Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Death penalty for man sentenced in Clearwater murder

LARGO — Maurice Mack came to court in a T-shirt bearing pictures of her slain sister and the three young daughters she left behind. Mack needed only a few words to deliver her message to the judge: "Please, whatever you do, don't let him back out."

On Friday, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Richard Luce sentenced John Lee Hampton to death for murdering Lashonda McKinnes, 25, in Clearwater in 2007.

Hampton "has forfeited his right to live," Luce said.

Hampton was taken in for questioning after McKinnes was killed and gave several different accounts to explain the incriminating evidence, including blood on his clothing. He ultimately said he accidentally killed McKinnes because she came after him while he riffled through her possessions. He raped her and slit her throat, and then tried to wash his DNA off her body with cleaning chemicals and lighter fluid.

He was convicted in June. Since then, prosecutors and defense attorneys have argued in court papers about whether Hampton deserves the penalty.

Luce found some mitigating factors that argue against the death penalty, including the fact that Hampton suffers from mental health problems.

But Luce added, "The aggravating factors in this case are horrendous. The defendant was on probation for failing to register as a sex offender in Georgia when he murdered (Lashonda) McKinnes." And also, he "committed the murder during the course of burglary, robbery, sexual battery."

For those and other reasons, "these factors greatly outweigh the comparatively insignificant mitigating factors," Luce said.

Luce said he also was giving great weight to the jury's 9-3 vote in favor of giving Hampton the death penalty.

Hampton, 35, wearing blue jail scrubs over a gray sweat shirt, showed no reaction to his death sentence.

Mack did. She shed some tears and got hugs from other relatives. She spoke later of the three nieces she is raising, and how they often want to wear their "Mommy shirts" — just like the one Mack wore to the courtroom.

For her part, she wishes Hampton had gotten a life sentence without the possibility of parole. She said he deserves to think about what he did for a long, long time.

Curtis Krueger can be contacted at krueger@sptimes.com.

Death penalty for man sentenced in Clearwater murder 02/19/10 [Last modified: Friday, February 19, 2010 10:11pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up

    Blogs

    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards

    Business

    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

]

  3. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say

    Crime

    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.