Governor DeSantis’ Office Demands Answers in Deadly Pine Hills Shooting

Governor Ron DeSantis’ office is demanding answers as to why Keith Melvin Moses, 19, was not held accountable for his actions prior to a shooting that left three dead and two injured in Pine Hills, Florida, last month.

In a letter sent to the state attorney for the 9th Judicial Circuit of Florida, Monique Worrell, DeSantis’ general counsel, Ryan Newman, blames the office’s inaction for putting Moses in a position to commit the crime.[0]

Moses had been arrested nearly 20 times before, including at least eight felony arrests and 11 misdemeanor arrests. In his most recent case, he was charged as an adult for possessing drug paraphernalia and cannabis in November 2021; however, Worrell said her office could not pursue charges because the Florida Department of Law Enforcement does not test amounts of marijuana below 20 grams.[1]

The letter requests information and documentation from Worrell’s office about their investigations into Moses, including copies of all reports, letters, summaries, statements and emails regarding the suspect or decisions made about him, and copies of all documents related to his juvenile record.[2]

It also asks for information on any other individuals who committed a felony or violated the terms of their probation by being arrested and those who had a prior criminal history but were not prosecuted by Worrell’s office.[3]

Meanwhile, Worrell has defended her office’s actions, stating that the case was not pursued because the amount of marijuana was not tested by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.[4]

“Tragically, despite the clear threat Mr. Moses posed to our community, you apparently made the decision to not pursue charges against him,” Newman wrote.[0] “The failure of your office to hold this individual accountable for his actions – despite his extensive criminal history and gang affiliation – may have permitted this dangerous individual to remain on the street.”[5]

In an attempt to prevent similar cases from happening in the future, Worrell has said her office needs to put other programs in place to reduce the likelihood of recidivism.

Worrell commented that, first and foremost, measures must be taken to remove individuals from the community for a time period sufficient to prevent further violent behavior. Secondly, programs must be established that minimize the chances of repeat offenses.[6]

0. “DeSantis blames Orlando prosecutor after shootings. But it’s not simple.” Tampa Bay Times, 1 Mar. 2023,

1. “Gov. DeSantis orders investigation into Orlando shooter’s criminal history” NBC2 News, 1 Mar. 2023,

2. “Governor requests information from state attorney’s office on accused Pine Hills shooter’s record” WFTV Orlando, 1 Mar. 2023,

3. “DeSantis auditing state attorney over handling of suspect in Orange County shooting” WWSB, 1 Mar. 2023,

4. “State Attorney talks Pine Hills shooting, responds to governor” News 13 Orlando, 28 Feb. 2023,–talks-suspect-s-past-

5. “Governor’s office questions actions of Orlando state attorney after deadly shooting” ABC Action News Tampa Bay, 1 Mar. 2023,

6. “DeSantis criticizes state attorney for not keeping Pine Hills shooting suspect off streets” FOX 35 Orlando, 28 Feb. 2023,

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