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IN THE CIRCUIT COURT, FIFTH.
JUDICIAL CIRCUIT, IN AND FOR
HERNANDO COUNTY, FLORIDA

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CASE NO.:

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2010-CF-1105

STATE OF FLORIDA,
vs.
BYRON KEITH BURCH,
Defendant.
________________________/

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EXCERPT OF JURY TRIAL - PENALTY PHASE

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OPENING STATEMENT BY MR. BUXMAN

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BEFORE:

THE HONORABLE DANIEL MERRITT, JR.

DATE:

MONDAY, JULY 20, 2015

PLACE:

HERNANDO COUNTY COURTHOUSE
20 NORTH MAIN STREET
BROOKSVILLE, FLORIDA 34601

STENOGRAPHICALLY
REPORTED BY:

SHANNON MASSINGILL, RPR, FPR
REGISTERED PROFESSIONAL REPORTER
FLORIDA PROFESSIONAL REPORTER

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________________________________________________________
JOY HAYES COURT REPORTING
OFFICIAL COURT REPORTERS
407 COURTHOUSE SQUARE
INVERNESS, FLORIDA 34450
BUS:(352)726-4451
FAX:(352)726-9411

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A P P E A R A N C E S:

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PETER MAGRINO, ESQUIRE
RICHARD BUXMAN, ESQUIRE
OF: OFFICE OF THE STATE ATTORNEY
20 NORTH MAIN STREET
BROOKSVILLE, FLORIDA 34450
(352)754-4255
ESERVICEHERNANDO@SAO5.ORG
APPEARING ON BEHALF OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA

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TERENCE LENAMON, ESQUIRE
MELISSA ORTIZ, ESQUIRE
OF: LENAMON LAW
226 EAST FLAGLER STREET
SUITE 200
MIAMI, FLORIDA 33131
(305)373-9911
TERRY@LENAMONLAW.COM
APPEARING ON BEHALF OF THE DEFENDANT
TANIA Z. ALAVI, ESQUIRE
OF: ALAVI, BIRD & POZZUTO, P.A.
108 NORTH MAGNOLIA AVENUE
SUITE 600
OCALA, FLORIDA 34475
(352)732-9191 FAX-(352)732-4892
TALAVI@ABPLEGAL.COM
APPEARING ON BEHALF OF THE DEFENDANT

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ALSO PRESENT:

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KATHLEEN O'SHEA, MITIGATION SPECIALIST
LENAMON LAW

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DEFENDANT PRESENT, IN CUSTODY

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(The following is an excerpt of these proceedings:)

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* * * * *

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MR. BUXMAN:

Please the Court, Counsel?

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Sexual battery on a child, battery on a law

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enforcement officer, battery on a corrections

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officer.

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after violent felony, all committed by that man

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before he murdered Sarah Davis (indicating).

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Violent felony, after violent felony,

Ladies and gentlemen, this begins the second

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part of the trial called the penalty phase.

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this portion of the trial the state will present

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evidence to you that relates to several different

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aggravating circumstances.

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later on by the judge what those aggravating

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circumstances are.

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During

You will be instructed

During this phase of the trial, you will hear

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evidence that you have not yet heard, but you can

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also rely on the evidence that was presented to you

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during the guilt phase of this trial last month in

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making your recommendations to the judge in this

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phase.

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All of that evidence of the first portion of

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the trial, along with the evidence that you will

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hear during this phase of the trial, is what we will

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ask you to rely on and focus on and consider when

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making your recommendation to the judge as far as

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what the proper punishment should be for that man

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(indicating) for committing these crimes.

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What the proper punishment should be for the

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murder of 80-year-old Sarah Davis in her own home.

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What the proper punishment should be for someone

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with prior violent felonies, for someone who caused

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unimaginable pain and suffering --

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MR. LENAMON:

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THE COURT:

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MR. LENAMON:

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Objection.

Argument.

All right, do you want to come up?
No, sir, just as to the argument.

This is opening statement.
THE COURT:
the objection.

All right, well, I need to rule on
You want to come up?

(Whereupon, a discussion was held at the
bench.)

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THE COURT:

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MR. BUXMAN:

Overruled.
That is the evidence that we will

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ask you to consider and rely on when determining

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what the proper punishment for the defendant should

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be for this crime and for someone who was involved

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in the commission of a felony at the time of this

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murder.

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is all about.

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That is what the second phase of this trial

The evidence you have already heard and that

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you will hear during the course of this phase will

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establish beyond a reasonable doubt several

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aggravating circumstances in this case, and it is

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those aggravating circumstances which cause the

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death penalty to be the appropriate punishment in

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this case.

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The evidence will show that several aggravating

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circumstances exist here.

The evidence will show

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that the murder of Sarah Davis was committed in an

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especially heinous, atrocious, and cruel manner.

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You will hear again from Dr. Lavezzi who will

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explain in some more detail the injuries that

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Ms. Davis suffered at the hands of the defendant.

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This time, however, she will explain to you and

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the evidence will show that Ms. Davis suffered.

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evidence will show that she was aware of the pain

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that was being inflicted upon her body.

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was not an instantaneous or a quick death, not only

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demonstrated by the defensive wounds on her hands

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and her arms and other portions of her body, but

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also based on the medical evidence and how her body

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reacted to these injuries.

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The

That this

Ladies and gentlemen, the evidence will show

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that she was aware of what was happening to her,

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able to perceive the identity of her attacker, knew

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she was being murdered by someone who she trusted

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and --

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MR. LENAMON:

Objection.

This is argument,

Judge.

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THE COURT:

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(Whereupon, a discussion was held at the

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Come on up.

bench.)

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THE COURT:

Overruled, go ahead.

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MR. BUXMAN:

The evidence will show that she

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was able to perceive what was happening to her,

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perceive who was doing this to her, perceive that it

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was being done by someone she trusted.

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The evidence will also show another aggravating

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circumstance.

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of a prior violent felony.

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you will hear from the victim of the crime of sexual

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battery on a child.

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battery conviction back in 1987 when he sexually

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battered then nine-year-old Nona Phillips.

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That the defendant had been convicted
Ladies and gentlemen,

The victim of the sexual

The evidence will show that in 1987,

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nine-year-old Nona Phillips was taken to the

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hospital.

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the doctors examined her, they discovered that she

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had a large laceration, a tear, to her vaginal area.

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That little girl was admitted to the hospital.

Her shorts were soaked in blood and when

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Surgery was done the next morning to repair the

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damage he did to her.

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that the injuries were caused by the defendant in

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this case.

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Ms. Phillips will tell you

She'll will explain to you that she was staying

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with her cousin, Verna Crapps.

Verna Crapps happens

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to be the defendant's mother.

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Phillips' cousins left the house, the defendant took

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her to a back bedroom, pulled down her panties, and

And after Nona

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forced his penis inside of her.

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that she told the defendant to stop, but he didn't.

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She'll tell you

He then tried to cover up what he had done.

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The evidence will show that he told nine-year-old

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Nona Phillips to tell his mother that she got a

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broomstick stuck in her vagina.

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Phillips, ran to the bathroom where she grabbed a

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washcloth and tried to stop the bleeding that had

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begun from the defendant, from an act he committed

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against her.

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Ms. Phillips, Nona

You will also hear from the lead detective,

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Detective Kim Corlew.

She will explain to you when

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she arrived in the hospital she saw Nona Phillips

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and learned what happened and she asked for the

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defendant to be brought to the hospital where she

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could speak with him.

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The evidence will show that the defendant was,

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in fact, brought there and Detective Corlew did, in

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fact, speak with him.

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Detective Corlew that his mom and dad left the house

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and only the kids were there remaining.

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defendant stated that he went into the utility room

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and when he came back in he saw Nona Phillips

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holding her vaginal area, dancing around, screaming.

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And the defendant told

The

He told Detective Corlew that he took her into

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the bathroom and he cleaned her off with a warm

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washcloth and it was then that his parents came back

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to the house.

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he ran outside and said, You need to check on Nona,

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something's wrong with her.

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The defendant told Detective Corlew

The evidence will show that the defendant

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denied knowing how Nona hurt herself initially to

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the detective and suggested maybe it was when she

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was wrestling around with the other kids.

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Detective Corlew, Maybe she ran into a broomstick or

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a vacuum cleaner handle and that's what caused the

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injury to her vaginal area.

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Nona Phillips to tell.

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He told

The same lie he told

Detective Corlew told the defendant he was

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being arrested for sexual battery and it would be

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better and it was time to tell the truth.

Knowing

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that he was caught and his story wasn't being

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believed, he gave a second interview to the

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detective and in that interview the defendant

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admitted that he did, in fact, have sexual

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intercourse with nine-year-old Nona Phillips.

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He explained that Nona came onto him.

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explained that Nona started kissing him.

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was the one that took her dress off.

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the one that wanted to sleep with him.

He
That Nona

That Nona was
That this

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was Nona's fault because she was the one who

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initiated the sexual intercourse, the nine-year-old.

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Ladies and gentlemen, you will hear the

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defendant blamed the nine-year-old child for the

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crime --

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MR. LENAMON:

Objection.

This is argument,

Judge.

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THE COURT:

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(Whereupon, a discussion was held at the

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Come on up.

bench.)
THE COURT:

All right, sustained.

All right,

go ahead.
MR. BUXMAN:

Ladies and gentlemen, that

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episode, that crime, did not end the violent crimes

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the defendant committed in his life before --

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MR. LENAMON:

Objection.

Argument.

That is

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argument, Judge.

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THE COURT:

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(Whereupon, a discussion was held at the

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All right, Mr. -- come on up.

bench.)
MR. BUXMAN:

The evidence will show that in

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1994 the defendant was convicted of more violent

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crimes.

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and convicted of the crimes of battery on a law

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enforcement officer.

The evidence will show that he was arrested

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Later in 2004, you're going to hear that the

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defendant was in the Hernando County Jail when he

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attacked a guard by putting a choke hold on him and

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trying to strangle him.

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pepper sprayed the defendant which finally caused

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him to release his grip on the officer.

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going to hear that the defendant was convicted of

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another violent felony as a result of this crime.

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The corrections officer

You're

The evidence will also show that the defendant

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was -- another aggravating circumstance.

That the

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defendant was engaged in the commission of another

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felony at the time he murdered Sarah Davis.

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virtue of you already finding the defendant guilty

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of burglary of a dwelling while armed in the first

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phase of the trial, you have already determined that

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this aggravating circumstance has been proven beyond

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a reasonable doubt and that can be relied upon by

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you in making your recommendation to the judge.

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Ladies and gentlemen, at the end of the penalty

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phase, the state will have proven beyond a

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reasonable doubt that several different aggravating

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circumstances exist in this case.

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this phase, the state will have shown you, through

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the facts and the evidence and the testimony, that

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the proven aggravating circumstances in this case

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vastly outweigh any mitigating circumstances that

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may exist in this case.

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By the end of

At the end of this phase of the case, ladies

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and gentlemen, we'll ask you to recommend the

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punishment that is justified in this case, the

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punishment that is appropriate in this case.

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will ask you to recommend the punishment that the

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defendant has earned and has deserved --

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MR. LENAMON:

Objection.

This is all argument,

Judge.

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MR. BUXMAN:

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THE COURT:

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(Whereupon, a discussion was held at the

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Judge, that's it.

I'm done.

Come on up.

bench.)
THE COURT:
Mr. Buxman?

All right.

We

Anything further,

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MR. BUXMAN:

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THE COURT:

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MR. BUXMAN:

Very, very briefly.
All right, go ahead.
Ladies and gentlemen, at the close

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of this case, Mr. Magrino is going to stand up here

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and ask you to find that the punishment that the

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defendant deserves in this case is death.

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you.

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* * * * *
(This concludes this excerpt.)

Thank

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CERTIFICATE OF REPORTER

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STATE OF FLORIDA

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COUNTY OF HERNANDO

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I, Shannon Massingill, RPR, FPR, Notary Public,

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State of Florida, I was authorized to and did

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stenographically report the foregoing proceedings; and

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that the transcript, Page 1 through Page 12 is a true

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and accurate record of the requested excerpt of my

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stenographic notes.

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I FURTHER CERTIFY that I am not a relative, or

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employee, or attorney, or counsel of any of the parties,

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nor am I a relative or employee of any of the parties'

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attorney or counsel connected with the action, nor am I

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financially interested in the action.

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Dated this 21st day of July, 2015.

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__________________________________
Shannon Massingill, RPR, FPR
Stenographic Reporter
Registered Professional Reporter
Florida Professional Reporter