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Jury recommends death for killer of Clearwater couple

LARGO — A jury has recommended the death penalty for Richard T. Robards, convicted last week of murdering a Clearwater couple, Frank and Linda Deluca, in 2006.

The jury on Tuesday voted 7-5 in favor of the death penalty. Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Joseph A. Bulone will take the jury's recommendation into account when he issues an official sentence later. Bulone can sentence Robards to death, or to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A hearing has been set for July 13 for defense attorneys to present more evidence of "mitigating factors" designed to show the death penalty is not the right sentence for Robards.

Robards, 42, is a former bodybuilder who worked as a personal trainer for the Delucas. Robards killed them because he wanted to steal their safe, which contained $80,000. But he never got the safe opened.

Jury recommends death for killer of Clearwater couple 05/25/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 5:46pm]
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