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Trial of local musician Ralph Ameduri’s killer concludes

Samuel Sweet Jr. receives six guilty verdicts after more than two years of investigation

Photo: Ralph design by Jeff Sweat, photo by Chris McEniry, License: N/A

Ralph design by Jeff Sweat, photo by Chris McEniry

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Closing arguments came quickly on Jan. 30, with the jury taking the case immediately thereafter. Within a few hours, the jury came back, ruling Sweet guilty on all six counts with which he was charged.

For Chief Hester, Ameduri’s death is one of those random acts of violence so uncharacteristic of Winter Haven that its resolution can’t come quickly – or absolutely – enough.

“It’s one of those things where things were all out of whack there,” he says. “You talk about total random, these folks’ paths could have never crossed. It would have been one thing if you had a couple folks in a bar getting drunk that get to fighting with each other over a girl, one pulls out a gun or stabs them. Then everybody can say, yeah, I can see how that would happen. But this was total random. … My goal is one day they’ll put a needle in his arm. But we’ll see. Justice is slow.”

A salty salute: 20 photos remembering local musician Ralph Ameduri

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