Friday, April 13, 2007

Justices let stand sentence of death


Justice Lewis, Florida Supreme Court

Justices let stand sentence of death

By KRISTEN KRIDEL
kristen.kridel@heraldtribune.com

CHARLOTTE COUNTY -- The Florida Supreme Court upheld the death sentence Thursday on a double murderer, but the ruling doesn't mean he definitely will be put to death.

James D. Ford still can pursue appeals in federal court.

Ford was sentenced to death in 1999 for brutally killing Greg and Kimberly Malnory, a local couple who were out with their toddler, in April 1997. The toddler was covered in her mother's blood.

Ford, who was convicted of two first-degree murders, the rape of the mother and of child abuse, claimed his life should be saved because his trial attorneys provided ineffective assistance, according to a Florida Supreme Court opinion.

But his argument lacked merit, the opinion states.

"It makes me terribly sad," said Paul Sullivan, one of Ford's former defense attorneys. "It makes me sad for Mr. Ford and his family. I'm sad for the families of the victims. I know they've been suffering for a long time.

"It was an awful case from every perspective."

Greg and Kimberly Malnory were found shot and bludgeoned to death at South Florida Sod Farm in a remote part of Charlotte County on April 7, 1997, according to court records. Their baby girl had been trapped inside their truck for more than 18 hours.

Ford, who worked with Greg Malnory at the farm, had made plans to go fishing with the young family a day earlier, the records state.

Ford shot Greg Malnory in the back of the head, then repeatedly beat him in his face and head with a blunt instrument, the court records state. Ford slit his throat nearly ear to ear.

Kimberly Malnory's body was found near the truck, Florida Supreme Court documents state. She had nine blunt-force injuries to her head, a gunshot through her mouth and defensive wounds on her arms. DNA tests revealed that Ford's semen was inside the woman and on her shirt.

"The single piece bathing suit that Kimberly Malnory was wearing under her shirt at the time of the killings had been sliced clean through the crotch as if with a sharp knife," an earlier Florida Supreme Court opinion states.

The Malnorys' baby, 22-month-old Maranda, had been strapped inside the vehicle with the doors open overnight, according to the documents. Mosquito bites covered most of her body.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to review Ford's first appeal in 2002.

In 2003, he filed a motion for post-conviction relief, saying his attorneys ignored objections he made.

He claimed they used voluntary intoxication as a defense, although he complained that it seemed like an admission of guilt. According to the opinion released Thursday, however, the defense was used to suggest Ford was too intoxicated to have planned out the murders.

Ford also said his attorneys coerced him into waiving his right to a speedy trial, which gave the prosecution time to build a stronger case against him, the opinion states. The Supreme Court determined that Ford's attorneys had to waive the right to provide effective assistance.

After all, "it was Ford himself who insisted on the DNA testing that necessitated continuances, arguing that it would exonerate him of the crimes," the opinion states.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Kimberly was one of my best friends and this man doesn't deserve to breathe the same air as Maranda Malnory. The justice system in this country does not carry out justice for the victims, it only serves to provide more 'rights' for the guilty. This man killed my friend and her husband and robbed that baby of ever knowing how wonderful they were. He doesn't deserve the cot he lies in, nor the food and shelter he's provided and especially NOT the money that's spent on a 'defense' for a double murderer..it makes me sick to know that he still has a beating hart. For those of you that feel sorry for him, read the story again and imagine that these three people and those Kim and Greg left behind were someone YOU loved...would you feel bad for him then?

maggie said...

I used to work with this man at a grove service. He was a laborer and i worked in the office he is a very strange individual. Then there is the still open case of Kelly and Kelsy Crum (Fords neice and great neice) in which Ford was the last one to see them alive neither one of their bodies have ever been found. I think he needs to be given truth serum and then put to death.

Brandy said...

Dear readers, My name is Brandy Lynne Ford. I am James Dennis Fords, (to some, Jimbo's) youngest daugter, I just turned 21 and even tho i do belive that my Father did do a horrific crime, i have been studying this case for 10 good years, and studying like a mad man for 5 years. i apolizie for my father, but before you judge, maybe you should read EVERY-THING! i belive he did thes acts, but there is alot more to the storie behind this act. for more information, you may contact me at brandyford21@gmail.com and again im sorry to the friends and family of Kimberly and Gregory Philip Malnory and my prayers are always with miranda to whoms family and world was taken away. my father, even tho may have done horrific acts is still a human being and still should be treated as such, so please before you start bad mouthing and acusing individurals remeber they have family and ones that still love them. just read all information before you acuse.

LM said...

Everything is already known. There is no evidence to redeem your Father's innocence in any way, shape or form. No one is accusing him. He's already been convicted!
For you I feel sorry..being the daughter of someone who is a convicted double murderer. Having to wear that burden. No one said you can't still love your Father.
But to try and make the loved ones, family, friends and child of two of the most loving, amazing people in the world. That Jimbo Ford should be treated with dignity, kindess and even remotely like a human is not only naive, is sick, twisted and shameful.

You could study for the next 20 years. What is the sense? What are you going to prove? Certainly not his innocence. Maybe that he was the most evil monster on April 7th 1997 and took the lives of someone's son, daughter? A husband and wife who left their child an orphan? At least your Father has gotten to watch you grow up. Did Greg get that chance?
Have you ever ,as a child connected to this. Sat and thought about their Daughter?
If you had..you wouldn't be here talking to the people who loved Kim and Greg so much, about how your father should be treated.