The Key West businessman accused of fatally shooting an unarmed man for urinating on the outside of a building he owns was denied bond during his first appearance before a judge.
Monroe County Judge Mark Wilson on Tuesday ordered Lloyd Preston Brewer III held in jail until his next scheduled court appearance on March 2.
Prosecutors say Brewer shot 21-year-old Garrett Hughes once in the stomach after a brief confrontation outside the Conch Town Liquor and Lounge at 3340 N. Roosevelt Blvd. around 12:30 am Monday.
Both men were intoxicated, but Assistant State Attorney Joseph Mansfield said after reviewing security camera footage that it is clear that the only person acting aggressively was Brewer.
According to Mansfield, Hughes, a former Key West High School athlete, was with friends at the bar, and walked outside and urinated on the wall. Brewer is seen walking up to him, lifting up his shirt, pulling out a gun and firing it once into Hughes’ torso. He then fired another shot that did not hit Hughes, prosecutors say.
Key West police said Brewer told them he shot Hughes in self-defense, but Mansfield said the camera footage tells another story.
“There is no justifiable claim to self-defense because the kid was never armed and never advanced on the shooter. The shooter advanced on him,” Mansfield told the Miami Herald/FLKeysnews.com this week.
Brewer owns the building that houses Conch Town Liquor and Lounge, but not the establishment. He is charged with second-degree murder and discharging a firearm while intoxicated.
His attorney, Donald Yates, did not return phone and email messages requesting comment on the case.
If the incident happened a year earlier, Brewer would also face charges that he violated a pre-trial intervention agreement that, among other things, prohibited him from carrying a firearm for 12 months.
The terms of the agreement ended in April 2022. It was a deal he made with prosecutors not to proceed with domestic abuse charges against him from a Feb. 23, 2021, incident in which he was accused of punching his live-in partner in the face while she drove him home from the Stock Island Yacht Club.
According to court documents, the woman told police that as the two continued to argue in the kitchen of their Driftwood Drive home, he grabbed a handgun the family kept in the pantry. According to the arrest report from that night, the woman told Monroe County Sheriff’s Office deputies that after he grabbed the gun, she responded, “Really?” and he then put it away.
As part of the no-prosecution agreement, Brewer was prohibited from using intoxicants “to excess” for a year, and he also had to take anger management classes, according to court documents.
‘An extraordinary young man’
In addition to being a standout football and lacrosse player at Key West High, Hughes comes from a well-known family in the Southernmost city. His father, John Hughes, is the head football coach at the school. He released the following statement on his Facebook page Tuesday about his son:
“I simply don’t have the words to say how much I love you. You and your brothers are the greatest gift I have ever received. It has been an absolute honor and privilege to be your dad. You have a million dollar smile and a personality just as big, but your heart was even bigger. You had a passion for life and were fiercely loyal to your family and friends. You were so proud to be part of this community and you would be touched by how much love and support they have offered since you left. Until we meet again, I promise to watch over your brothers as you keep an eye on us from up high. I miss you so much already Garrett and will love you until the end of time.”
Monroe County School District Superintendent Theresa Axford also issued a statement this week, calling him “an extraordinary young man whose commitment to our students and our athletic programs we deeply appreciate. He is an incredible loss to us and the community.”
“We are grieving for Coach John Hughes, his wife Tiffany and Garrett’s mother, Lesley Touzalin,” Axford said. “Our prayers and love go to them as well as to all those who knew and loved Garrett.”