Under the new guidelines, judges would be allowed to consider shorter sentences and lower fines for drug-trafficking defendants who meet certain criteria. But the bill’s fate in the House is uncertain.
Circuit & County Court
Though David Snelgrove was finally sentenced to life in prison rather than death this week, his trial shows how the 20-year ordeal in court could have been avoided with the same result two decades ago, had capital punishment not been on the table.
Lawyers and the judge in the re-sentencing case of convicted murderer Cornelius Baker focused on a lengthy questionnaire about the death penalty the defense planned to submit to potential jurors. The judge ordered the questionnaire significantly shortened.
The seven-day re-trial over the penalty for the 2000 murders in Palm Coast’s B-Section was necessary because two previous verdicts were ruled unconstitutional. Today’s verdict means that years, maybe decades, of further proceedings will not be necessary.
Victor Williams was defiant to the end at his sentencing, while the victim’s 50-minute testimony described Williams as a “monster” who caused the victim’s life to spiral into depression, drugs, suicidal thoughts and self-loathing.
A jury tasked with deciding whether to recommend death for David Snelgrove saw a psychologist for the defense unable to convincingly show that Snelgrove is a simple-minded individual who could not weigh the severity of the double-murder of an elderly couple he committed in Palm Coast 20 years ago.
To reservations from the defense, the jury watched video and saw pictures of the crime scene following the murders of Glyn and Vivian Fowler in Palm Coast 20 years ago, part of a penalty phase–the third in 18 years–requiring the jury to decide whether to recommend death for Snelgrove or life in prison.
David Snelgrove’s double-murder of an elderly couple in palm Coast 20 years ago is not in dispute, but whether he should be put to death for it is. A jury will have to contend with the brutality of the murders as opposed to the mitigating factor of his mental disability.
David Snelgrove murdered Glyn and Vivian Fowler in Palm Coast in 2000, but is in yet another penalty phase of his trial this week because two previous recommendations for death were not unanimous.
Circuit Judge Terence Perkins sentenced Michael Cummings, 48, to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the brutal killing of his ex-wife Faith Cummings in their Point Pleasant home in Palm Coast two years ago.