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William Copeland, Guilty of Attempted Murder in Leidel Drive Shooting, Faces Life in Prison

| November 18, 2012

William Copeland shot three times through the back-patio bay window, striking Accursio Venezia below the chest as he stood in the kitchen of his Leidel Drive house in Palm Coast on May 18, 2011. (© FlaglerLive)

It was around 11:30 p.m. the night of May 18, 2011. Someone rang the doorbell at Accursio Venezia’s two-level house on Leidel Drive in the northernmost reaches of Palm Coast. Venezia, 42, and his daughter Corina, 20, checked the front door and saw no one. Accursio walked to the kitchen. And there, he was shot through the chest. The 32-caliber bullet shattered the back patio bay window, pierced Accursio’s chest, puncturing a lung and exiting through his back. It was one of three shots fired. He survived.

Three days later, federal marshals arrested William Copeland, now 21, in Volusia County in connection with the shooting. Copeland is the father, with Corina, of Accursio Venezia’s grandchild. There was a long history of trouble between Copeland and the Venezia household, where police had been called days before the shooting. And Copeland had twice previously been jailed for violating a protective injunction.

On Saturday, a seven-man jury found Copeland, of  29A Bunkerview Drive, guilty of attempted first-degree murder after a three-day trial before Flagler County Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano.  Copeland, who was also charged with aggravated battery with a firearm and shooting into a building, faces life in prison.

The evidence against Copeland relied in significant part on a habitual jail offender’s testimony. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement never found gunshot residue on one item of Copeland’s clothing submitted for analysis, and a trace amount of residue was found on the hand of Brandi Leon Johnson, a 21-year-old friend of Copeland who was briefly held the night of the shooting, but not arrested. Copeland, too, was held that night. No residue was found on his hands, either, nor were his fingerprints found on the weapon.

But residue was found on a shirt Copeland had initially been reluctant to hand over, and did so only when a detective threatened to get a search warrant for it. Accursio Venezia, in his testimony, put the blame on Copeland.

Then there was Tyrell Mobley. Mobley, a 20-year-old habitual jail offender who once shared a cell at the Flagler County Jail with Copeland, testified on Thursday that Copeland had told him he’d threatened to kill Venezia, and that he’d gone as far as describing the evening of the shooting—getting the gun, getting a ride from friends, walking across a golf course to get to the house, then firing at Venezia when he saw him in the house.

The trial was briefly diverted by an incident involving Copland’s stepfather, who made a threatening motion at Mobley as Mobley was going to testify, by making a slashing motion across his throat. A bailiff saw the gesture. Zambrano reviewed surveillance video, had the man removed from the courtroom and set a contempt hearing for him at a later date.

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8 Responses for “William Copeland, Guilty of Attempted Murder in Leidel Drive Shooting, Faces Life in Prison”

  1. daveytickle says:

    Just more trash to take out.
    I’m soooo tired of watching law enforcement take out the trash-only to have the ‘system’ deliver that trash right back onto my streets!
    Everything anymore is all about the dirtbag’s protection. I’m really tired. Really tired.
    One day, hopefully, our beloved country will see again what a minority can do by going up against a government that completely ignores it’s citizen’s wishes/mandates and realize that the power is THEIRS!
    Other than that…

  2. Outsider says:

    Welcome to Loserville. Good riddance.

  3. Gia says:

    Why spend $$$ for that vermin ?? Hung him high.

  4. Reality Check says:

    Welcome to the new section 8 capitol of Florida, with all the empty houses from either foreclosure or people just renting to try and save their investment house. Flagler will become a slum of sorts until the City Council can attract some sort of industry or job base here. A city with no jobs (Wal-Mart does not count) or jobs that pay $8 per hour attract deviants and the not so trust worthy; these are the people you will have in your area if we do not fix this City. The legal system has become even a bigger joke, we worry about the cost of housing prisoners, screw them let them eat oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich at lunch and chipped beef (shit on a shingle) for diner. They do not need to sit in the prison all day, they need to work on roadsides cleaning, cutting grass and cutting down on staff at the jail. When did it become okay to play games like checkers and watch TV? It is jail people, I punish my children they go to there room and sit there no privileges. I guess our kids deserve harsher punishment then a person who shoots, robs or rapes, it is time to reclaim America and what she once stood for, vote out the weak minded and tell the new what we really want. The time to be politically correct is over, you see where it got us, start with Tallahassee and then Washington, Rant Over.

  5. Jim Neuenfeldt says:

    Why would Mobley’s Stepfather, not want Mobley to testify and tell the truth?
    Is there more to this story?
    Does the stepfather have a tie in to Copeland?
    Was/ Did Copeland try to pay someone to alter the testimony?
    There are a lot of questions, Hopefully we will get some answers.
    There is also a criminal charge of Tampering with a witness… With the direct observance by a LEO and a backed up testimony of the video to co-oberate the deputies testimony, why was there not a felony arrest made right there on the spot, instead of a “Contempt of Court” hearing date set?

    Shouldn’t felons be held accountable for felonies when they perpetrate them even in the courthouse??

  6. Rain says:

    Perhaps the Step Father was trying to warn his Step Son that others would be after him if he testified?

  7. The Geode says:

    Do you people even bother reading the story?

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