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Convicted killer dodges death

 
Published May 8, 1998|Updated Sept. 13, 2005

Deidre Hunt, convicted in the murders of two young men in Daytona Beach in 1989, has avoided the electric chair but will spend the rest of her life in prison.

The 29-year-old former barmaid was sentenced Thursday to two consecutive life terms for the slayings of Kevin Ramsey, 18, whose death was videotaped, and of Bryan Chase, 19, who was gunned down by her lover, Kosta Fotopoulos.

Prosecutors had painted the plot as a scheme to murder Fotopoulos' wife, Lisa.

"This is a sentence that requires you die in prison," said Circuit Judge Edwin P.B. Sanders.

In addition to the two consecutive life terms with no chance for parole for 50 years, Sanders also imposed six other life sentences for Hunt's convictions of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder and armed burglary.

Hunt was convicted last month, but instead of placing her fate in the hands of the jury that convicted her, she asked Sanders to determine her punishment.

Carey Haughwout, Hunt's attorney, said her client was relieved about the sentence but is planning to appeal.

During the trial in April, the jury watched a 57-second videotape in which Hunt pumped three bullets into Ramsey's chest as he was tied to a tree. She then walked up to him, pulled his head back and shot him in the head.

Chase was gunned down by Fotopoulos after Chase fired a bullet into Lisa Fotopoulos' head.

She survived the attack but still carries the bullet in her head. Fotopoulos claimed he had shot an intruder, but the story soon fell apart. He is on death row for the 1989 murders.

Hunt pleaded guilty to the crimes in 1990 but was granted a new trial when it was learned that her defense attorney was paid $5,000 by the television show, A Current Affair, for her story.

In sentencing Hunt, Sanders determined that her abusive childhood, her age at the time of the crime, her mentally ill mother, her rape as a child, her remorse and her cooperation with law enforcement after the crime were reasons to spare her life.