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2 men free after being charged in third-degree homicide in 2017

Jury finds Lawrence Padgett not guilty; charges dropped against Marqavious McCatty
Palm Beach County Courthouse entrance
Posted at 7:14 PM, Jan 30, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-30 19:22:23-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Two Royal Palm Beach men are free after being charged with third-degree murder in the 2017 death of a man whose girlfriend also died after giving birth to their twins three days later.

On Thursday, a Palm Beach County jury acquitted Lawrence Padgett, 31, in the homicide of Jevaughn Suckoo, 26.

Also on Thursday in a status check, Marqavious McCatty, 27, received a "Nolle Prosse" from prosecutors, meaning charges were dropped.

On Feb. 13, 2020, Padgett was charged in the death of Suckoo at Renaissance Apartments in the 4100 block of Bear Lakes Court off Military Trail on July 11, 2017.

McCatty was arrested one day later.

Suckoo and Stephanie Caceres had a 21-month daughter. Three days after Suckoo's death, she gave birth to twins on July 14 but died 12 days later from complications from a C-section.

According the police report, a cellphone number registered to Padgett made eight calls to Suckoo for a few hours leading up to his death. In addition, phone records show he was in the area of Suckoo's apartment at the time of the murder, police said.

On Oct. 27, 2018, investigators received a report from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office that blood evidence at the time was linked to McCatty, who was confirmed to be a half-brother of Padgett and was living in Minnesota.

McCatty told detectives they both intended to purchasing marijuana from Suckoo.

According to the police report, Padgett went alone to the apartment. But when he "felt suspicious the drug transaction was taking too long, he went to check on his half-brother," according to the police report.

McCatty said he saw Padgett wrestling with Suckoo for a semi-automatic gun. The firearm being held by Padgett discharged and the bullet entered the outside of McCatty's right arm and exited the top of his right forearm, according to his interview. From there, the bullet entered Suckoo's head and killed him.