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Supremes Consider New Trial In Double Murder

Nick Evans

The Florida Supreme Court took up arguments Thursday in a double murder case from 2004.  The Court is considering whether to grant a new trial.

The defense argues one of the state's witnesses at trial—the daughter of one of the victims—has confessed to the crime, and investigators have found her DNA in bloodstains at the crime scene.

Justice Barbara Pariente pushes the state's attorney to address the defense's point.

“Sixty times Baker Acted,” Pariente says, “Is—I’m sure that’s happened before—but that’s a seriously mentally challenged individual who has a mother who has expressed that she’s afraid of her, and now we have confessions that she did it.”

Attorney for the state, Jim Ricks argues back that connecting mental illness with a motive is a slippery slope, and the daughter’s confessions are unreliable.  The state says footprint and murder weapon evidence back up its case.