Jury recommends death penalty for Randall Deviney
First conviction, death sentence in murder of Delores Futrell overturned
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A jury came back with an 8 to 4 vote Thursday night recommending the death penalty for the man convicted of first-degree murder in the death of Delores Futrell.
Randall Deviney, 25, was convicted last week, after less than three hours of jury deliberations, in the 2008 death of his 65-year-old neighbor.
The state said Deviney, who was convicted of slitting Futrell's throat after attempting to rob her, deserves to pay the ultimate price. The responding officer found her in a "sexual position," and Deviney later told a psychologist that he placed her that way to make it look like someone else killed her.
Deviney's defense team doesn't deny he is responsible for Futrell's death, but was hoping to have the death penalty taken off the table when deciding Deviney's fate.
The defense claimed Deviney was raped by family members, abused and neglected. His own father, Michael Deviney, admitted to the jury Thursday that he had sex in front of Randall and his brother when they were growing up.
The trial began its sentencing phase Thursday, and it was an emotional day for Futrell's relatives, who told the jury what kind of person she was and how much she is missed.
They said Futrell (pictured) cherished her loved ones and went above and beyond to help others.
"She was my mother, my sister, my friend and my support," Futrell's daughter, Jacquelyn Blades said. "To not only me but my military family and to the neighborhood. But that's not sufficient. I have to tell you about her smile."
"It's been almost eight years since my sister's death, and I still can't bring myself to delete her name from my phone book," Debra Wright said. "I will hold on to the memory of our last warm hug and the last time we said, 'I love you.'"
Randall Deviney was described by his defense team as a troubled child. According to his attorneys, his parents were arrested before Randall was born for the death of their first child, Christopher.
"I haven't been the best father in the world, sir, I know that," Michael Deviney said. "It's hard to judge somebody if you don't know them. Don't judge me unless you walk in my shoes."
Attorneys said Randall was stabbed by his younger brother later in life and sexually abused by his mother. The state said the Department of Children and Families and the psychologist who treated Randall Deviney never found proof he was molested, but that same psychologist believes all of those things could have contributed to his state of mind in 2008.
His father and stepmother both said they think the jury should spare Randall Deviney's life. The state said Futrell's family doesn't have the option to have her life spared, and Deviney shouldn't either.
Deviney had been convicted and sentenced to die for killing Futrell, but that conviction was overturned last year when the Florida Supreme Court ruled that Deviney's confession was coerced by police.
A sentencing hearing will be held Aug 28, at which time both sides will present more evidence for the judge to consider.
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