Thomas Bevel – black, age 23 

Sentenced to death in Duval County, Florida
By: A jury
Date of crime: 2/04
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Bevel was a former boarder in the victims’ home.  Bevel shot Garrick Stringfield and his son, Philip Sims, with an AK-47.  Bevel told police he shot Sims to eliminate any witnesses.  Further, Bevel explained to police he killed Stringfield because he thought he was planning to kill him.  Defense counsel claimed that Bevel confessed to protect his younger brother, who owned two AK-47 assault rifles.
Sources: AP Alert 9/8/05, 10/22/05; Bradenton Herald 8/28/05 (2005 WL 13527263)

Eddie Bigham – black, age 44

Sentenced to death in St. Lucie County, Florida
By: A judge, after a unanimous jury recommendation for death
Date of crime: 5/2003
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Bigham strangled Lourdes Cavazos to death in a wooded lot. Bigham’s DNA was found on Cavazos’s body and clothes. In the penalty phase, the prosecution told the jury Bigham had previously been convicted of killing a five-month-old baby, served 14 years in prison, and had only been released one month prior to killing Cavazos. The defense argued that after 14 years in prison, Bigham could live a productive life in prison even though he was unable to live outside of prison.
Prosecutor(s): Lynn Park Defense lawyer(s): Mark Harllee
Sources: South Florida Sun-Sentinel 11/16/2004, 12/10/2004, 1/15/2005

Harold Blake – black, age 22

Sentenced to death in Polk County, Florida
By: A judge, after a unanimous recommendation by a jury
Date of crime: 8/12/2002
Prosecution’s case/defense response: During a convenience store robbery, Blake shot and killed the store’s owner, Maheshkumar “Mike” Patel. The prosecution presented a videotaped confession where Blake admitted shooting Patel. The defense argued Blake drove the getaway car but it was another man who shot Patel. Witnesses had described the shooter as having hair but Blake was bald and his cohort had hair. The defense claimed police coerced Blake into making the videotaped confession. During the penalty phase, the prosecution presented evidence of Blake’s criminal history. At the time of the trial, Blake was serving a life sentence for killing Kelvin Young twelve days before he killed Patel. The same gun was used in both murders. At the time of the murders, Blake was on probation for grand theft and driving with a suspended license.
Prosecutor(s): Cass Castillo
Defense lawyer(s): Gil Colon Jr., Al Smith
Sources: The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) 2/24/2005, 2/26/2005, 4/20/2005, 4/21/2005, 5/14/2005 (LEXIS USPAPR file).

Pinkney “Chip” Carter – white, age 48 

Sentenced to death in Duval County, Florida
By: A jury voted 9-3 for a death sentence
Date of crime: 7/23/02
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Carter went to his ex-girlfriend, Liz Reed’s home to talk about their breakup.  He shot and killed Reed her boyfriend, Glenn Pafford, and Reed’s 16-year-old daughter, Courtney Smith.  Carter fled to Mexico and was not arrested until 2004 in Kentucky.  Carter told the court, “I was responsible for these deaths physically, but I was not responsible mentally for them.”
Sources: Florida Times-Union 12/9/03, 1/7/04, 1/8/04, 12/23/05 (LEXIS, USPAPR file)

David Francis – black, age 19

Sentenced to death in Orange County, Florida
By: A judge, after a jury recommendation of death (count unknown)
Date of Crime: 11/6/2000
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Frances and his brother had a falling out with their mother and robbed their mother’s friend, Helena Mills. During the robbery, they strangled Mills and her 17-year-old niece, Jo Anna Charles. The brothers were arrested driving Mills’ car and had pawned items taken from Mills’ home. The prosecution’s evidence included Frances’ confession to police. During the penalty phase, the defense argued Frances was dominated by his brother.
Prosecutor(s): Mark Wixtrom
Defense lawyer(s): Unknown
Sources: Orlando Sentinel 10/30/2004, 4/30/2005 (LEXIS USPAPR file).

Andrew Gosciminski – white, age 48

Sentenced to death in Fort Pierce County, Florida
By: A judge, after a jury recommendation of death (count unknown)
Date of crime: 9/24/2002
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Gosciminski bludgeoned and stabbed Joan Loughman to death and stole valuable jewelry during a home invasion burglary. The defense claimed that Kozominski was the wrong culprit and had an alibi for the time of the murder. In mitigation the defense presented evidence of positive character traits.
Prosecutor(s): Chris Taylor
Defense lawyer(s): Mark Harllee
Sources: Fort Pierce Tribune 4/26/2005 (2005 WLNR 6591288); Palm Beach Post 4/27/2005 (2005 WLNR 6649414), 4/29/2005 (2005 WLNR 6821051).

Jesse Guardado – white, age 42 

Sentenced to death in Walton County, Florida
By: A jury
Date of crime: 9/04
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Guardado killed 75-year-old Jackie Malone after she had tried to help him since he had been paroled.  He killed her for money to buy crack cocaine.  Malone was an avid community and political activist; she rented Guardado a house and let him borrow money.  Guardado confessed to the killing and pled guilty.  Hours before the murder he tried to rob a grocery store.
Sources: AP Alert 10/14/05; Miami Herald 10/15/05 (2005 WL 16705599)

Gerhard Hojan – white, age 26

Sentenced to death in Broward County, Florida
By:  A judge, after a 9-3 jury recommendation for death
Date of Crime:  3/11/2002
Prosecution’s case/defense response:  Hojan and his cohort, Jimmy Mickel, went to a Waffle House where they ate breakfast.  After they were done eating, they robbed the restaurant.  Hojan and Mickel forced three Waffle House employees into the walk-in-freezer where all three were shot execution style.  As a result of the shooting, 17-year-old Christina De La Rosa and 29-year-old Willie Absolu died.  Barbara Nunn survived the shooting and identified Hojan as the triggerman and Mickel as his accomplice.  During the penalty phase Hojan did not let his lawyers present any evidence, but the judge appointed a defense attorney to determine whether there were any mitigating circumstances.  Upon sentencing the judge discussed the cruelty of the crime, the terror the victims felt, and that Hojan had a lack of remorse.
Prosecutor(s):  Michael Satz
Defense lawyer(s):  John Cotrone, Mitch Polay
Sources:  South Florida Sun-Sentinel 2/5/2004 (2004 WLNR 67631423); Miami Herald 4/15/2004 (2004 WLNR 75369307), 8/3/2005 (2005 WLNR 12166354).

William Kopsho – white, age 46

Sentenced to death in Sumter County, Florida (change of venue from Marion County)
By: A judge after a 9-3 jury recommendation of death
Date of crime: 10/27/2000
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Kopsho kidnapped his estranged wife, Lynne, as she was leaving work, and shot her three times. He had a prior sexual battery and false imprisonment convictions for crimes against another woman. The defense claimed Kopsho acted out of emotional duress after learning of Lynne’s infidelity.
Prosecutor(s): Bob Hodges, Anthony Tatti
Defense lawyer(s): Bill Miller, John Tedder
Sources: AP Alert – FL 2/25/2005 (2/25/2005 APALERTFL 09:28:01); 2/25/2005, 3/2/2005, 3/3/2005, 4/9/2005 (

Roy McDuffie – black, age 39

Sentenced to death in Volusia County, Florida
By: A judge, after a unanimous jury recommendation for death
Date of crime: 10/25/2002
Prosecution’s case/defense response:  McDuffie robbed the Dollar General store where he worked and killed two employees. He tied up Dawniell Beauregard and Janice Schneider with duct tape, stabbed them in the neck, and then shot them. McDuffie’s palm print was found on the duct tape used to tie up Schneider. The prosecution argued that McDuffie robbed the store because he was financially desperate. The defense contested guilt by arguing his palm print was the only physical evidence that tied McDuffie to the crime and could have been placed there during work. During the penalty phase, the defense presented evidence of McDuffie’s contributions to the community and lack of a criminal history.
Prosecutor(s): Raul Zambrano Defense lawyer(s): Gerard Keating, Rob Sanders
Sources: Daytona News-Journal 2/24/2005, 2/25/2005, 3/3/2005, 3/16/2005; Orlando Sentinel 3/16/2005, 2/25/2005

Christopher Offord – white, age 29

Sentenced to death in Bay County, Florida
By:  A judge, after a 12-0 jury recommendation for death
Date of Crime:  7/31/2004
Prosecution’s case/defense response:  Offord killed his wife because she wanted to cuddle after they had sex, which was contrary to Offord’s desire to watch a sport’s program to see clips of the Mike Tyson fight.  Offord’s wife, Dana Noser, asked Offord to come back to bed and cuddle with her.  Instead of returning to bed, Offord went to the kitchen and gathered a roll of duct tape and a knife.  Offord then went into the bathroom and turned on the water so that Noser would not hear him ripping a piece of duct tape off the roll.  Offord then attacked Noser while she was lying in bed.  He duct taped Noser’s mouth and stabbed her in the face until the knife bent.  He then grabbed a claw hammer from a table beside the bed and beat her over 70 times with the claw hammer.  After he was done beating her, he wrapped her in a blanket and left her on the floor.  Offord watched television and would kick Noser when she made gurgling noises.  Offord told police that he had killed his wife, had been thinking of killing his wife for weeks, and decided to kill her when he was annoyed that she kept talking to him when he wanted to watch television.  Offord pled guilty and claimed he wanted to be sentenced to death because he deserved to die, which Offord’s mother and Noser’s family agreed with.  During the penalty phase, Offerd claimed he did not have any mental problems but had previously tricked doctors into believing he had mental health issues.  Offord claimed he had substance abuse problems.
Prosecutor(s):  Unknown
Defense lawyer(s):  Walter Smith
Sources:  Bradenton Herald (Bradenton, FL) 8/5/2005 (2005 WLNR 12315133); Fort Worth Star-Telegram 8/5/2005 (2005 WLNR 12319568); Miami Herald 8/5/2005 (2005 WLNR 12304522); Tallahassee Democrat 8/5/2005 (2005 WLNR 12310234).

Mark Poole – black, age 38

Sentenced to death in Polk County, Florida
By:  A judge, after a 12-0 jury recommendation for death
Date of Crime:  10/12/2001
Prosecution’s case/defense response:  In the middle of the night, Poole broke into the home of Noah Scott and Scott’s five-month-pregnant finance.  Poole beat Scott to death with a tire iron and raped and attempted to kill Scott’s fiancé, who survived and later gave birth to Scott’s son.  Pool was connected to the murders through DNA from the rape, by selling stolen items from Scott’s house that were splattered with blood, and the tire iron that was found discarded near  Poole’s house.  During the guilt phase, Poole argued that he had an accomplice who killed Scott but admitted to raping Scott’s fiancé.  During the penalty phase, the defense presented testimony from two mental health experts who testified that Poole was addicted to cocaine and alcohol, had a low intellect, and moderate brain damage from falling out of a tree and falling from a motorcycle.  Poole’s mental health experts also testified that Poole was not insane or mentally retarded.  Poole never apologized or showed any remorse.
Prosecutor(s):  John Aguero
Defense lawyer(s):  Rex Dimmig
Sources:  Ledger (Lakeland, FL) 4/28/2005, 5/3/2005, 5/5/2005, 8/26/2005 (LEXIS USPAPR file).

Thomas Rigterink – white, age 31 

Sentenced to death in Polk County, Florida
By: A jury voted 7-5 to impose a death sentence
Date of crime: 9/24/03
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Rigterink regularly bought marijuana from Jeremy Jarvis and decided to steal a shipment of marijuana from him.  He went to Jarvis’s apartment and stabbed him, but Jarvis fled to a nearby office building.  Allison Sousa worked in the office building and was attempting to help Jarvis when Rigterink stabbed her to death.  Jarvis died from 22 stab wounds.  Rigterink’s fingerprints linked him to the scene, and an employee identified Rigterink as the attacker.  He also admitted to the slayings for detectives, but he later testified a drug dealer threatened him.  No mitigating factors were present; Rigterink had a happy childhood but started using drugs.
Sources: Tampa Tribune 8/25/05 (2005 WL 13843590), 9/1/05 (2005 WL 14091579), 9/10/05 (2005 WL 14604569), 9/15/05 (2005 WL 14888230), 9/16/05 (2005 WL 14940407), 10/15/05 (2005 WL 17134161)

Corey Smith – black, age 23

Sentenced to death in Miami-Dade County, Florida
By: A judge after a jury recommendation of death (count unknown)
Date of crime: 1995-1998
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Smith was the leader of the “John Does” drug gang. He was convicted of five counts of murder, including the killings of two key witnesses in separate murder trials. Among the victims was Cynthia Brown, who was suffocated by her boyfriend at Smith’s behest and Jackie Pope, a deaf mute killed because she had been the witness to the shooting of a Miami police officer.
Prosecutor(s): Unknown
Defense lawyer(s): Unknown
Sources: Miami Herald 12/4/2004 (2004 WLNR 99609635).

Thomas Woodel – white, age 26 (re-sentence after an appellate reversal)

Sentenced to death in Polk County, Florida
By:  A judge, after a 7-5 jury recommendation for death
Date of Crime:  12/31/1996
Prosecutor’s case/defense response:  Woodel stabbed Bernice and Clifford Moody to death in their home.  Woodel lived in the same trailer park and was walking home when he saw Bernice Moody and approached her to ask the time.  He stabbed her over 56 times and then stabbed her husband eight times.  When Woodel was arrested he confessed to the murders and said he did not know why he killed Bernice and Clifford.  During the penalty phase, the defense presented evidence of Woodel’s clean criminal history and that his childhood included abuse and neglect.  Woodel’s first death sentence was overturned because the trial judge did not expressly evaluate the mitigating circumstances in the sentencing order.
Prosecutor(s):  Paul Wallace
Defense lawyer(s):  Gil Colon Jr.
Sources:  Orlando Sentinel 7/21/2003 (2003 WLNR 59878093), 7/21/2004 (2004 WL 85666448); Miami Herald 7/3/2005 (2005 WLNR 10476841).

Tavares Wright – black, age 20 

Sentenced to death in Polk County, Florida
By: A judge
Date of crime: 4/20/00
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Wright carjacked, kidnapped, robbed and murdered James Felker (18) and David Lee Green (21).  Wright waived a jury recommendation of punishment and asked the judge to sentence him.  In aggravation, Wright had multiple convictions for violent felonies and was already serving two life sentences for a drive-by-shooting the morning before this killing.  In mitigation, the defense argued that he had a difficult upbringing and an anti-social personality disorder.  The defense further argued that it was really Wright’s accomplice who was responsible for the deaths because Wright was under his control.
Sources: The Ledger (Lakeland, FL) 11/16/04, 11/17/04, 5/11/05(LEXIS, USPAPR file); Tampa Tribune 5/12/05 (LEXIS, USPAPR file)