been charged and should have been charged. At the end of Curtis’ fourth trial the jury returned their verdict. The jury found Curtis guilty of 1st degree murder and attempted burglary. The jury further found him not guilty of carrying, displaying, or using a firearm in all 3 counts. Not guilty of making an assault or battery on Larry Steven Tyler. Curtis was acquitted or armed burglary and the jury found him not guilty of shooting into an occupied vehicle. Tyler was shot, a bullet pierced through his portal vein, that is how he died. He was shot with a gun. Tyler sustained bruises to his knuckles fighting with the guy who shot him. There was no such thing as an attempt in this case. Tyler is dead, his vehicle was burglarized, and he was shot. Had the door to the passenger side not been breached, Tyler would possibly still be alive and I would not be in prison for his murder that I was clearly acquitted of. There were two people charged with his homicide, Curtis Shuler and Sylathum Streeter.
Streeters fingerprints on the driver’s side door proves he was not the shooter. Curtis was acquitted by the jury of shooting and killing Tyler. So who shot Larry Tyler? There is a theory that the state failed to look at, yet the evidence demonstrates clearly. The three people that admitted to being there were the ones who in fact carried out the crime, yet Lester and Moore were never charged. They are brothers. Moore never testified to anything that would hurt his brother. John Aguero was so hell bent on prosecuting him that he let the ones who should have been charged get away. Had it not been for their initial testimonies his case would not have gone to trial. Curtis was not smart enough as a teenager to outwit savvy homicide investigators or smart enough to not leave some physical or scientific evidence that would lead them to believe that he was there. He was not smart enough to scramble all 11 alibi witnesses or forge church documents to demonstrate on Sunday April 26, 1998 that they were having an assistant pastoral anniversary for my grandfather. It was the first one ever. He went to Wal-Mart and purchased fuses and speaker wire to hookup a ken wood amp to his speakers in his car. The Wal-Mart video would have absolutely proven without any doubt that he was not with Lester, Moore, or Streeter that day. There were other witnesses Shirley Hill, Robert Smith, Brenda Faniel, Derrick Downing, Deloris Commings (his mother), and Elbert Commings (his grandfather) and all of them knew and saw him working on those speakers that night and throughout the day.

Based on the jury’s acquittals he could not legally be found guilty of any crime in this indictment where shooting into an occupied vehicle, carrying, displaying, or using a firearm, armed burglary or assault and battery. This was essential to carry out this homicide. Can you see what I am showing you? This is not a technicality it is an injustice, one that was dealt to a 16yr old kid. Curtis did not lose that last trial which explains why the judge did not understand the verdict.
He said it out of his own mouth that it did not make sense to him, yet he still sentenced Curtis to life without parole for it. After the prosecutor tried to explain away the acquittals what they forgot to do was factor in how the not guilty verdicts applied by the law affected those proceedings. You can’t be guilty and not guilty of the same crime.
Since the jury absolutely acquitted him of even so much laying a finger on Tyler, do you still believe that he is guilty of shooting him in cold blood which resulted in his tragic death and by virtue of the jury’s verdict do you think I deserve to be in prison for the life without parole?
Where Etheridge, Mcpherson, Pugh, Barman, Headly, and Rose are all guilty of murder. Curtis should have never been adjudicated guilty in that fast and swift proceeding. as soon as the jury left the court room he was called up and promptly sentenced to life without parole.
According to the judge based on the jury’s verdict, which was not true, because he based his findings on the interpretation of the Prosecutor. Polk counties harsh treatment of black juvenile offenders is massive in comparison to that of its white children. They are given harsher penalties for the same crimes. Waived over for adult charges and penalties more often. They are subject to go to prison more often for the first time offenses. Are often assigned to the worst facilities devoid of programs that can facilitate emotional, mental, and spiritual growth. All of this is statically proven yet ignored by the system. A system that is constitutionally obligated to be fair and impartial. The problem is, is that no one is paying attention.
Well I am paying attention and I have paid attention for the last 16 ½ years. Curtis did not kill Tyler and he is not a murderer as evident by the jury verdict and the states inability to prove a case. I don’t know why the jury made those findings, however he was the only man on trial and the jury could only determine my guilt or innocence no one else. The
jury acquitted him of shooting and killing Tyler. Streeter did not kill Tyler. His fingerprints were found on the driver’s side door of the victim’s vehicle. Which does not exonerate him but certainly demonstrates that he did not shoot Tyler. That leaves two uncharged men who admitted to helping facilitate the crime, the brothers Lester and Moore, who were never charged and based on the facts the state absolutely let them get away by throwing the blame on someone else. That is what happens when we rely on our feelings and not the facts such as what the prosecutor did in this case and he dropped the ball. Do I think that children should be allowed to commit crimes without punishment? No. Justice however as applied in Polk county has not been a good steward to Polk counties children especially when we examine the sentence disparate of minority children compared to the white children. Curtis pled guilty to his involvement in the Cathy Boyd shooting. When Streeter shot Boyd, Curtis made him let him out of the car and his involvement ended there. Curtis did not know that Streeter, Lester, and Moore killed Tyler four days earlier or that they shot up the hotel or killed Christina Large and shot her cousin. Curtis had no involvement in any of those things.
Eleven people testified as to his whereabouts the days of the homicide of Tyler. Lester and Streeter were caught lying because they gave two diametrically different versions of events. Moore could only remember as he claims that Curtis shot Tyler and nothing else. Ultimately when you rely on the physical evidence in this case it points to Moore, Lester, and Streeter... the ones who got away with it. Please just take a look at the facts, they have not changed. After professing his innocence for 35 years, even after the state had convinced themselves that James Bain was their man, they were wrong. d.n.a. proved Bain was telling the truth. The facts did not change, they were the same. The state cannot explain away d.n.a. they were wrong on that case and they are wrong on this one. Curtis should have been freed when the jury returned their verdict because he cannot lawfully be adjudicated guilty. The acquittals negated essential felony elements to constitute a legal conviction for 1st degree murder and to meet the burden of the 14th amendment due process clause it clearly states “due process of law requires that a criminal conviction rest upon a determination that the accused is guilty of every element of an offense or due process is not satisfied.”
Curtis have been imploring even begging for someone to look at this case impartially for the last 16 1/2years and process by which the prosecution and the judge used to interrupt the verdict and their intent at the time the verdict came back was biased and prejudiced in a whole capacity(enclosed is the transcript). This is not factually or legally accurate when compared to the true verdict of the jury.
I do not know you personally, what ideals or what motivates and inspires you to write and keep track of the cases you follow, but I am giving you a case that truly represents and injustice of a 1950's legal lynching. Four trials, no physical or scientific evidence, no d.n.a evidence, 11 alibi witnesses, recanted, fabricated and false testimonies liberally preached before a jury, prosecutoral misconduct in racism, black children hammered for the same crimes as white children but given harsher penalties, jury votes 10 for not guilty 2 for guilt, acquitted of all the crimes elements still sentenced to life without parole. These are the facts that are evident and should raise questions and concerns about our current legal system and whose dispensating what is supposed to be a blind justice.
I would encourage you to look deeper into Polk counties history of prosecutions in relation to its current and past prosecutions of African American juveniles and certainly in my case where despite John Aguero's feelings Curtis is innocent and legally innocent as a matter of law. Life without parole in any case of this magnitude considering the facts and the verdict is incredibly harsh and excessive where he was never convicted of one violent act in relation to the death of Steven Tyler. If Curtis did not shot Larry Tyler, then how did I kill him? If I did not carry, display or use a firearm, how did he kill Larry Tyler? If he didn’t commit and armed burglary, how did he kill Larry Tyler? If he did not assault and batter Larry Tyler, how did he kill him? Curtis can’t just be guilty of murder without those elements essential to its commission.
Curtis doesn’t deserve to be there any longer. He has served his time for his role in the Cathy Boyd shooting to which he pled guilty. He was a naïve, ignorant, selfish 16year old kid who helped facilitate a crime against Cathy Boyd something that he will live with for the rest of his life. AS OF Now I am a facilitator of men in the horizon faith based program at Tomoka Correctional inst where I teach art, bible study, g.e.d and writing classes. These duties put me in the position to encourage men and work on leadership skills to halt recidivism in its tracks and teach them the proper common sense skills of how to live in a community without going back to crime and violence.
He has written over 43 books, five published by Shuler Publications, and can be found on Amazon.com. He has learned to play four different instruments, he has written over 1000 songs, from country, r&b, gospel, rock and hip hop. Curtis has discovered talents that he did not know he had in the isolated cell of Florida state prison.
He has been gassed, beat up, put in isolation, he’s had urine and feces thrown in his face, spit on, written false disciplinary reports, insulted, called nigger by white corrections officers, yet he is still determined in his mind and heart to reject the bitterness, the hatred and strive for something better, to be that man when he looks into the mirror and see not some hovering black vulture riding around shooting people because he never was that. There is a reason he was not charged nor convicted of the senseless, cowardly and unjustified acts that Lester and Streeter did April 26th and May 1st 1998. Because Curtis was innocent then as is innocent now. His character has forever been changed and my faith in Christ is what has kept him focused, enduring, and hopeful that one, someone can in fact see the injustice in his incarceration and help do something about it. Come interview him, see that he is not lying. Read his books. By the time you get this letter he will be 33years old. He has lived in prison longer than he has actually been alive on the streets. How much longer will this injustice be allowed to go on? He has an online petition on www.change.org with over 4300 signatures calling for justice. Please review it.

Thank you & God bless,

I am Curtis Shuler

To contact you may reach out to the following to answer any questions, ask for documentation and/or any other reason:


Melissa Shuler Phone- 386-266-6529
Mailing address- 4900 Grand Ave De Leon Springs, Fl 32130
Email- justice4shuler@yahoo.com

Curtis Shuler- H07645
T. C. I
3950 Tiger Bay Rd
Daytona Beach, FL 32124

Attorney Marc Reiner
Mailing address- 224 Datura St Suite 313 West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone- 561-408-2709


To whom this may concern:

I am an advocate for Curtis Shuler and I am reaching out to you in hopes you will hear his story of injustice. I hope that within your mind you can afford him the benefit of an all but certain doubt as to my intentions and these facts which I am presenting. Curtis was a 16 year old juvenile when he was arrested on 1st degree murder charges with a Firearm, for the murder of Larry Steven Tyler of Haines city, commonly referred to as the Greenleaf homicide.
He has always felt that I would be vindicated by a court who would follow the law. From the outside looking in I know this case appears to be an open and shut case, but I am here to offer you some specific facts and demonstrate them by proof that this case is nothing of what it appears to be.
He has tried the Innocence Projects, but they are reluctant to touch a case without d.n.a evidence, Curtis’ case was just a credibility fight. He has maintained his innocence from day one and he still does. Polk county has a dark history of racism, prejudice, and a huge gap in the legal system of its treatment of African American juveniles in relation to their comrades of other races of who commit the same exact crimes and i believe that this is something that the system is purposefully overlooking and something that needs to be exposed.
I am not looking to make this a race issue, but the facts are the facts. You’re free to interrupt them as you see fit, but I hope that you have an impartial eye because this has the potential to be nationally recognized problem. Allow me to demonstrate. In 1997 and 1998 there were nine juveniles arrested in Polk county on 1st degree murder charges most of these juvenile offenders were prosecuted by assistant state attorney John Aguero and were tried in judge Robert young’s courtroom. Five of these juveniles’ offenders were black, four of these juvenile offenders were white. Jeremy Barman, Tony Headly, Steven Etheridge, Donald Mcpherson, Robert Pugh, Harry Davis, Curtis Shuler, Victor Lester, and Slylathum Streeter. Barmin received four years, Headly received 12 years, Etheridge received 30 years for stabbing, beating, strangling, and killing his father. They all confessed to the crime and were guilty. None are serving a life without parole sentence. Donald Mcpherson strangled his girlfriend and left her in an orange grove, confessed to the crime and is currently serving a 30 year sentence. Harry Davis killed his parents and is serving a life without parole sentence, Sylathum Streeter confesses to murder and a whole slew of other crimes and he has 2 life sentences plus 320 years. Victor Lester confesses to murder, 3 life sentences. Curtis Shuler accused of murder not convicted but serving life without parole. Robert Pugh, 10 years for his testimony against Davis, Pugh guilty also. The discrepancy is evident; everybody had the same charges, with the exception of Pugh. All of the African American juvenile offenders are serving life without parole sentences. None of the white juvenile murderers are condemned to the rest of the natural lives in prison.


Curtis was accused of killing Larry Steven Tyler. The state said that he shot Larry Tyler with a firearm. Larry Tyler was shot and killed. The bullet pierced his portal vein and he died from blood loss. They also charged Sylathum Streeter with his homicide. Curtis was taken to trail four times on these charges based on the testimony of Adrian Moore, slyathum streeter, and victor Lester. They all testified that he shot Tyler.
In October 1999, shortly after his 18th birthday he was convicted of first degree murder with a firearm, armed burglary with assault or battery with a firearm and shooting into an occupied vehicle. Curtis was convicted because they said he did it. There was no physical, scientific, or d.n.a evidence linking me to this crime and they had plenty of it. A gun was found with Streeters prints. Gunshot residue was lifted from the hands of Streeter and Lester. Shell casings, bullets, masks all of this evidence was found in Streeters possession along with the gun that reportedly took Tyler’s life. Curtis was tested for gunshot residue was any found? No, not his car, home, and bedroom was all searched, there was nothing linking him to this crime except their testimonies.

In 2002, Curtis won direct appeal and was granted a new trial based on the fact that court found that John Aguero had a black juror excused based merely upon her race. She was an African American woman and they found his excuse pretextual. Curtis was sent back to trial on these charges. In their first attempt to prosecute after the reversal a mistrial was ordered by the judge, Michael McCarthy and a change of venue was granted to the 12th judicial circuit where Judge McCarthy and Mr. Aguero relocated.

In the 3rd attempt to prosecute a jury was sworn and a trial ensued at this point, Streeter and Lester both recanted their prior sworn testimonies at to Curtis’ involvement in the shooting death of Tyler. Both having realized that by lying on him it still did not get them off. They both testified that he had nothing to do with the Tyler homicide. Streeter initially testified that Curtis shot Tyler and that Lester ran to the truck and that he never left from behind the sign. This is very important because in his recanted version of events, Streeter testified that Lester approached the passenger side door of the car armed with the firearm that assaulted, burglarized, and shot Tyler. Streeter testified that he ran to the driver’s side door of the car.
Why is this important? Because Mr. Aguero the state attorney testified that no fingerprints belonged to anybody, to none of the defendants. Shuler or Streeter, which was in fact an absolute fabrication, had the jury known that Streeters thumb and ring finger prints were found on the driver’s side door of the car it would have corroborated his recanted testimony and demonstrated that he was finally telling the truth.
Upon request we can submit to you an FDLE lab report and a police report by Herman Malden that clearly demonstrates Streeters prints were in fact found on the driver’s side door of the victim’s vehicle. Tyler was shot from the passenger’s side of the car. Streeter did not kill Tyler. it would have been impossible. I can also submit to you john Aguero's fabricated testimony to the jury, you can see it for yourself. When has it ever been permissible for a prosecutor to purposefully lie to a jury without even so much a reprimand? The jury in his 3rd trial returned a verdict of 10 for not guilty and 2 for guilty. A mistrial was declared.
He was pushed again into a fourth trial. The jury never heard Lester’s testimony that he did not kill Tyler because the judge would not allow it. He called it hearsay when the witness testified that he did not kill Tyler and was not present but called it credible testimony when he said Curtis did kill Tyler. We sworn in a jury and went to trial again. You have to remember this whole trial was a credibility contest. There was one witness, Lester’s brother who admitted to busting out the lights and helping them initially that said Curtis killed Tyler. Funny how that was the only thing he could remember at the trial. Both he and Lester could have been charged and should have been charged. At the end of Curtis’ fourth trial the jury returned their verdict. The jury found Curtis guilty of 1st degree murder and attempted burglary. The jury further found him not guilty of carrying, displaying, or using a firearm in all 3 counts. Not guilty of making an assault or battery on Larry Steven Tyler. Curtis was acquitted or armed burglary and the jury found him not guilty of shooting into an occupied vehicle. Tyler was shot, a bullet pierced through his portal vein, that is how he died. He was shot with a gun. Tyler sustained bruises to his knuckles fighting with the guy who shot him. There was no such thing as an attempt in this case. Tyler is dead, his vehicle was burglarized, and he was shot. Had the door to the passenger side not been breached, Tyler would possibly still be alive and I would not be in prison for his murder that I was clearly acquitted of. There were two people charged with his homicide, Curtis Shuler and Sylathum Streeter.
Streeters fingerprints on the driver’s side door proves he was not the shooter. Curtis was acquitted by the jury of shooting and killing Tyler. So who shot Larry Tyler? There is a theory that the state failed to look at, yet the evidence demonstrates clearly. The three people that admitted to being there were the ones who in fact carried out the crime, yet Lester and Moore were never charged. They are brothers. Moore never testified to anything that would hurt his brother. John Aguero was so hell bent on prosecuting him that he let the ones who should have been charged get away. Had it not been for their initial testimonies his case would not have gone to trial. Curtis was not smart enough as a teenager to outwit savvy homicide investigators or smart enough to not leave some physical or scientific evidence that would lead them to believe that he was there. He was not smart enough to scramble all 11 alibi witnesses or forge church documents to demonstrate on Sunday April 26, 1998 that they were having an assistant pastoral anniversary for my grandfather. It was the first one ever. He went to Wal-Mart and purchased fuses and speaker wire to hookup a ken wood amp to his speakers in his car. The Wal-Mart video would have absolutely proven without any doubt that he was not with Lester, Moore, or Streeter that day. There were other witnesses Shirley Hill, Robert Smith, Brenda Faniel, Derrick Downing, Deloris Commings (his mother), and Elbert Commings (his grandfather) and all of them knew and saw him working on those speakers that night and throughout the day.

Based on the jury’s acquittals he could not legally be found guilty of any crime in this indictment where shooting into an occupied vehicle, carrying, displaying, or using a firearm, armed burglary or assault and battery. This was essential to carry out this homicide. Can you see what I am showing you? This is not a technicality it is an injustice, one that was dealt to a 16yr old kid. Curtis did not lose that last trial which explains why the judge did not understand the verdict.
He said it out of his own mouth that it did not make sense to him, yet he still sentenced Curtis to life without parole for it. After the prosecutor tried to explain away the acquittals what they forgot to do was factor in how the not guilty verdicts applied by the law affected those proceedings. You can’t be guilty and not guilty of the same crime.
Since the jury absolutely acquitted him of even so much laying a finger on Tyler, do you still believe that he is guilty of shooting him in cold blood which resulted in his tragic death and by virtue of the jury’s verdict do you think I deserve to be in prison for the life without parole?
Where Etheridge, Mcpherson, Pugh, Barman, Headly, and Rose are all guilty of murder. Curtis should have never been adjudicated guilty in that fast and swift proceeding. as soon as the jury left the court room he was called up and promptly sentenced to life without parole.
According to the judge based on the jury’s verdict, which was not true, because he based his findings on the interpretation of the Prosecutor. Polk counties harsh treatment of black juvenile offenders is massive in comparison to that of its white children. They are given harsher penalties for the same crimes. Waived over for adult charges and penalties more often. They are subject to go to prison more often for the first time offenses. Are often assigned to the worst facilities devoid of programs that can facilitate emotional, mental, and spiritual growth. All of this is statically proven yet ignored by the system. A system that is constitutionally obligated to be fair and impartial. The problem is, is that no one is paying attention.
Well I am paying attention and I have paid attention for the last 16 ½ years. Curtis did not kill Tyler and he is not a murderer as evident by the jury verdict and the states inability to prove a case. I don’t know why the jury made those findings, however he was the only man on trial and the jury could only determine my guilt or innocence no one else. The
jury acquitted him of shooting and killing Tyler. Streeter did not kill Tyler. His fingerprints were found on the driver’s side door of the victim’s vehicle. Which does not exonerate him but certainly demonstrates that he did not shoot Tyler. That leaves two uncharged men who admitted to helping facilitate the crime, the brothers Lester and Moore, who were never charged and based on the facts the state absolutely let them get away by throwing the blame on someone else. That is what happens when we rely on our feelings and not the facts such as what the prosecutor did in this case and he dropped the ball. Do I think that children should be allowed to commit crimes without punishment? No. Justice however as applied in Polk county has not been a good steward to Polk counties children especially when we examine the sentence disparate of minority children compared to the white children. Curtis pled guilty to his involvement in the Cathy Boyd shooting. When Streeter shot Boyd, Curtis made him let him out of the car and his involvement ended there. Curtis did not know that Streeter, Lester, and Moore killed Tyler four days earlier or that they shot up the hotel or killed Christina Large and shot her cousin. Curtis had no involvement in any of those things.
Eleven people testified as to his whereabouts the days of the homicide of Tyler. Lester and Streeter were caught lying because they gave two diametrically different versions of events. Moore could only remember as he claims that Curtis shot Tyler and nothing else. Ultimately when you rely on the physical evidence in this case it points to Moore, Lester, and Streeter... the ones who got away with it. Please just take a look at the facts, they have not changed. After professing his innocence for 35 years, even after the state had convinced themselves that James Bain was their man, they were wrong. d.n.a. proved Bain was telling the truth. The facts did not change, they were the same. The state cannot explain away d.n.a. they were wrong on that case and they are wrong on this one. Curtis should have been freed when the jury returned their verdict because he cannot lawfully be adjudicated guilty. The acquittals negated essential felony elements to constitute a legal conviction for 1st degree murder and to meet the burden of the 14th amendment due process clause it clearly states “due process of law requires that a criminal conviction rest upon a determination that the accused is guilty of every element of an offense or due process is not satisfied.”
Curtis have been imploring even begging for someone to look at this case impartially for the last 16 1/2years and process by which the prosecution and the judge used to interrupt the verdict and their intent at the time the verdict came back was biased and prejudiced in a whole capacity(enclosed is the transcript). This is not factually or legally accurate when compared to the true verdict of the jury.
I do not know you personally, what ideals or what motivates and inspires you to write and keep track of the cases you follow, but I am giving you a case that truly represents and injustice of a 1950's legal lynching. Four trials, no physical or scientific evidence, no d.n.a evidence, 11 alibi witnesses, recanted, fabricated and false testimonies liberally preached before a jury, prosecutoral misconduct in racism, black children hammered for the same crimes as white children but given harsher penalties, jury votes 10 for not guilty 2 for guilt, acquitted of all the crimes elements still sentenced to life without parole. These are the facts that are evident and should raise questions and concerns about our current legal system and whose dispensating what is supposed to be a blind justice.
I would encourage you to look deeper into Polk counties history of prosecutions in relation to its current and past prosecutions of African American juveniles and certainly in my case where despite John Aguero's feelings Curtis is innocent and legally innocent as a matter of law. Life without parole in any case of this magnitude considering the facts and the verdict is incredibly harsh and excessive where he was never convicted of one violent act in relation to the death of Steven Tyler. If Curtis did not shot Larry Tyler, then how did I kill him? If I did not carry, display or use a firearm, how did he kill Larry Tyler? If he didn’t commit and armed burglary, how did he kill Larry Tyler? If he did not assault and batter Larry Tyler, how did he kill him? Curtis can’t just be guilty of murder without those elements essential to its commission.
Curtis doesn’t deserve to be there any longer. He has served his time for his role in the Cathy Boyd shooting to which he pled guilty. He was a naïve, ignorant, selfish 16year old kid who helped facilitate a crime against Cathy Boyd something that he will live with for the rest of his life. AS OF Now I am a facilitator of men in the horizon faith based program at Tomoka Correctional inst where I teach art, bible study, g.e.d and writing classes. These duties put me in the position to encourage men and work on leadership skills to halt recidivism in its tracks and teach them the proper common sense skills of how to live in a community without going back to crime and violence.
He has written over 43 books, five published by Shuler Publications, and can be found on Amazon.com. He has learned to play four different instruments, he has written over 1000 songs, from country, r&b, gospel, rock and hip hop. Curtis has discovered talents that he did not know he had in the isolated cell of Florida state prison.
He has been gassed, beat up, put in isolation, he’s had urine and feces thrown in his face, spit on, written false disciplinary reports, insulted, called nigger by white corrections officers, yet he is still determined in his mind and heart to reject the bitterness, the hatred and strive for something better, to be that man when he looks into the mirror and see not some hovering black vulture riding around shooting people because he never was that. There is a reason he was not charged nor convicted of the senseless, cowardly and unjustified acts that Lester and Streeter did April 26th and May 1st 1998. Because Curtis was innocent then as is innocent now. His character has forever been changed and my faith in Christ is what has kept him focused, enduring, and hopeful that one, someone can in fact see the injustice in his incarceration and help do something about it. Come interview him, see that he is not lying. Read his books. By the time you get this letter he will be 33years old. He has lived in prison longer than he has actually been alive on the streets. How much longer will this injustice be allowed to go on? He has an online petition on www.change.org with over 4300 signatures calling for justice. Please review it.

Thank you & God bless,

I am Curtis Shuler

To contact you may reach out to the following to answer any questions, ask for documentation and/or any other reason:


Melissa Shuler Phone- 386-266-6529
Mailing address- 4900 Grand Ave De Leon Springs, Fl 32130
Email- justice4shuler@yahoo.com

Curtis Shuler- H07645
T. C. I
3950 Tiger Bay Rd
Daytona Beach, FL 32124

Attorney Marc Reiner
Mailing address- 224 Datura St Suite 313 West Palm Beach, FL 33401
Phone- 561-408-2709