The Key West man charged with fatally shooting fellow Key Wester Daniel Garrett Hughes, 21, in the pre-dawn hours of Feb. 13 outside Conch Town Liquor & Lounge remains in jail with no bond allowed.
Lloyd Preston Brewer, 57, faces two felony charges — second-degree murder with a deadly weapon without premeditation and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon for allegedly threatening the victim’s brother, Carson Hughes, with the gun that killed the victim, according to documents filed March 1 by prosecutors in the State Attorney’s Office.
Brewer also faces a misdemeanor charge for violating a federal law that prohibits firearms in establishments whose primary business is the sale and consumption of alcohol, court records state.
Brewer has pleaded not guilty, according to a Feb. 25 document filed by his attorneys, Donald Yates and Chris Mancini, who did not respond to requests for comment as of presstime.
A pre-trial hearing is scheduled for May 3 in front of Judge Mark Wilson.
If convicted, Brewer faces 25 years to life in prison, a mandatory minimum sentence for a gun crime that results in death, Chief Assistant State Attorney Joe Mansfield, who is prosecuting the case, told the Keys Weekly.
Wilson has prohibited Brewer from having any contact or communication — directly or indirectly — with witnesses Carson Hughes (the victim’s brother) and Logan Manuel Pellicier, who were with Garrett Hughes the night of the shooting.
Mansfield told the Keys Weekly on Feb. 13 and again on March 6 that he expects Brewer’s attorneys to raise some sort of self-defense claim on their client’s behalf.
“They may try to present some psychological or mental defect — maybe a PTSD diagnosis from some episode earlier in his life — that would warrant Brewer’s warped interpretation of the situation that caused him to fire the gun,” Mansfield said on March 6.
“Florida’s Stand Your Ground self-defense law is based on what a reasonable person would reasonably perceive to be a deadly threat requiring the use of deadly force to save their life. And based on the video evidence that I now know frame by frame, no reasonable person would have viewed Garrett Hughes’ actions as a threat, much less a deadly threat requiring deadly force,” Mansfield said. “Garrett was unarmed. There is no evidence of any ‘beef’ between them that evening. Mr. Brewer drew his gun from about 40 feet away and advanced on Garrett, who posed no threat to Brewer. It was a point-blank shooting. Truly senseless.”
The prosecutor said he’s still awaiting the results of toxicology tests that were conducted using blood samples collected from Brewer at the jail several hours after the shooting.
The security footage from the outside of Conch Town Liquor & Lounge showed a drunk and shirtless Hughes outside the bar, urinating on the side of the building, Mansfield told the Keys Weekly on the afternoon of Feb. 13, about 15 hours after the shooting.
The video shows Brewer approaching Hughes and “exchanging words” with him, Mansfield said.
“The shirtless victim was clearly intoxicated and urinating on the wall when the suspect approached,” Mansfield said. “I suspect the shooter was annoyed by what he saw, confronted the kid, then pulled a gun and shot him in the stomach, which proved fatal. There are no weapons on or near the victim, nor is the victim seen reaching for anything.”
Hughes was a well-known Key West High School athlete before graduating in 2020. His father is the high school football coach.
Brewer’s father owns the building that houses Conch Town Bar, where Brewer, Hughes and others were reportedly drinking following the Super Bowl on Feb 12. The Brewer family does not own Conch Town Liquor & Lounge, but rather the building that houses it at 3340 N. Roosevelt Blvd.
“I reviewed the bar’s interior video footage and saw no prior interactions between the victim and Mr. Brewer inside the bar,” Mansfield said.
The night of the shooting, Key West Police received a 911 call at 12:28 a.m.on Monday, Feb. 13.
“Upon arrival, police encountered a subject who was lying in the parking lot and had been shot,” states a police press release from Feb. 13. “While the subject was being treated for his injuries, officers immediately detained the suspect who was still on scene and recovered the gun. The victim was transported to the Lower Keys Medical Center, where he was pronounced deceased shortly after. The scene was secured for several hours while KWPD detectives responded and took over the investigation. The suspect was transported to the police station, interviewed and arrested.”