Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man who murdered cab driver in Clearwater gets death sentence

LARGO — Pinellas-Pasco Judge Joseph A. Bulone did not reveal much emotion on Friday as he listed his reasons for giving Genghis Kocaker the death penalty.

But there was terror in his words.

Bulone said Kocaker killed cab driver Eric J. Stanton in a heinous way in a Clearwater parking lot in 2004. Kocaker stabbed Stanton in his cab, beat him, put him in the trunk and tied him up. He set the cab on fire. Stanton struggled in the trunk, kicked out the back seats, forced his way into the front, but suffocated before he could escape.

"Mr. Stanton was aware of his impending death," Bulone said.

A jury last year convicted Kocaker of murder and recommended by an 11-1 vote that Bulone sentence him to death.

Kocaker, now 46, also had been convicted of manslaughter in 1981 for shooting and killing another man, and also had been convicted of eight robberies.

He spent 13 years in prison and committed the murder two months after getting out. He was on probation at the time.

Bulone listed the "mitigating factors" — those that argue against the death penalty. Among them: mental health issues, past abuse, his loving family, his past drug issues, the fact that he may have been drinking alcohol, the fact that he may have brain damage and is HIV-positive.

But these did not outweigh the aggravating factors that made death an appropriate sentence, Bulone said.

At the time of his death, Stanton was planning to begin college and was thinking of starting a family, said his mother, Kyra Guiliano of New Port Richey.

"He was a computer whiz," she said.

Speaking a week before Christmas, she said there's a void at every holiday dinner.

"Time does not diminish the impact of that empty chair."

Man who murdered cab driver in Clearwater gets death sentence 12/18/09 [Last modified: Friday, December 18, 2009 11:06pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Storm routs Cleveland

    Storm

    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston

    Soccer

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. 13-year-old Janessa's father holds memorial service at Rogers Middle School

    Crime

    RIVERVIEW — About 100 people sat in the tile-floored multipurpose room Saturday at Rodgers Middle School where Janessa Shannon once sat as a student.

    A mourner embraces Nahshon Shannon after the memorial service for Nahshon’s daughter, Janessa, Saturday at Rodgers Middle School in Riverview.
  5. Trump: Aircraft carrier a symbol of America's might (w/video)

    Politics

    NORFOLK, Va. — With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed.

    President Donald Trump commissions the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.