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Leon Davis Jr. sentenced to death for killing two women at Lake Wales insurance agency

BARTOW — Leon Davis Jr. showed no reaction Friday as he was sentenced to die for the killings of two women at a Lake Wales insurance agency.

Circuit Judge J. Michael Hunter ordered that Davis, 33, receive society's ultimate punishment for fatally burning Yvonne Bustamante and her pregnant sister-in-law, Juanita "Jane" Luciano.

The judge ruled that Davis should receive life in prison for the death of Luciano's son, Michael Bustamante Jr., who was delivered prematurely the day of the attack and died a few days later.

Davis was convicted on charges of robbing the Headley Nationwide Insurance office in Lake Wales on Dec. 13, 2007, and setting Bustamante, 27, and Luciano, 23, on fire.

After three years of legal wrangling and two failed attempts at a trial, Davis was found guilty in February.

Hunter spent weeks crafting a 22-page sentencing order, which analyzes in painstaking detail the brutal killings and meticulously weighs the reasons Davis should live or die.

At times, Hunter's voice seemed to choke up with emotion as he discussed a few portions of his judgment. He said handling death penalty cases is "the most difficult task" for judges and juries to perform.

He described the killings of the women as "cold, calculated and premeditated" and "especially heinous, atrocious or cruel."

Those aggravating circumstances can provide the legal basis for imposing the death penalty.

Leon Davis Jr. sentenced to death for killing two women at Lake Wales insurance agency 04/29/11 [Last modified: Friday, April 29, 2011 11:32pm]
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