08 February 2020 :
Death sentence reinstated for man Thomas Ford McCoy. McCoy, 52, White, was previously convicted and sentenced to death in 2009 after he had pleded guilty to 1st-degree murder in the death of Curtis Brown. The jury in that sentencing recommended death by a vote of 11 to 1. Back in 2016, The Florida Supreme Court deemed it unconstitutional for a person to be sentenced to death if the jury was not unanimous. However, the court has since reversed that decision. That decision led Judge Kelvin Wells to reverse his previous decision on the death penalty. During a status conference on Thursday, Judge Kelvin Wells reviewed the recent Poole decision by the Florida Supreme Court (see 23/01/2020). He concluded that the defendant’s conviction by a jury in Tampa for aggravated assault on a law enforcement officers satisfied the Poole requirement of a unanimous finding of an aggravator. Based on that, Judge Wells reinstated McCoy’s death sentenced and that he would enter a written order to that effect. Because of the court’s ruling, it’s not necessary to have an additional hearing before a jury. Brown was a service technician employed by Coca-Cola and was lured by the defendant to Northwest Florida State College's DeFuniak Spring's campus for a service call. McCoy shot Brown 6 times. The evidence showed that McCoy had been previously employed by Coca-Cola and developed animosity towards his coworkers, including Ray Jackson. McCoy made service calls to try to lure Jackson to the college, however, Brown responded instead of Jackson. McCoy, according to the record, while disappointed that Jackson didn’t respond, said he, “reprogrammed” and made a decision he hated Brown, and decided to kill him.