Saturday, July 7, 2007

Orme will accept death

July 7, 2007

By David Angier News Herald Writer 747-5077 /


Roderick Michael Orme told his victim’s family on Friday that he has to fight his death sentence or it would be “tantamount to suicide.”

“It’s only because of God and faith that I’ve tried to remain alive,” Orme said. “Not because my life is a joy, but because I have a family who loves me. But if it is God’s will that I eventually be put to death by the state, then so be it. On that day, I will accept that.”

Orme, 45, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to die in 1993 for the murder, rape and robbery of Lisa Redd, a Bay Medical Center nurse. Redd’s body was found on a Lee’s Motel room floor March 4, 1992. Investigators said Orme, Redd’s former boyfriend, lured her to the motel where he raped and strangled her because she had broken up with him.

In February 2005, the Florida Supreme Court overturned Orme’s sentence, but upheld his conviction, and returned him to Bay County for a new penalty trial. Justices decided that Orme’s original jury should have heard more about his bipolar disorder, which could have swayed the close vote.

After a two-week trial in May, jurors voted 11-1 to recommend the death sentence for Orme. It was more decisive than the 7-5 vote he received in 1993.

Circuit Judge Judy Pittman held the next phase of the death penalty process Friday so family members could tell her how they felt. The last phase, the sentencing, is scheduled for July 23.

Carol Atwell, Redd’s sister, said despite the 15 years of hardship she’s suffered in these proceedings, and the appeals she expects to come from this latest trial, she will continue to press for Orme’s death.

“I can honestly say that I hate him,” Atwell said. “I will fight to my last breath and make it my mission to see that he pays the ultimate penalty.”

Atwell said she hopes that when he takes his “last breath,” he remembers her sister.

Redd’s son, Jedidiah Redd, told Pittman that his mother was murdered when he was 13 and just beginning to appreciate her for the person she was.

Redd’s family spoke of her capacity for love and willingness to help others.

“All I have now is a memory,” Jedidiah Redd said, “and a gravesite. Only when justice is carried out will my mother truly rest in peace.”

Lisa Redd’s brother said his faith required that he forgive Orme.

“So I forgive you,” Larry Morris said.

Orme apologized to Redd’s family, saying “she was the most unselfish, loving person I’d ever known.”

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