Florida Supreme Court throws out death sentence
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Supreme Court is throwing out the death sentence of a north Florida man convicted of fatally stabbing his father's girlfriend.
The court on Thursday ruled that Leo L. Kaczmar III is guilty of murdering Maria Ruiz in late 2008 and burning down a house in Green Cove Springs in an effort to conceal the crime.
But a majority of justices also ruled that Kaczmar should have been acquitted of attempted sexual battery. The ruling also states that it appears Kaczmar killed Ruiz because she rebuffed his advances and that the murder was not cold, calculated and premeditated.
That's why the court decided to order the trial court to hold a new sentencing hearing.
Two justices disagreed and said there was sufficient evidence that Kaczmar's death sentence was deserved.