Editor’s note: Some of these stories are a bit less recent, since I’ve been traveling. But in case you missed them, I’m sharing them here.
New Death Sentence: Man Sentenced to Death for Vicious Murder of Elderly Little Havana Woman: For viciously stabbing an elderly Little Havana woman to death, Victor Guzman must be executed, a Miami-Dade judge ruled last month.
By a 7-5 vote, jurors in the murder case recommended a death sentence. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Dennis Murphy followed suit Thursday, but not before allowing Guzman one last chance to plea for mercy.
Convicted killer Delmer Smith will be back in a Manatee County courtroom Friday trying to evade a death sentence for murdering Kathleen Briles in 2009. His defense is expected to present medical evidence at the 8:30 a.m. hearing of damage to the frontal lobe of the brain, which they hope persuade Judge Peter Dubensky to reduce his sentence to life in prison.
An attorney for Jason Wheeler asked the Florida Supreme Court this week to overturn his death sentence, arguing that the trial attorneys failed to raise two key points in his defense. Mark Gruber, an attorney for the death-row inmate, focused on claims that trial attorneys could have proven Wheeler was acting on the influence of drugs during the February 2005 shooting and that the use of 54 photos of the victim, Lake Deputy Wayne Koester, during the last phase of the trial was excessive.
Will Gary Hilton Return to Florida’s Death Row? Serial killer Gary Hilton could soon be brought back to Florida to face the death penalty. Hilton has been convicted of killing four people in three states including kidnapping and beheading Crawfordville Sunday school teacher Cheryl Dunlap.