Friday, November 23, 2007

Convicted murderer on death row is granted a new trial

Kristen Reed Sentinel Staff Writer
November 21, 2007

A convicted murderer who has spent more than two years on death row was granted a new trial by the Florida Supreme Court today.

Roy Lee McDuffie, was convicted of killing two Deltona Dollar General store clerks on Oct. 25, 2002, and sentenced to death after a lengthy trial.

The Florida Supreme Court ruled that the trial court made errors -- not allowing a friend to testify, restricting the defense's cross-examination of two eyewitnesses and allowing the jury to hear a threatening voicemail left by the defendant -- that could have affected the outcome of the case. However, the court still believes there is enough evidence to support a conviction so it did not order an acquittal.

The State Attorney's Office said it would prepare for another trial and expects the same outcome.

Defense attorneys for McDuffie, who always believed in his innocence, were pleased with the decision.

Store clerks Janice Schneider, 39, and Dawniell Beauregard, 27, were shot and stabbed inside a small office at the back of the dollar store. Beauregard's hands and feet were bound with duct tape and one piece of the tape bore a partial palm print that matched McDuffie.

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