The Latest From Florida’s Death Row

Brevard Killer’s Appeal Rejected by Florida Supreme Court: James Phillip Barnes—who was convicted of killing two women—will remain on Florida’s death row after his latest appeal was rejected by the state’s highest court. In a decision made public today, Florida Supreme Court rejected an appeal from Barnes, who is facing lethal injection for the 1988 killing of Melbourne nurse Patricia “Patsy” Miller.

Florida Supreme Court Reverses Two Death Sentences, Citing Mental Issues: In two separate pre-Independence Day decisions, the Florida Supreme Court this week overturned the death sentences of Michael Shellito, 37, and Ralston Davis, 28, ruling in both cases that the murderers’ mental state at the time of the killings should have played a larger role in theirs sentences.

Supreme Court Denies Gregory’s Death-Penalty Appeal for 2007 Murders in Flagler BeachWilliam Gregory, 30, was sentenced to death on April 14, 2011, for the murder of his ex-girlfriend and her boyfriend as the couple slept in a house in Flagler Beach on August 21, 2007. On Thursday, a unanimous Florida Supreme Court rejected Gregory’s appeal.

Jonathan LeBaron Faces Sentencing Aug. 12 in Murder Case: Following a May 10 jury recommendation in favor of the death penalty, convicted murderer Jonathan LeBaron will face sentencing August 12 in Monroe County Circuit Court. Judge Mark Jones will pronounce sentence in a proceeding set to begin at 11:30 a.m. in Courtroom B of the Freeman Justice Center in Key West.

New Trial Ordered for Florida Death Row Inmate:  The Florida Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for a man sentenced to death for a 1996 fatal stabbing. The court unanimously upheld a lower court’s 2010 decision Thursday to grant a retrial to 51-year-old Michael Peter Fitzpatrick. Justices found that Fitzpatrick had ineffective help from his trial attorney, who should have consulted with experts on the DNA and other forensic evidence used against him.

Death Sentence Upheld for Convicted Cop-Killer Jason Wheeler: The Florida Supreme Court today upheld the conviction and death sentence for Jason Wheeler, who was convicted of killing a Lake County deputy in 2005. Wheeler was found guilty of shooting Deputy Wayne Koester, one of the deputies dispatched to his Paisley home in February 2005 for a domestic-violence complaint. Wheeler escaped arrest initially, but deputies tracked him down, shot him and paralyzed him.

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