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Girlfriend of Battie murder suspect pleads not guilty to helping dispose of gun

Nicole Roberts is charged with being a principal to second-degree murder with a firearm and is due in court June 7.

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This article has been updated to correct Roberts' date of arrest.

The girlfriend of the man accused of fatally shooting Tommie Battie IV and wounding his brother, Auburn University running back Brian Battie, on May 18 in a Sarasota parking lot has pleaded not guilty to being a principal to second-degree murder, court records show.

Nicole Elizabeth Roberts, 29, was arrested May 31 after investigators say she helped her boyfriend, Darryl Brookins, dispose of the murder weapon in a Manatee County lake shortly after the shootings.

Brookins is charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with the early morning shootings outside a hookah lounge on 17th Street.

In a probable cause affidavit, detectives say Roberts was at the scene of the 3:30 a.m. shootings, driving a white Hyundai rental car. Immediately after the shootings, Roberts' rental car left the scene but headed back to the area several minutes later, in the direction of where Brookins allegedly fled on foot.

The affidavit says the car traveled north into Manatee County where it made several circles through a neighborhood near the Manatee River. Surveillance video showed Roberts walking onto a dock and throwing something into the water.

Sheriff's office recovery divers went to the area May 31 and recovered a Glock 9 mm firearm, the affidavit said.

Roberts was arrested and charged with being a principal to second-degree murder with a firearm. She filed a not-guilty plea in Sarasota Circuit Court on June 4. She is due back in court for a pretrial detention hearing Friday, June 7. 



Jim DeLa

Jim DeLa is the digital content producer for the Observer. He has served in a variety of roles over the past four decades, working in television, radio and newspapers in Florida, Colorado and Hawaii. He was most recently a reporter with the Community News Collaborative, producing journalism on a variety of topics in Sarasota, Manatee and DeSoto counties; and as a digital producer for ABC7 in Sarasota.

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