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Former Youth Pastor Convicted, Sentenced to Life for 1994 Murder of 16-Year-Old Boy

According to Daily Mail, Hyde’s home was in such a state of squalor that investigators could not follow standard procedures for evidence collection. Nevertheless, police were able to identify markings in the bottom of Hyde’s bathtub that matched the size and shape of decorative appliques that were also found near Laster’s remains.  

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During the trial, Hyde claimed that on the night of Laster’s disappearance, Laster had jumped out of Hyde’s car because he did not want to return to his grandmother’s house. He further contended that he had given the shirt found in the dumpster to Laster, which would explain the presence of his DNA on it.

The jury was not convinced by Hyde’s explanation. 

In response to the verdict and sentencing, Laster’s family released a statement to WJXT, which said: 

We never gave up hope. This has been a long, emotional road and we are grateful there is finally justice for Fred. We miss him dearly and miss the future we will never have with him. We would like to thank everyone who over the past 20+ years served a role to secure today’s outcome. Specifically, we would like to thank the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office; Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office; Jacksonville Beach Police Department; FBI, Florida Department of Law Enforcement; the State Attorney’s Office and prosecutors Alan Mizrahi and Terence Martin; Angela Judah, Agent Abbi Beccaccio; and Detective Jimmy Watson. We love you, Fred.

“[Fred] was loved,” said Laster’s brother on the stand during the trial. “He was loved dearly.”

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