Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cash Feenz ringleader pleads lack of attorneys, fights death penalty fate

Originally published — 7:59 a.m., April 17, 2007
Updated — 11:05 a.m., April 17, 2007

A Lee County judge said this morning that the indictment of nine people, many of whom were teenagers, in the Cape Coral Cash Feenz case was so unusual that it depleted local resources for qualified and available attorneys.

Defense attorney David Brener wants the death penalty pulled off the table in the murder case against his client, Kemar Johnston, because weeks passed after his Nov. 2 arrest before he was appointed a lawyer. Judge Thomas Reese did not immediately rule on Brener's motion but he agreed that, with so many defendants in the Cash Feenz case, the area's stable of eligible attorneys was quickly exhausted.

Johnston, 20, is accused of being the ringleader in the October 2006 attacks on Alexis and Jeffrey Sosa. The teens were reportedly beaten and tortured in his home, and ultimately killed the night of his birthday party.

He is charged with two counts each of first-degree murder, kidnapping and aggravated battery.

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