Trading a guilty plea for a life sentence, a Brandon man pled guilty to the murder of three people only days before trial was scheduled to begin to determine his guilt or innocence.
Prosecutors say the 29-year-old man killed three people in a four-year stretch, beginning in 2009 with the shooting death of another 29-year-old man from Brandon. Per the state, the defendant lured the man he considered a friend to a remote location before shooting him twice in the head and dumping his body. The defendant was initially a suspect in the case, but a dearth of evidence made filing charges impossible.
The second and third slayings came almost exactly eleven months later according to investigators. One 25-year-old female victim was reported missing to police, but the case quickly transitioned into a homicide investigation after her remains were discovered alongside the body of her 23-year-old friend in a burned-out townhouse. According to investigators, both bodies showed signs of several stab wounds as well as fractures to facial bones.
The defendant was again the prime suspect, as investigators say he was seen with the victims shortly before their demise. He turned himself in to settle an unrelated warrant a few months later prior to ultimately being charged with the trio of murders.
A five-year delay ensued, due in part to constitutional challenges to the Florida death penalty process as well as questions regarding the defendant’s competency to stand trial. With the former settled by the Florida courts and legislature and the latter addressed via psychiatric medication, the trial process resumed.
On Friday the defendant pled guilty to all three killings, making the long-awaited trial on the merits unnecessary. He is likely to spend the rest of his days in prison, unable to appeal the convictions he’s received.
The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.