Friday, May 2, 2008

Florida Supreme Court upholds death penalty for killers in Osceola, Polk



Susan Jacobson

Sentinel Staff Writer

May 2, 2008

The Florida Supreme Court moved two executions closer to reality Thursday when it upheld the sentences of killers in Osceola and Polk counties.

Jermaine "Bugsy" LeBron, 33, who was convicted of the Nov. 24, 1995, murder of Larry Neal Oliver Jr., 22, in a house near Kissimmee, had challenged his death sentence, but the court dismissed his claims.

Oliver of Belle Isle, known as Neal, was killed by a shotgun blast to the back of the head in a highly publicized case that involved strippers and Walt Disney World workers as accomplices and the theft of Oliver's customized red pickup.

Thomas Woodel, 38, also had challenged his death sentence. Woodel was convicted of stabbing to death his elderly neighbors, Bernice and Clifford Moody, Dec. 31, 1996, at Outdoor Resorts mobile-home park in the Polk County section of Four Corners.

Woodel, who confessed, was sentenced to life for Clifford Moody's killing. He received the death penalty for killing Bernice Moody, who was stabbed 56 times and beaten over the head with a ceramic toilet-tank lid, breaking her nasal bones.

Rebecca Oliver, Neal Oliver's mother, said she and her husband were ecstatic when they heard the news.

"Thank the Lord, no more trials," Rebecca Oliver said from her home in South Carolina, where she and her husband, Larry Neal Oliver Sr., moved several years ago.

Susan Jacobson can be reached at or 407-420-5411.

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