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High court upholds 'pinkie-finger' killer sentences

TALLAHASSEE

court upholds 'Pinkie-finger' killer sentences

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Alvin Leroy Morton's two death sentences for Hudson's infamous 1992 "pinkie-finger murders." That was the year Morton, then 20, broke into a Hudson home with two friends and took part in the slaying of a 55-year-old man and his 75-year-old mother. Morton shot John Bowers in the neck as he begged the men to spare his life. Then Morton helped stab and kill Bowers' mother, Madeline Weisser. The men severed Bowers' right pinkie finger and showed it around as a trophy. Morton, now 36, once had his sentences overturned, but a new jury recommended death in 1999. To be sure, the court said it has rejected similar appeals in past cases. But the justices acknowledged that Morton's defense team only raised issues such as ineffective assistance of counsel and Morton's mental health to preserve an appeal to a federal court.

DADE CITY

Motorcyclist hurt badly in crash

A Dade City man suffered critical injuries when he lost control of his motorcycle Thursday morning, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Robert Cole, 57, was traveling north on County Road 577 when his 2000 Harley left the roadway and started spinning out of control along the shoulder. He eventually hit a wire fence, the FHP said. Cole was transported to St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa. Charges have not been filed.

LUTZ

Infant rescued from bathtub

An 8-month-old was rushed to University Community Hospital in Tampa after a near-drowning in a bathtub, according to Pasco County Fire Rescue. The agency did not have information on the baby's gender or the extent of the child's injuries. The accident occurred in a home on Laurel Ridge Drive.

Pasco deaths

Ingram, Delania M.

Knighton, Lorraine Tozie

Whritenour, Delmar J.

This list is from detailed obituaries published in Section B.

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High court upholds 'pinkie-finger' killer sentences 08/28/08 [Last modified: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 2:29pm]
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