Boyfriend caught in girl's bedroom found guilty of manslaughter in fatal shooting of her father

·2 min read

WEST PALM BEACH — When Alberto Hernandez Jr. found an unfamiliar man in his Palm Springs-area home on the morning of Nov. 10, 2019, he yelled for his girlfriend to call 911.

The other man, James Deon Bryant, whose teenage girlfriend had sneaked him into the home hours earlier, pulled a gun and warned that he was not going to jail.

An altercation ensued, and Bryant shot Hernandez in the torso, fatally wounding him, according to Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office reports at the time.

On July 28, a jury found Bryant, now 22, guilty of manslaughter. Circuit Court Judge Sarah Willis ordered that Bryant be held without bond and scheduled his sentencing for Oct. 18.

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PBSO investigators said Bryant, who was 19 at the time of the fatal shooting, was involved in a sexual relationship with a girl who was younger than 16.

The girl told investigators she let Bryant into the residence during the overnight hours and planned to have him leave before others awakened at the home near 10th Avenue North and Military Trail. However, Hernandez entered her bedroom just before 11 a.m. that day and encountered Bryant.

During the commotion, Bryant fired a shot and Hernandez began fighting with him, investigators said.

Hernandez lunged toward Bryant, the girl told authorities, and several more shots were fired, injuring Bryant and fatally wounding Hernandez.

Investigators found Bryant about two blocks north of Hernandez’s home. He had been knocking on doors and asking for help, claiming his car had broken down and he was injured.

The jury found Bryant not guilty of burglary in reaching the manslaughter verdict.

Julius Whigham II is a criminal justice and public safety reporter for The Palm Beach Post. You can reach him at and follow him on Twitter at @JuliusWhigham. Help support our work: Subscribe today.

This article originally appeared on Palm Beach Post: Jury convicts boyfriend caught in girl's bedroom after fatal shooting