Friday, January 30, 2009

High court upholds death sentence for deputy's killer

LAKE COUNTY - The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday unanimously upheld the conviction and death sentence of Jason Wheeler, who ambushed three Lake County deputies nearly four years ago, killing one and wounding two others in Lake Kathryn. The state's high court rejected a series of arguments that attacked the evidence, law and a prosecutor's remarks to jurors who recommended the death penalty. Wheeler was convicted of first-degree murder in the Feb. 9, 2005, killing of Deputy Wayne Koester, who was shot in the face as he and two other deputies investigated the sexual battery of Wheeler's live-in girlfriend, Sarah Heckerman. The court found the evidence "clearly sufficient in every respect," making a special note of Wheeler's choice to "go out in a blaze of glory" rather than hide when he saw the lawmen. Now 33, Wheeler, paralyzed by a gunshot wound, remains in a wheelchair at Union Correctional Institution in Raiford.

(Source : OrlandoSentinel )

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