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Retrial of St. Petersburg man leads to life sentences again

For the second time, James D. Gilley of St. Petersburg has been convicted of murder and three counts of attempted murder. And for the second time, Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Richard Luce has sentenced him to two consecutive life sentences.

Gilley, now 31, was convicted in 2006 of a crime that shocked St. Petersburg: Cynthia Bethune, 41, was shot and killed in crossfire among drug dealers in 2003. She had been on her way to a store to buy a loaf of bread.

But the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled in 2008 that Luce had erred in the original trial by allowing "a large amount of evidence relating to crimes committed by codefendants who were tried separately."

Gilley's second trial concluded Friday. Because he was convicted of first-degree murder, one of his sentences is for life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Retrial of St. Petersburg man leads to life sentences again 07/02/10 [Last modified: Friday, July 2, 2010 11:17pm]
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