USA - Florida. Reynaldo Figueroa-Sanabria sentenced to death again

USA - Reynaldo Figueroa-Sanabria (FL)

24 May 2024 :

May 15, 2024 - Florida. Reynaldo Figueroa-Sanabria sentenced to death again.
A man who had his death sentence overturned by the Florida Supreme Court was again sentenced to die by a Pinellas-Pasco circuit court judge.
In 2019, a jury decided that Reynaldo Figueroa-Sanabria should be sentenced to death for killing John Travlos and Germana “Geri” Morin on their houseboat in St. Petersburg in 2013.
But last year, the Florida Supreme Court overturned his sentence after finding that the judge had misinformed him about his options for representation during the penalty phrase of his trial.
Figueroa-Sanabria, 53, was granted a second chance to ask the court to spare his life last month. Instead of death, he asked for life in prison and for a ruling from the bench instead of from a jury.
On May 15, Judge Pat Siracusa decided that Figueroa-Sanabria will again face the death penalty.
During the early morning hours of April 12, 2013, Figueroa-Sanabria stabbed Travlos and Morin to death on Travlos’ houseboat. He’d been working as a helper, waxing and detailing the boat.
He let himself in through the boat’s sliding glass door and forced Travlos at knifepoint to open a safe where he kept jewelry and gold, prosecutors said.
In 2019, Figueroa-Sanabria was convicted on a mountain of evidence, which included his DNA found on a roll of duct tape used to bind the couple and Travlos’ blood that was found on the inside of the van Figueroa-Sanabria’s girlfriend drove to pick him up after he called for a ride the morning it happened. The case took 6 years to get to trial. According to the Supreme Court opinion, during the penalty phase, Figueroa-Sanabria told Judge Siracusa that he didn’t want evidence presented to the jury on his behalf that might weigh against the death penalty.
Siracusa told Figueroa-Sanabria that he had 2 choices — his attorney could present mitigating evidence on his behalf, or he could represent himself. Figueroa-Sanabria chose to represent himself.
The Supreme Court was ultimately unable to determine whether Figueroa-Sanabria made a fully informed choice when deciding to waive his representation.
A public defender representing Figueroa-Sanabria has appealed the sentence to the 2nd District Court of Appeal.


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