A Facebook page believed to be that of a Jacksonville 12-year-old charged with murder in the death of a homeless man is riddled with profanity, laced with pornography and portrays an adolescent life of defiance and recklessness.
With it, there are moments of hard decision-making for Tommy Townsend, the name linked to the social media page.
“Turning myself in tomorrow,” Townsend wrote July 12 on the page that appears to belong to Sharron Sherman Townsend, whose arrest report lists aliases “Tommie Townsend” and “Ronnie.”
The post three weeks ago drew baffled reactions.
“Huh?” one responder questions.
“I.got 2,” comes Townsend’s nearly immediate response.
Townsend wasn’t charged with murder in the shooting death of Thomas Zona Trent until 12 days after the post, and on the social media site he never openly answered the string of questions about what he’d done or where he was planning to turn himself in.
But surrounding the post, in the months before and days since, Townsend and his circle of friends posted rest-in-peace messages connected to the homicides of young men in Jacksonville. They also run a steady stream of references to sex, drugs and guns in often clipped grammar.
“Not a day goes by i dnt think bout u u was like my big brother I loved you so much,” Townsend wrote in part in reference to a 17-year-old shot and killed April 14.
A friend of Townsend’s posted a similar message, with photos of the 17-year-old, an 18-year-old killed in June and a 16-year-old shot to death in July.
In a December selfie photo on Townsend’s page, a young man in what looks like a classroom claims to be high at school and points a profane gesture toward the camera.
Stylized photos of young men smoking and others of girls in flirtatious poses run through the site. A video clip of girls fighting and another that appears to be youngsters smoking hand-rolled cigarettes are also loaded there.
More recently, Townsend lamented what appeared to be the jailing of a friend.
On Monday he wrote he woke up thinking about him.
“I had a dream that he can to my house on thanksgiving nd wanted to eat nd smoke nd we did den I got mad wen he sed he had to turn his self back in,” the post said.
On Wednesday, Townsend was planning on getting three tattoos, on Friday, five more.
Instead he was arrested Thursday in the death of Trent, a disabled 54-year-old whose body was found by a strip mall at 103rd Street and Ricker Road.
Trent had been shot once in the head with a .22-caliber handgun. Thursday, police said they had not found the murder weapon.
Assistant Chief Chris Butler of the Sheriff’s Office said he didn’t have a motive for the shooting but that police had interviewed Townsend’s incarcerated friend — whose name matched the person in the dream — and were led to the 12-year-old.
Butler said Townsend confirmed his involvement.
Townsend was identified by people in the neighborhood around the strip center where Trent’s body was found. Surveillance clips show two young men at the plaza around 2:30 a.m. the day Trent was killed. They are seen a second time running with shirts disguising their looks.
In part of the clip, one of the pair wore a teal Hollister shirt that resembles one in photos on Townsend’s page.
When Townsend was arrested, his home address was 13 miles from the strip mall at a house on Portsmouth Avenue in the Sherwood Forest area of Jacksonville. The family had lived there only two or three months, neighbors said.
No one was home when a reporter went there Thursday, but a black sport-utility vehicle was there Friday when the reporter returned. No one responded to a knock on the door. When the reporter left then returned minutes later, the SUV was gone.
Attempts to reach Townsend family members using social media links were also unsuccessful Friday. Some were in Camden, N.J., where police said Sharron Townsend was born and where the Facebook Townsend said he had his roots.
Dana Treen: (904) 359-4091