Man pleas guilty to the murders of two men, faces 40 years in prison

PLEA: Man pleas guilty to the murders of two men, faces 40 years in prison

Assistant State Attorney John Waters, right, stands with Hudson and his attorney as a guilty plea is entered before Judge Harb Friday morning.

Tobarais Hudson pled guilty to the second-degree murders of Kody Zawalski and Christopher Campbell.

Hudson, 28, was scheduled to go on trial for first-degree murder Monday but pled Friday to a lesser included offense of second-degree murder in both cases. He will receive 40 years in prison when his sentence is imposed at the end of September.

The plea agreement protects the surviving victims and the deceased victims’ families from having to endure a jury trial, and it eliminates the lengthy appellate process that often follows a murder trial.

Tobarais Hudson

Hudson was involved in the 2012 shooting of Christopher Campbell, a known drug dealer, where he and two other co-defendants robbed and fatally shot him.

He was also involved in a 2015 home-invasion robbery that resulted in the death of Kody Zawalski. Hudson and a co-defendant armed themselves and went to a house in Lakeland, demanding drugs and money.

Zawalski was fatally shot, two others were critically injured and a fourth victim was struck.

While Hudson did not shoot and kill Zawalski, he was an active participant in the robbery, meaning he was also responsible for the outcome.

In court Friday morning, Hudson apologized to Zawalski’s family.

“I didn’t shoot, but I’m just as guilty. I just want you all to forgive me,” Hudson said, tearfully. “Multiple families have lost somebody. … I’m sorry. I can’t say sorry enough.”