Thursday, January 21, 2010

Prosecutors waive death penalty in West Melbourne killing


Prosecutors won’t pursue the death penalty for a man set to stand trial next week in connection with the July home invasion and shooting death of a West Melbourne man, court records show.

Attorneys are scheduled to begin picking jurors Monday in the case of Patrick Feeley, 28.

Feeley is one of four men charged in connection with the shooting death of 34-year-old Rusty Locke as part of a robbery related to a prescription drug ring.

A fifth man, Garrett Amble, was sentenced in October to nearly five years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree felony robbery under a plea deal that requires him to testify against his co-defendants.

Police said six people, including three children, were visiting Locke's Idlewylde Circle home about 9 p.m. July 24 when masked gunmen broke in, fatally shooting him and critically injured another man in the house.

Feeley faces up to life in prison if convicted of first-degree felony murder with a firearm, attempted murder, armed burglary and robbery with a firearm.