Friday, February 15, 2008

Murderer loses court bid to get off death row


Ludmilla Lelis

Sentinel Staff Writer

February 15, 2008

The mastermind behind one of Central Florida's most bizarre and sensational murder plots has lost a bid to get off death row.

On Thursday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned the ruling of an Orlando federal judge who offered Konstantinos "Kosta" Fotopoulos a chance to be resentenced for the 1989 scheme to kill his wife.

Fotopoulos, former owner of a Daytona Beach pool hall, whose plot left two teenagers dead, has few remaining avenues to get his death sentence overturned, said State Attorney John Tanner, who prosecuted the original trial.

"Bottom line: He's still on death row and this eliminates one more legal hurdle to his execution," Tanner said. "We're certainly pleased with the federal decision."

James L. Driscoll Jr., Fotopoulos' attorney, said he was disappointed and that he may ask the appeals court to rehear the case or petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review it.

"We'll consider all our options," said Driscoll, of Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, the state-funded office that handles death-penalty appeals.

In 1989, Fotopoulos orchestrated an elaborate plan to kill his then-wife, Lisa, for $700,000 in life insurance, according to court evidence.

First, he videotaped his former lover, Deidre Hunt, as she tied 19-year-old Kevin Ramsey to a tree and shot him to death. That tape became his leverage to convince Hunt to hire 18-year-old Bryan Chase to kill Lisa Fotopoulos during a staged burglary at her home. Chase shot the wife in the head as she lay in bed. Kosta Fotopoulos then shot and killed Chase.

The wife, who has since remarried, survived but still has a bullet in her head.

Last year, U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell ruled in Orlando that the death sentence against Kosta Fotopoulos was unfair because prosecutors had presented two starkly different versions of Hunt's role in the plot.

The appeals court ruled that presenting the different theories at Fotopoulos' trial could have detracted from Fotopoulos' defense. The judges determined that the former defense attorney had made a strategic decision, rather than performed incompetently, when he did not dwell on the different theories. The Florida Supreme Court had come to the same conclusion in its opinion on the case.




Ludmilla Lelis can be reached at llelis@orlandosentinel.com or 386-253-0964.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Wow, hard to believe that was 22 years ago. Doesn't seem like it.

Anonymous said...

Hope that lowlife sociopath rots in hell.

POLITICS AND FREE THINKING said...

let him come back to greece, he capital punishment is a barbaric act. fuck your filthy christian neoncon morality and let him come back to greece

Ioanna said...

2 teenagers and intentional murder on Lisa, really?? I'm appalled to call him 'Greek.' He is a monster and deserves to be Fried. Lisa may peace upon you and your family.

Anonymous said...

How come he hasn't been executed yet. After 22 years on death row

Anonymous said...

That piece of trash should be executed already. The average stay of execution is 12 years. This prick has 22 years wasting tax money and time in courts. Diedre should have been executed too.

Anonymous said...

In reality the average stay on death row is much longer than 12 years, in many states you are more likely to die of natural causes on death row. Diedre Hunt is no longer on death row, she is now serving a life sentence which was changed on appeal. Kosta (on death row for nearly 20 years) has exhausted all of his appeals, so he could have an execution date scheduled at anytime. The Governor of FL, Rick Scott, is a republican willing to uphold the death penalty (as he did by scheduling the execution of Oba Chandler), but he is a Catholic thus having a personal moral opposition to the death penalty, so it isnt a priority with him. FL isnt going to start executing at the rate of TX OK, or OH. The reality of the death penalty is that it's a long process that delay's any sort of closure for the victim's families. There are too many factors involved thus making the process a mess. It's a very superficial punishment and quite full of illusion to those who are not educated on it. I hope victim's families find peace and satisfaction with the judgement that someone deserves death and not the actual execution of the sentence, because that's how it really is.

Anonymous said...

I read the book about this case 8 years or so ago. Just now viewed on the bio channel I can't believe this man is still on death row. What is wrong with the appealiate courts anyways? When you have someone like this piece of garbage who is absolutly 100% guilty he and people like him should be executed within a year.

Anonymous said...

us courts are out of touch. familys need to see garbage like this taken out, .get it together judges.spend makes money on united states poor.food and housing not three hots and a cot for killers.this makes me sick...

Anonymous said...

Why on earth is this maggot still polluting the planet. It's almost 24 years since this sociopath embarked upon a killing spree with his mistress. Had the authorities not perceived them as the most likely perpetrators of the scheme to eliminate Mrs Fotopoulos who knows when, if ever, they would have been apprehended and how many more would have turned up dead. Come on governor Rick "albino earthworm" Scott, put this piece of shit through the meat grinder and have done with him.

Anonymous said...

Yes the time has come this pathetic piece of trash needs to be disposed of

Anonymous said...

american justice? injustice?.pleased am not an american,at least for the time being

Sunshine said...

It's really, really sad those two lost boy's lost their lives. American Justice is one of the most watched programs on TV and I think it brings the moment of the trial into our living rooms so that the people can watch and see for themselves that there are real cruel human beings in this world! I know in my heart that God will take care of the families of the victims, but I also know that the murder's will pay with there life for eternity! My heart hurts to see and hear so much violence, it's been going on sence the beginning of time. I pray that God will see what has to be done!!! My God bless America, the whole wide world...