Lawyers for a Tampa man have asked that the four murder charges he’s facing be prosecuted as four separate trials instead of in one set of proceedings.
Reasoning that the four charges arose from four separate episodes, the lawyers representing the 27-year-old man noted the possibility that facts and opinions distinct to one episode are likely to bleed over into jurors’ considerations regarding the other three incidents.
The defendant is facing four first-degree murder charges arising from a series of slayings allegedly conducted by the defendant over the course of several weeks in 2017. Generating headlines around the world, the rampage took place in October and November that year, ending upon his apprehension after leaving a firearm with his manager at a fast-food restaurant.
That act is the only unifying part among the four charges, argued defense attorneys, easily justifying separate trials for each charge.
The North Carolina native remains in the Hillsborough County Jail as he awaits trial on the four charges of first-degree murder. Prosecutors have stated previously that they will be seeking the death penalty in each of the four charges regardless of the number of trials it takes to try them.
The defendant is currently slated to go to trial in August, but few people involved in the case believe it will happen. In addition to the impact on jury trials by coronavirus concerns, less than half of the 200 witnesses have been questioned in the case.