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Pasco man gets life sentence after new hearing in 1988 murder

DADE CITY — A jury recommended life in prison Wednesday for a man who suffocated an elderly woman in her bed more than two decades ago. Prosecutors were seeking the death penalty, but after the jury's recommendation Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa immediately sentenced Gregory Keith Capehart to life.

Capehart, 43, was convicted in 1989 of breaking into 62-year-old Marlene Reaves' Dade City apartment and smothering her with her pillow. She had also been sexually assaulted.

Capehart won an appeal after his lawyer suffered a stroke and could not recall the details of the case and whether there were legal errors. Prosecutors agreed to retry the penalty phase only.

Capehart's new attorney, Danny Hernandez, told jurors this week that Capehart is borderline retarded and had a dark childhood with an alcoholic mother and violent father.

Pasco man gets life sentence after new hearing in 1988 murder 02/23/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 23, 2011 6:03pm]
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