JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Lesly Jean-Philippe, who was unanimously sentenced to death for the brutal 2009 murder of his wife, was re-sentenced Thursday to life in prison at the behest of his victim's family.
In exchange for dropping the death penalty against him, Jean-Philippe, 31, gave up any right to future appeals for parole.
Judge Adrian Soud said the life without parole sentence brings closure to the family of Jean-Philippe's wife, Elkie.
Jean-Philippe was convicted of going to the Southside Jacksonville home of Elkie's sister in 2009, posing as a pizza deliveryman, and stabbing Elkie to death. He was convicted in 2011 of murder and a jury voted 12-0 to recommend the death penalty.
The direct appeal was denied, but defense lawyers filed a motion to throw out the conviction and sentence, saying Jean-Philippe had ineffective counsel at trial. A new defense motion asked for Jean-Philippe to be re-sentenced to life in prison in exchange for an agreement that he would file no further appeals.
Prosecutor Jeffrey Moody told the court the family supported the change and wanted closure.
“They want this to be over,” Moody said.
In re-sentencing Jean-Philippe, Soud reminded him that he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
“You have no hope of parole,” Soud said.