Florida Supreme Court upholds death penalty in Jacksonville murder

Randall Deviney was sentenced to death in the 2008 murder of Dolores Futrell

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the death penalty for Randall Deviney, a man convicted of killing his one-time babysitter, Dolores Futrell.
The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the death penalty for Randall Deviney, a man convicted of killing his one-time babysitter, Dolores Futrell. (Copyright 2021 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the death sentence of Randall Deviney, a Jacksonville man convicted of murdering his one-time babysitter.

Deviney was sentenced to death after he was convicted of first-degree murder in the August 2008, slaying of Dolores Futrell, who was found with her throat slashed inside her Westside home.

The sentence was overturned when an appeals court ruled that Deviney’s confession was coerced by the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. He was convicted and sentenced to death when he was tried again.

Though the conviction was upheld, it was based on an 8-4 jury recommendation. Because the Florida Supreme Court found death penalties must be unanimous, Deviney received a third sentencing.

A jury in 2017 returned a unanimous recommendation that Deviney be put to death.

The defense for Deviney appealed that ruling, saying he deserved a new trial because two jurors should have been excluded and that there were errors made in jury instructions, among other arguments.

In its ruling Thursday, the state Supreme Court rejected those arguments and upheld the death penalty.