Sunday, January 17, 2010

Death Penalty For Inmate Who Killed Prison Officer

Posted: 11:45 am EST January 15, 2010
Updated: 5:36 pm EST January 15, 2010

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VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. -- An inmate who killed a corrections officer at Tomoka State Prison was sentenced to death Friday.

Enoch Hall, 40, murdered Donna Fitzgerald in June 2008. A jury recommended Hall get the death penalty and, Friday, a judge agreed.

Hall's death sentence was handed down and he just stood there with his head hanging slightly. Earlier in the hearing, when his attorney asked him if he wanted to say anything to save himself, he just shook his head.

"I'm just so relieved. It's what everybody has wanted. It's the justice she deserves. It's shocking, it's almost surreal that it's actually happening," said Dana Shaure, the victim's sister.

Inside the courtroom, about two dozen corrections officers were sitting along with Fitzgerald's siblings and there were tears all around. Officers’ jaws were trembling as Fitzgerald's killer was sentenced to death.

The judge said the sentence was based in large part on the killing being cruel, cold and calculating.

Hall waited in a work shed that day in June 2008. Fitzgerald had to come find him and, when she did, he pulled out a sheet metal shank and stabbed her in the heart.
"The system had done all it could do for him in here. That was the next step," corrections officer Frederick Evins said.

Fitzgerald's family did not hold back in telling the judge what they thought Hall's sentence should be.

“Immediate death. Immediate. If it could be at noon time today, I’d be thrilled. I’d be ecstatic,” said Donald Shaure, the victim’s brother.

Hall's attorneys tried to save him by arguing he had taken some pills that day to get high and they affected him mentally. They also argued he had psychological problems and a low IQ.

The judge decided there wasn't strong enough evidence to support either idea and gave them no weight in deciding on the death penalty.

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