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Jury finds Joseph Zieler guilty in 1990 double murder

Joseph Zieler
Posted at 8:50 PM, May 18, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-19 20:27:32-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — A jury has found Joseph Zieler guilty in the 1990 murders of Robin Cornell and Lisa Story.

Zieler was found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder.

The decision comes on day three of Zieler's trial. The jury deliberated for around three hours before reaching a verdict.

On May 10, 1990, Jan Cornell, Robin's mother, found her 11-year-old daughter and roommate Story dead in their Cape Coral home.

Robin Cornell and Lisa Story
Lisa Story and Robin Cornell

Investigation found that both girls had been suffocated and sexually assaulted, and that some items had been stolen from the home.

The case went cold for 26 years. A break finally came in 2016 when Zieler was arrested on unrelated charges.

The trial will now go into the penalty phase on May 23, where prosecutors will argue for the death penalty.

If he is not sentenced to death, Zieler faces a minimum of 25 years in prison.