Jurors recommend the death penalty for John Sexton in Pasco

Jurors recommend the death penalty for John Sexton in Pasco

Posted: Updated:
John Sexton Junior shows no emotion after hearing the jury recommend the death penalty for the murder of a Pasco County woman. John Sexton Junior shows no emotion after hearing the jury recommend the death penalty for the murder of a Pasco County woman.
NEW PORT RICHEY, FL (WFLA) -

By a ten to two vote, a Pasco County jury has recommended the death penalty for john sexton junior.

Sexton showed no emotion when he heard the recommendation for death.  Last month, the same jury convicted Sexton of the brutal murder of Ann Parlato of Port Richey in 2010.

Sexton's attorney, Byron Hileman, tried to convince the jury that his client suffers from mental illness from being abused as a child and the abuse of alcohol.

"Obviously we're disappointed but we did the best we could and the system worked the way it's suppose to work. That's our job to try to make it work properly and we did our job as best we could."

Jeri Barr is Ann Parlato's niece. She said the jury made the right decision.

"They actually performed justice in my aunt's name. They weighed presentation by both the defense and the prosecution and they sorted out the truth and I was very pleased today. It's finally coming to an end."

Dori Cifelli helped to take care of Parlato. She says she is relieved with the jury's decision.

"We get justice. Ann's got justice. And now we can kind of like finally start healing because it's been two and a half years where we haven't had a rest."

John Sexton will be back in court on August 2nd for a pre-sentencing investigation hearing.

Monday, Sexton showed no emotion last month when a jury found him guilty of the brutal murder of 94 year old Ann Parlato of Port Richey in 2010.

But Tuesday, Sexton did react when he read a letter to Judge Mary Handsel, asking for a new lawyer.

"I don't think I'm getting adequate defense in this matter and I would like to move that my counsel be dismissed and me to be reassigned to someone that can actually defend me from the death penalty."

Sexton went on to tell the judge that his attorney has no credibility with the jury, that his defense team failed to get a continuance and that some of his witnesses are not available.

Judge Handsel responded, telling Sexton that "at this point the request to dismiss court appointed counsel will be denied."

The jury was then brought in and the sentencing hearing began. Sexton watched as his defense team explained why the death penalty should not be given.

Defense attorney, Byron Hileman told the jury, "we will present evidence that Mr. Sexton has possibly his entire life suffered from serious mental illness. Bi-polar disorder."

Hileman called criminal defense investigator Carol Springer to the stand to read a letter she received from Sexton's sister.

"He would go into fades of life to block out what was going on around him. He would also tell others of a life that didn't really exist."

Assistant state attorney Mike Halkitis asked a corrections deputy that works at the jail about Sexton's behavior.

"Did you ever find that there was any problems with his train of thought? No. Any problems with memory? No."

 

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Squatters moving out of New Port Richey soldier's home

    Thursday, April 24 2014 6:50 AM EDT2014-04-24 10:50:51 GMT
    Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.Squatters begin moving out of Spc. Michael Sharkey's home on Wednesday night.
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out. 
    Our 8 On Your Side story about a New Port Richey soldier who says his home has been taken over by squatters is striking a nerve in the community and now, the squatters are moving out.  
  • Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Pricey processing issue at Tampa hair academy resolved

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 9:35 AM EDT2014-04-23 13:35:13 GMT
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
    Loretta Maloy says she always expected to pay for the courses she took those several weeks, but thought $10,000 in loans just wasn’t right.
  • New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    New Port Richey soldier says squatters won't leave his home

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 8:58 AM EDT2014-04-23 12:58:50 GMT
    Soldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photoSoldier & homeowner Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago. Facebook photo
     When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
    When soldier Michael Sharkey was deployed to Afghanistan two years ago, he asked a friend to watch over his New Port Richey house. Now, they're fighting to get their house back.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Brewton Woman On Life Support Following Swimming Accident

    Brewton Woman On Life Support Following Swimming Accident

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 6:53 PM EDT2014-04-23 22:53:43 GMT
    Stephanie Smith is in a coma at a local hospital following a swimming accident in Orange Beach Easter Weekend.
    Stephanie Smith is in a coma at a local hospital following a swimming accident in Orange Beach Easter Weekend.
  • Navy Investigates Ex-Blue Angel Commander

    Navy Investigates Ex-Blue Angel Commander

    Thursday, April 24 2014 10:52 AM EDT2014-04-24 14:52:44 GMT
    Capt. McWherter (left) signs autographs for Blue Angel fans.Capt. McWherter (left) signs autographs for Blue Angel fans.
    News 5 has learned of shocking allegations concerning the Navy's elite flying team, The Blue Angels, and its former commander, Captain Gregory McWherter.
    News 5 has learned of shocking allegations concerning the Navy's elite flying team, The Blue Angels, and its former commander, Captain Gregory McWherter.
  • More Teens are Smoking Spice

    More Teens are Smoking Spice

    Wednesday, April 23 2014 11:14 PM EDT2014-04-24 03:14:18 GMT
    We take a closer look at how and who synthetic marijuana affects. News 5's Tiffany McCall sat down with a teenager who shares his encounter with the drug and what health officials are facing.

    We take a closer look at how and who synthetic marijuana affects. News 5's Tiffany McCall sat down with a teenager who shares his encounter with the drug and what health officials are facing.

Powered by WorldNow

555 Broadcast Dr,
Mobile AL 36606

Telephone: 251.479.5555
Fax: 251.473.8130
Email: news5@wkrg.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.