Trial approaching for girl accused of killing Buckingham man

Published: Updated:
Lavaya May

FORT MYERS, Fla. A trial is imminent for a teenage girl accused of killing a Buckingham man last summer.

The state’s case against Lavaya May, 17, is expected to go in front of a jury Tuesday. May is accused of working with two men to kill 58-year-old Ted Lee, whose body was found July 15, 2016, outside a Manatee County church.

May told a child protective investigator Lee molested her long before the murder, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

The men accused in the killing have already been sentenced. Hunter Michael Tyson, 24, of North Fort Myers, received 40 years in prison after pleading no contest to second-degree murder. Jonathan Raymond Ruffini, 19, of Fort Myers, will be sentenced after having pleaded guilty to second-degree murder.

Attorneys for May and prosecutors were in court Friday, arguing over a notebook left in May’s jail cell in Kansas, where the trio were apprehended days after the killing.

Prosecutors are seeking to use confessions they say May made in the journal, but her attorneys argue the notebook wasn’t searched legally and don’t want it to be used as evidence.

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