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Hillsborough man released on bond four years after murder charge

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Shooting victim, Shirley Sexton Shooting victim, Shirley Sexton
RUSKIN, FL (WFLA) -

It's been four years since JoAnn Talley nearly lost her daughter, Shirley Sexton.  Sexton and her boyfriend were sitting in his truck outside his Ruskin home, when authorities say Sexton's ex-boyfriend, Bill Privett, shot them both.

Brewer died that day. Sexton was shot five times in the head and once in the shoulder. She lost her left eye, but survived.

"Emotionally, she's crushed. Mentally, she’s devastated," her mother said.

Recent developments in Privett's case have caused the family more devastation. Last week, Circuit Judge Samantha Ward set bail at $36,000, and Privett was released.

"If you're going to give the man bond, don't slap the victims in the face," she said of the bond, "That's a human life. There was a human life lost."

According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Privett called a friend, Eric Bazemore, to drive him to Brewer's home on the morning of Sep. 13, 2009. Bazemore is the father of Sexton's four children. Bazemore has already been tried, and convicted in connection with the case. He's currently serving a 30 year sentence.

Talley wants to know why Privett's trial is taking so long, and she also fears for her daughter's safety.

"When he shot these two people, he had a business, he had a house, he had a life," she said. "What does he have to lose today? He's facing murder charges."

Mark Cox with the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office said Privett has hired several different attorneys to represent him on the case, and that has slowed down the case's progress. He noted the state did object to the bond, but said the judge made her ruling over the state's objection.

Privett's next court date is set for Oct. 14.

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