Brandon Bradley—black, age 23

Sentenced to death in Brevard County, Florida
By: a judge after a jury’s 10-2 recommendation for death
Date of crime: 3/6/12
Prosecution case/defense response: Deputy Sheriff Barbara Pill made a traffic stop of Bradley and ordered him out of the car 23 times—he then shot her to death. Bradley had been mistakenly released from jail about 6 months earlier by pretending he was his half-brother. The defense argued that Bradley was brain-damaged, had a horrific childhood, a longtime drug addiction, and that he was intoxicated at the time of the shooting.

Elijah Brookins—black, age 32

Sentenced to death in Gadsden County, Florida
By: a judge after a jury 10-2 recommendation of death
Date of crime: 9/2011
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Brookins was an inmate serving a life sentence. While being transported on a prison bus, he stabbed fellow inmate Eric Sexton to death with a shank. Brookins denied being the killer despite the fact that the only two persons in the bus with blood on them were him and the victim.
Sources: Havana Herald 12/20/13

Kevin Jeffries—age 28, white

Sentenced to death in Bay County, Florida
By: a judge after a jury recommendation of death (vote unknown)
Date of crime: 4/4/13
Prosecution case/defense response: In May of 2013, a grand jury indicted Kevin Jeffries, David Challender, and Ashley Griffin on charges of first-degree murder, armed burglary, and armed robbery. Jeffries, along with his associates, beat and confined 90-year-old Walter Scott inside his home before strangling him to death. Jeffries was the only involved person to take the case to trial—a jury subsequently convicted him and recommended death. While Jeffries’ counsel argued for the judge to consider “disparate sentencing of a more culpable party,” the judge upheld the jury’s recommendation of death.
Sources: The News Herald, May 22, 2013; September 27, 2014

Kentrell Johnson—age 39, white

Sentenced to death in St. John’s County, Florida
By: a judge after jury recommendation of death 12-0
Date of crime: 4/2/10
Prosecution case/defense response: In June of 2014, it took a jury only minutes to sentence Kentrell Johnson to death for the murder of Vincent Binder. Johnson, Quentin Truehill, and Peter Hughes escaped from a Louisiana jail on March 30, 2010 and began a crime spree that stretched across several states. Johnson along with the others kidnapped and murdered Binder and left his body in a field. “If there ever was a case . . . that called out for the death penalty,” this case was one of them stated State Attorney R.J. Larizza.
Sources: The St. Augustine Record, June 26, 2014; September 16, 2014

Paul Johnson—white, age 21 (re-sentence after appellate reversal)

Sentenced to death in Polk County, Florida
By: a judge after a jury’s 11-1 recommendation for death
Date of crime: 1/8/81
Prosecution case/defense response: Johnson set out to get money to buy drugs by robbing a cab driver. He put the driver—William Evans—in the trunk, drove him to a deserted location, and shot him to death execution-style. Then Johnson flagged down a ride with Darrell Beasley and his wife. He induced Beasley to pull over at a remote location, then both of them got out of the car and Johnson threatened Beasley with the gun. Beasley’s wife saw this and drove away to get help. Johnson then shot Beasley to death. When Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy Theron Burnham arrived in the area in response to Mrs. Beasley’s report, Johnson shot Burnham to death, too. The defense presented mitigating evidence of brain damage and a history of substance abuse that led to Johnson being unable to exert impulse control. This was at least Johnson’s third time being sentenced to death for these crimes. The earlier sentences were reversed on appeal for procedural errors.
Sources: Tampa Tribune 5/8/14

Henry Jones—black, age 40

Sentenced to death in Brevard County, Florida
By: a judge after a jury recommendation of death (vote unknown)
Date of crime: 2003
Prosecution case/defense response: Jones had allegedly committed a double homicide in Tennessee (charges still pending at the time of his death sentence) and had fled to Florida. He met Carlos Perez and perhaps tried to recruit him as a second driver for the car that had been used in connection with the Tennessee murders. Jones ended up binding, strangling, and cutting Perez’s throat in a hotel room. Jones was also suspected of a fourth murder in Broward County in 2002. All four homicides exhibited the modus operandi with respect to the manner of killing.
Sources: Florida Today (Melbourne, Fla.) 10/9/13

Dontae Morris—black, age 25

Sentenced to death in Hillsborough County, Florida (by a jury from Orange County)
By: a judge after a jury’s 12-0 recommendation for death
Date of crime: 6/29/10
Prosecution case/defense response: Morris fatally shot Tampa police officers David Curtis and Jeffery Kocab during a traffic stop. A month before that, Morris had killed a man in a robbery, a crime for which he had already been convicted at the time of his trial for murdering the officers. Prosecutors contended that Morris shot the officers to avoid being arrested on an outstanding warrant. Morris also had murder charges pending for two additional victims. The defense contended that Morris had low intellectual functioning, had a bad upbringing, and suffered from major depression.
Sources: Orlando Sentinel 11/21/13,Tampa Bay Times 11/20/13, 3/14/14.

Rodney Newberry—black, age 39

Sentenced to death in Duval County, Florida
By: A judge after a jury’s 8-4 recommendation for death
Date of crime: 12/28/09
Prosecution case/defense response: Newberry and two cohorts were robbing Terrese Pernell when Newberry shot Pernell to death with 12 shots from an AK-47. Newberry had several felony convictions, including for attempted murder of two police officers in 2010. He had shot and wounded both of them before one of them shot him and he was captured. (Newberry was the 22nd person sent to death row from Duval County since January, 2009, by prosecutor Angela Corey since she took office—three times as many as for any other prosecutor in Florida during that period.)
Sources: Florida Times Union (Jacksonville) 4/4/14, Sun Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale) 4/6/14

Quentin Truehill—black, age 22

Sentenced to death in St. John’s County, Florida
By: A judge after a jury’s recommendation of death (vote unknown)
Date of crime: 4/2010
Prosecution case/defense response: Truehill and two cohorts escaped from prison in Louisiana and made their way to Florida, stealing a truck and robbed four people along the way. They kidnapped Florida State graduate student Vincent Binder and stabbed him to death. Truehill’s prior convictions included one for manslaughter for shooting a man. The defense contended that Truehill suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder from several events in his life.
Sources: Augustine Record (St. Augustine) 2/18/14, 3/3/14

Randy Tundidor Sr. – white, age 43

Sentenced to death in St. John’s County, Florida
By:  a judge after a unanimous jury recommendation by a vote of 12 to 0
Date of crime:  April 2010
Prosecution case/defense response:  Randy Tundidor Sr. killed his landlord, Nova Southeastern University cancer researcher and professor Joseph Morrissey, 46, because the landlord was about to evict him and his son Randy Tundidor Jr..  His son testified against him in exchange for a lighter sentence.  Tundidor maintained his innocence, but told his counsel not to present mitigating factors to the court in his sentencing.  Jurors took two hours to deliberate.
Sources: 10/22/2012

Donald Williams – white, age 49

Sentenced to death in Lake County, Florida
By:  a judge after a jury recommendation by a vote of 9 to 3
Date of crime:  10/18/2010
Prosecution case/defense response:  Homeless Donald Otis Williams befriended, kidnapped, and then killed Janet Patrick, 81.  He was last seen on surveillance film helping Patrick with her groceries and then leaving in Patrick’s car from a Publix grocery store parking lot.  Five days later, he was arrested in the same car with her wallet and credit cards.  Three days after his arrest, Patrick’s decomposing body was found in a Poincianna wooded area under two tires.  The autopsy report listed “homicidal violence of unknown means” as the cause of death.  Patrick was described as a frail, elderly, warm, friendly, Western Union operator retiree, with no children.  Williams was described as a “notorious liar,” who said he and Patrick were kidnapped at gunpoint.  Williams represented himself and denied the charges before allowing a public defender to finish his trial.  William’s was also on sex-offender probation from a previous conviction for a sexually-motivated kidnapping of a 21-year-old woman from a drugstore parking lot in 2000.
Sources:  Sun Sentinel (Fort Lauderdale, Florida) 3/3/2014; 2014 WLNR 5890819

Ralph Wright, Jr.—age 39, black

Sentenced to death in Pinellas County, Florida
By: a judge (jury recommendation unknown)
Date of crime: July 2007
Prosecution case/defense response: Ralph Wright was a member of the United States Air Force and was stationed at MacDill Air Force base. In July of 2007, Wright murdered Patricia O’Connor and their 15-month-old son as O’Connor was preparing for work. O’Connor had recently filed a paternity lawsuit against Wright and Wright saw this as an opportunity to avoid paying for childcare. Wright would later attempt to avoid drawing suspicion to the crime in what the judge characterized as a crime that was “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.”
Sources: The St. Augustine Record, August 17, 2014