St. Johns County jury recommends death for FSU student's killer

2nd co-defendant already given death penalty; 3rd defendant pleads guilty

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Quentin Truehill

ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. - After a St. Johns County jury voted 12-0 to give a man convicted of killing an Florida State University student a death sentence, another defendant awaiting trial on similar charges of kidnapping and murder changed his plea to guilty.

Kentrell Johnson was found guilty last week of first-degree murder, one count of first-degree felony murder and one count of kidnapping in the death of 29-year-old Vincent Binder (pictured below).

On Thursday, the same jury returned for a sentencing hearing and voted unanimously to recommend that Johnson be put to death for his crimes. Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano will formally sentence Johnson at a later date.

A second man, Quentin Truehill (pictured), had previously found guilty of first-degree murder and kidnapping and sentenced to death.

A third co-defendant, Peter Hughes, changed his plea to guilty Thursday and was sentenced to life in prison by Judge Hughes.

Prosecutors said Truehill, Hughes and Johnson were jail escapees from Louisiana who went on a crime spree.

Binder was abducted in Tallahassee and stabbed to death, and his body was dumped along State Road 16 in St. Augustine.

Binder was reported missing on April 8, 2010, by his friends, prompting an investigation into his disappearance. The Tallahassee Police Department said evidence on Binder's phone and financial information led investigators the three fugitives.

Truehill, Hughes and Johnson were apprehended by U.S. Marshals in April 2010.

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