First degree murder convict could face re-sentencing

Family fears convict could walk free under new statutes

Department of Corrections photo of John Silva
Department of Corrections photo of John Silva

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man, convicted when he was 15 years old for first degree murder could be re-sentenced under a new statute.

In 2001, John Silva was sentenced to life in prison without parole for strangling 12-year-old Jerry Alley Jr.

Silva has been in jail with a life without parole sentence. His attorney has a status hearing on this case on Feb. 5 and that's what has the victims' family worried. They are worried Silva could possibly walk out of prison.

“He did an extremely personal type of killing, he hogtied my brother and strangled him to death,” said Marvin Alley, brother of the deceased.

Silva was sentenced to life in prison without parole for strangling and dumping Jerry Alley Jr's  body in a dry septic tank.

Silva showed no reaction to the sentence and was tired as an adult and convicted of first degree murder.

Prosecutors called the murder "grotesque and methodical" in opening arguments.

Evidence against him included a note found with Alley's body reading: Strip to underwear"

"Tie up Hands," "Gag" and "Cover Eyes."

Investigators said it was written by Silva who was a neighbor and schoolmate of Jerry Alley Jr in Interlachen.

Police say Silva admitted to killing Jerry Alley Jr.

In 2001 the assistant State Attorney Garry Wood said he thought Silva would kill again if he were ever freed from prison.

Alley's brother agrees.

“There’s no doubt he could do this again,” said Marvin Alley. “I’m actually concerned for my safety, that’s how much I worry about this.”

The Supreme Court in 2012 ruled, all juveniles who were sentenced as adults need to be re-sentenced under the new statute that makes it a minimum of 40 years to a maximum of life.

Silva could still get a life sentence, but he would need to be re-sentenced first. This could result in Silva facing the possibility of parole, something Marvin Alley said Silva doesn't deserve.

“I’ve always believed in capital punishment for a crime that devastating,” Marvin Alley said.

Silva is one of dozens of people in Florida tried as an adult who could be re-sentenced.

“If he gets out that's going to be a living nightmare,” Marvin Alley said. “If he or any of the other kids who committed these crimes gets out it's going to be even more of a nightmare.”








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