Latest From Florida’s Death Row

Florida Woman Facing Death Penalty Apologizes to Family: A Florida woman facing death for brutally murdering a teenager in 2010 made a tearful plea to a judge for her life today, saying she is so sorry for what happened. Tina Brown, 42, was convicted in June of killing 19-year-old Audreanna Zimmerman.

“I remember back, looking at the autopsy pictures,” Brown said. “They haunt me today.”

Brown will be sentenced on Sept. 28.

New Florida Death Sentence: Jury Unanimously Recommends Death Penalty for Delmer Smith: It took a jury just 30 minutes Tuesday afternoon to deliver a unanimous recommendation: Delmer Smith III, 41, should be sentenced to death by lethal injection for the fatal Aug. 3, 2009 bludgeoning of Kathleen Briles.

New Florida Death Sentence: Death Penalty in Fast-Food Slaying:  A judge this morning sentenced a Pensacola man who brutally murdered his boss at a restaurant during a robbery in 1998 to death. Timothy Hurst, 32, was convicted in April 2000 of first-degree murder in the killing of 28-year-old Cynthia Harrison. Harrison was Hurst’s manager when he worked at the Popeye’s on Nine Mile Road. Her body was found in the restaurant’s freezer.

New Florida Death Sentence: Central Florida Man Sentenced to Death for 2009 Fatal Drug Robbery:  A central Florida man has been sentenced to death for what authorities called a drug-related fatal home invasion. Following a jury’s recommendation, a Polk County judge sentenced 31-year-old Robert McCloud on Friday. McCloud was convicted in March of two counts of first-degree murder and other charges.

Death Penalty Sought in Killing of Cellmate at Santa Rosa Prison:  A prisoner currently serving a life sentence in the Santa Rosa Correctional Institution was indicted by a grand jury Thursday in the death of his cellmate, and prosecutors are now seeking the death penalty. Shawn Rogers, 32, is charged with first-degree murder and aggravated kidnapping in the death of 24-year-old Ricky Martin. Martin died at Sacred Heart Hospital in April.

Fla. Supreme Court Upholds Death Sentence for Man Who Shot a Florida Highway Patrol Trooper:  The Florida Supreme Court is rejecting an appeal from a man who shot and killed a highway patrol trooper more than five years ago. The high court Thursday unanimously upheld the conviction and death sentence of Joshua Lee Altersberger. He convicted of killing Sgt. Nick Sottile during a January 2007 traffic stop in Highlands County.

Drifter Appeals Death Penalty in Florida Decapitation:  A lawyer for a drifter who was convicted of beheading two women and killing an elderly couple in the forests of three Southern states asked the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday to reverse his conviction and death sentence in the only one of the slayings that resulted in a death sentence.

A Tallahassee judge last year sentenced Gary Hilton to death for the murder of Cheryl Dunlap based on a unanimous jury recommendation. The 46-year-old nurse from Crawfordville was killed in north Florida’s Apalachicola National Forest.

Hilton’s lawyer focused his oral argument on comments made during the trial’s penalty phase by the state’s expert mental health witness.

Car Lot Murderer Asks Judge for Death Penalty: William Davis III, the convicted murderer who told a Seminole County jury last month that he wanted the death penalty, today took the witness stand and asked the judge for the same thing.

“I cannot sit here in good conscience and knowing what I’ve done, what everybody here is aware of, I can’t sit here and ask you with a straight face to give me life in prison. I can’t and I won’t. Quite frankly, I think that it’s rather asinine for anybody in this position to actually be given the alternative of life in prison,” he said.

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