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Johnathan Ishmael Alcegaire - Florida Death Row
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Thread: Johnathan Ishmael Alcegaire - Florida Death Row

  1. #1
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Johnathan Ishmael Alcegaire - Florida Death Row


    David Washington and Eneida "Stacey" Branch


    Andrew Joseph and Jonathan Alcegaire


    2 Miami men arrested in 3 shooting deaths in Polk

    Lakeland, Florida -- Two men are under arrest in connection with what the Polk County Sheriff's Office is calling the organized execution of three people and the wounding of a fourth in Lakeland.

    Polk detectives worked with Miami-Dade police and the Miami Police Department to make the arrests in the Jan. 6 case.

    Polk detectives say three men with Caribbean accents drove from Miami in a white van to conduct the hit in the 2300 block of East Magnolia Drive and then drove back to South Florida.

    Police found 24-year-old David Washington, 31-year-old Eneida Branch, and 23-year-old Angelica Guadalupe Castro shot dead inside the home. Eighteen-year-old Felix Campos was shot in the face and was hospitalized.

    Video from a nearby business has captured the images of a white commercial van which was seen at the home and in the general area at the time of the shooting. The van is described as a newer model Ford Transit Connect. Detectives believe, based on their investigation, that the van depicted in this video may be the vehicle used by suspects leaving the area.

    Under arrest are:

    -- Andrew Joseph, 35, of 498 NW 165th St. Road, Miami. He is charged with First Degree Murder (three counts), Attempted First Degree Murder, Accessory After the Fact of Capital Felony, Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery, Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder, Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon, and Tampering in Felony Life Capital Proceeding. He was arrested Jan. 11 and will be transported to the Polk County Jail.

    -- Jonathan Alcegaire, 26, of 220 NE 44th St., Miami. Alcegaire is charged with First Degree Murder (3 counts), Attempted First Degree Murder, Armed Burglary with Battery, Possession of Ammunition by a Convicted Felon, Tampering with Physical Evidence, Conspiracy to Commit Armed Robbery, and Conspiracy to Commit First Degree Murder. He was arrested Jan. 12 and will be transported to Polk County Jail.

    Detectives learned Joseph orchestrated a robbery and the subsequent execution-style homicide at 2314 East Magnolia Drive in unincorporated Lakeland on Jan. 6,. Alcegaire was identified as one of men who entered the residence and shot the victims.

    Detectives are searching for additional suspects.

    About 6:45 a.m. Jan. 06, the sheriff's fofice received a call advising there had been a shooting at 2314 East Magnolia Drive, Unit #2, Lakeland.

    Deputies responded initially and located three dead people: one Hispanic female, one white female, and one black male. Felix Campos, 18, was wounded and taken to a hospital. The deceased were identified as David Washington, 24; Eneida Branch, 31, Washington's girlfriend; and Angelica Guadalupe Castro, 23.

    During a search of the residence, detectives located illegal narcotics, drug paraphernalia, and two firearms. Detectives also learned Washington had made several trips to the Miami area to purchase drugs, and his most recent trip was the day before the shooting.

    They also learned three black men with Caribbean accents had arrived at the residence prior to the shooting. Campos, the only survivor, was sleeping in a bedroom when he heard Washington talking with the three suspects. An altercation occurred between Washington and one of the suspects. One of the suspects entered the bedroom and shot Campos in the face. Campos told detectives he pretended to be dead and then heard multiple gunshots.

    Detectives learned a white, work-style van had been seen at the residence prior to the shooting and then was seen leaving. Detectives obtained a video from a business which captured the images of a white commercial van seen in the general area at the time. The van was described as a newer model Ford Transit Connect.

    Detectives received information about a vehicle matching the description of the suspect vehicle traveling westbound on Memorial Boulevard near Lakeland Hills Boulevard seen the morning of the shooting. Detectives confirmed the vehicle was a rented U-Haulvan from Dade County and contacted detectives with the Miami-Dade Police Department for assistance.

    Miami-Dade Police Department detectives learned the van had been rented by Joseph. The van was located and impounded by MDPD, and MDPD detectives began searching for Joseph. Polk County Sheriff's Office Homicide detectives traveled to the Miami area to continue their investigation.

    Detectives learned Joseph rented the van at approximately 6:43 p.m. Jan. 5 and returned the van at approximately 12:27 p.m. Jan. 6. In addition the van had incurred 551 miles - mileage that is consistent with the distance from the rental location to Polk County and back.

    Throughout the investigation, detectives uncovered more information about David Washington's involvement with drug trafficking in the Miami area that included consistent contact with both Joseph and Alcegaire.

    Detectives learned three suspects, to include Alcegaire, had made several trips to the Polk County area in the days preceding the shooting.

    Subsequently, with the assistance of the MDPD, PCSO detectives located Joseph at his residence and he was taken into custody. Detectives learned Alcegaire was Joseph's brother and had been staying at the residence.

    A search warrant for Joseph's residence was executed on January 11, 2016, and detectives located several documents listing Joseph's activities. Detectives also found a Uniform Traffic Citation issued in Broward County on December 28, 2015, to 26-year-old Johnathan Alcegaire.

    Alcegaire was located at 220 NE 4th Street, Miami, and arrested. Judd said when law enforcement arrived at his home, Alcegaire was in the process of cutting off his dreadlocks in an apparent attempt to change his appearance and avoid arrest. Alcegaire admitted to detectives he had been in Polk County.

    Detectives continue to investigate and are asking for the public's help.

    http://www.wtsp.com/story/news/2016/...unty/78803918/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  2. #2
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Warrant Issued for Third Suspect in Lakeland Triple Murder

    By Associated Press

    LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- The Polk County Sheriff's Office says it has positively identified an arrest warrant for a third suspect in a Lakeland triple homicide.

    The Sheriff's Office says in a news release that 25-year-old Jamaal John Smith, whose last known residence was in Miami, is being sought in the Jan. 6 deaths of 24-year-old David Washington, 31-year-old Eneida Branch and 23-year-old Angelica Guadalupe Castro.

    Smith is being charged with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder and one count of armed burglary.

    Deputies arrested 35-year-old Andrew Joseph and 26-year-old Jonathan Alcegaire in connection with the shootings earlier in the month.

    Authorities found the victims shot to death at a Lakeland home. Eighteen-year-old Felix Campos was shot in the face, but survived. Sheriff Grady Judd says the victims were in the drug trade.

    http://www.wctv.tv/home/headlines/Po...366312211.html
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  3. #3
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Third suspect in Polk triple murder arrested in Miami area

    By TBO.com Staff

    U.S. marshals on Thursday night arrested a man wanted in connection with a triple homicide in Polk County, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said in a release.

    Jamaal Smith, 25, the third suspect in the Jan. 6, 2016, homicides that occurred on East Magnolia Street in Lakeland, was arrested in North Miami.

    Smith had been sought in the deaths of David Washington, 24, Eneida Branch, 31, and Angelica Guadalupe Castro, 23. He is being charged with three counts of first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, armed robbery, armed burglary with a battery, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and tampering with physical evidence in a capital proceeding.

    According to the U.S. Marshals’office, at approximately 11 p.m. Thursday night, authorities located Smith at an apartment building located at 13155 N.E. 6th Ave. in North Miami.

    Smith was arrested along with North Miami residents Tobias Mack, 24, who had an outstanding narcotics warrant and was taken into custody without incident; and Dorothy Collier, 23, whom police was Smith’s girlfriend.

    Collier was charged with accessory after the fact to first degree murder.

    On Jan. 6, surveillance cameras captured images of a U-Haul rental truck fleeing the scene on East Magnolia Street in Lakeland. With the help of Miami-Dade police, deputies were able to identify the man who rented the truck as Andrew Joseph, 35. They also were able to identify Jonathan Alcegaire, 26, as a suspect.

    Joseph has been charged with three counts of first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, accessory after the fact of capital felony, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, possession of firearm by convicted felon, and tampering in felony life capital proceeding.

    Alcegaire has been charged with three counts of first degree murder, attempted first degree murder, armed burglary with battery, possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, tampering with physical evidence, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and conspiracy to commit first degree murder.

    http://www.tbo.com/news/crime/third-suspect-in-polk-triple-murder-arrested-in-miami-area-20160212/
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  4. #4
    Senior Member CnCP Legend CharlesMartel's Avatar
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    Survivor reluctantly testifies to Lakeland triple-murder

    By Suzie Schottelkotte
    The Ledger

    Miami man standing trial on nine felonies, including three counts of first-degree murder, in 2016 drug slaying.

    BARTOW — The lone survivor of a 2016 drug-related attack in Lakeland that left three others dead testified Monday against one man accused of committing the crime, but he made it clear he didn’t want to be there.

    Under questioning by Assistant State Attorney Hope Pattey, 21-year-old Felix Campos said he remembered little about Jan. 6, 2016, when three men gunned down his friends and shot him in the face. He remembered even less about the weeks leading up to the shootings, based on his testimony.

    Campos sat sideways in the witness chair, frequently rubbing his hand across his face and often mumbling his brief answers, as Pattey reminded him of his previous testimony to law enforcement and the grand jury.

    When asked directly, Campos stated that he didn’t want to be there.

    He told Circuit Judge Jalal Harb he was scared to testify, but didn’t specify why he was scared.

    Harb told Campos that he was under subpoena, and therefore compelled to take the witness stand.

    One of those Campos identified was Johnathan Alcegaire, 29, of Miami, who’s standing trial this week on nine felonies, including three counts of first-degree murder, along with counts of attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery and conspiracy. If he’s convicted of first-degree murder, prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

    In contrast with his earlier statements, Campos said Monday he didn’t remember meeting the three assailants before Jan. 6, nor could he give a description of them. He said he didn’t remember testifying before the grand jury in January 2016, when he described one as tall, one as medium and a third as shorter and stocky, and all with their hair in dreadlocks.

    Campos said Monday he had no memory of a van pulling up to the house he and his three friends shared on Lakeland’s Magnolia Street the day all of them were shot, nor could he recall which of the alleged assailants came into his room and shot him in the face.

    His memory sharpened, however, when Pattey presented photos of the house taken hours after the attack, and the law enforcement photo packs in which Campos had identified each of the three accused.

    One of those Campos identified was Alcegaire, who’s standing trial this week on nine felonies, including three counts of first-degree murder, along with counts of attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery and conspiracy. If he’s convicted of first-degree murder, prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

    Authorities allege that one of the victims, 24-year-old David Washington, had become involved with Miami drug dealers.

    “David was a small-time drug dealer who got himself involved with some big fish,” Pattey said in her opening statements to the jury Monday.

    http://www.theledger.com/news/201809...-triple-murder
    In the Shadow of Your Wings
    1 A Prayer of David. Hear a just cause, O Lord; attend to my cry! Give ear to my prayer from lips free of deceit!

  5. #5
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Jurors still have accused murderers fate in their hands

    By Suzie Schottelkotte
    The Ledger

    BARTOW After listening to four hours of closing arguments and deliberating for two hours, the 12 jurors in the first-degree murder trial of Johnathan Alcegaire decided late Wednesday that theyd had enough.

    They asked Circuit Judge Jalal Harb to let them return in the morning to continue their deliberations, and he agreed.

    Alcegaire, 29, of Miami was charged in the slayings of three Lakeland residents and the attempted murder of Felix Campos, who witnessed the killings. One of three assailants in the January 2016 home-invasion robbery had shot Campos in the face and left him for dead, but he survived and testified during Alcegaires trial.

    In her closing argument Wednesday, Assistant State Attorney Hope Pattey told jurors that Campos is the key to the prosecutions case.

    Felix Campos is the reason that we sit in this courtroom today, Pattey said, because without Felix Campos, theres a pretty good chance this case would have never been solved. Would law enforcement have found that U-Haul van on that XYZ video?

    Probably. Would they have found that that van came from Miami? Probably. Would they have found that Andrew Joseph was the one who rented that van? Probably.

    But would they have been able to connect all the pieces and the bricks and build it up and around the way they did in this case? Probably not, without Felix Campos, she said.

    She said the motive for the drug-related murders was retribution.

    Clearly, the purpose was to hurt David Washington, and one of the best ways to hurt someone is to kill the people they love before they kill that person, she said.

    The assailants, who Pattey said were drug dealers with Washington, gunned down Angelica Castro, 25, and Eneida Stacy Branch, 31, in the home they shared with Washington and Campos. The men burst into the house at 2314 E. Magnolia St. in the early morning of Jan. 5, 2016 and attacked Washington, beating him with a stool. In another part of the house, one of the assailants shot Campos and the two women.

    They shot Washington last, twice in the head, Pattey said.

    Once the ladies were dead, they decided it was OK to put (Washington) out of his misery, she said.

    The group then ransacked the house, ripping a television off the wall and taking electronics, Pattey told the jury.

    Defense lawyer David Carmichael presented a different scenario to jurors, suggesting that Alcegaire had given Jamaal John Smith, 27, of Miami a ride to Lakeland, not knowing of Smiths murderous intentions.

    Once there, Alcegaire ran his own errand, Carmichael said, evidenced by his Internet searches for addresses in Lakeland other than the Magnolia Street location.

    He learned of the murders on the return trip, Carmichael said.

    Carmichael challenged Campos testimony, arguing that his story shifted when he learned new information about the crime. He said prosecutors have no evidence placing Alcegaire at the murder scene except Campos testimony.

    We are relying on Felix Campos memory, he said, and I have shown you that his memory is confused.

    Carmichael said Campos ran into problems identifying the suspects in photo lineups and contradicted himself several times when telling his story. He said Campos testified for the state that he had seen the assailants leave the house, but under questioning by Carmichael, he said he stayed in bed and waited until everybody had left.

    Is there anything that Felix Campos tells us that we can believe in our hearts and souls that we dont doubt or have some questions about? he asked. This is what the hardest part about this thing is.

    Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty if Alcegaire is convicted.

    They also have charged Smith with three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit robbery and first-degree murder, tampering with evidence, armed robbery with a firearm and attempted armed burglary with an assault. If hes convicted of murder, theyre are seeking the death penalty.

    Co-defendant Andrew Joseph, 37, faces the same charges, and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty in that case, as well.

    No trial dates have been set for Smith or Joseph.

    http://www.theledger.com/news/201809...in-their-hands
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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    Miami man convicted of killing 3 in Lakeland home invasion

    The 12 jurors who convicted Johnathan Alcegaire will return Friday to decide whether to recommend that Circuit Judge Jalal Harb impose the death penalty for the killings

    By Suzie Schottelkotte
    The Ledger


    BARTOW As the verdicts were read Thursday convicting Johnathan Ishmael Alcegaire of murdering three Lakeland residents and attempting to gun down a fourth in a 2016 home-invasion robbery, the 29-year-old appeared to nod in agreement.

    The Miami man glanced over his left shoulder and mouthed the word Happy? to families of the victims in the audience, then looked back toward the judges bench.

    Moments earlier, when jurors were taking their seats for the verdict announcement, one of the nine women on the panel was wiping at tears.

    On Friday, the same 12 jurors who convicted Alcegaire will return to the courtroom to decide whether to recommend that Circuit Judge Jalal Harb impose the death penalty for the killings.

    Prosecutors will argue their reasons for a death sentence, and defense lawyers will present arguments for life imprisonment. For jurors to recommend a death sentence, they must unanimously agree on at least one of the reasons presented by prosecutors, and all 12 jurors must vote in favor of the death penalty.

    Jurors deliberated about six hours over two days before finding Alcegaire guilty Thursday on three counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, armed burglary, tampering with evidence and conspiracy to commit both armed robbery and murder.

    Jurors decided that Alcegaire was among those who fatally shot David Washington, Angelica Castro and Eneida Branch in a drug-related attack at 2314 E. Magnolia St. during the early morning hours of Jan. 5, 2016.

    The lone survivor, 21-year-old Felix Campos, reluctantly testified during Alcegaires trial that he witnessed the assailants arguing with Washington, 24, and beating him with a stool before fatally shooting him in the head.

    Campos, who was shot in the face, said he then heard gunshots coming from Castros and Branchs rooms. Branch, 31, was shot twice in the head and Castro, 23, died of a single gunshot in the head. Campos told jurors he played dead until the attackers left the house.

    In the 911 call after the shootings, Campos denied knowing the assailants, but later identified them in photo packs, according to court testimony.

    Based on Campos accounting of the attack, detectives with the Polk County Sheriffs Office linked Washington with a Miami-based drug operation, and discovered he had just returned from Miami about two hours before the attack.

    Further investigation led to murder charges against Andrew Joseph, 38, and Jamaal John Smith, 28, both of Miami, for their involvement in the murders. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for each of them if theyre convicted of first-degree murder.

    http://www.theledger.com/news/201809...-home-invasion
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  7. #7
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Jury recommends death for Miami man in Lakeland home-invasion killings

    The same 12 jurors who convicted Johnathan Ishmael Alcegaire of gunning down three people in a Lakeland home invasion unanimously agreed Friday to recommend that he be sentenced to death for each of the killings

    By Suzie Schottelkotte
    The Ledger

    BARTOW The same 12 jurors who convicted Johnathan Ishmael Alcegaire of gunning down three people in a Lakeland home invasion unanimously agreed Friday to recommend that he be sentenced to death for each of the killings.

    They deliberated about 90 minutes before reaching their decision.

    Alcegaire nodded occasionally as the court clerk read the lengthy verdict, and at one point tugged on the end of his tie.


    Circuit Judge Jalal Harb must give great consideration to the jurys recommendation, but the final decision on Alcegaires sentence rests with him. No sentencing date has been set.

    The jury of nine women and three men had deliberated nearly six hours over two days before finding Alcegaire, 29, guilty Thursday on three counts of first-degree murder and related charges, and the trial moved to the penalty phase Friday. The only other sentence for first-degree murder is a mandatory life sentence.

    In an unusual move, lawyers representing Alcegaire presented no evidence Friday to support life imprisonment, nor did they make an argument to the jury against a death sentence.

    Bartow lawyer Kevin Kohl said it was Alcegaires decision not to testify on his own behalf during Fridays hearing, and in extensive questioning by Harb, Alcegaire confirmed he was rejecting any efforts by his lawyers to challenge the death penalty.

    Alcegaire was convicted for his involvement in the murders of David Washington, Eneida Stacy Branch and Angelica Castro, who were each shot in the head during a drug-related robbery. During the trial, Assistant State Attorney Hope Pattey told jurors that Washington, 24, had been purchasing drugs from a group in Miami, including Alcegaire and co-defendants Andrew Joseph and Jamaal John Smith, and had returned from a trip to Miami just two hours before the assailants stormed his house at 6 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2016.

    The key state witness during the two-week trial was Felix Campos, 21, who survived a gunshot wound to his face during the attack. From the witness stand, he identified Alcegaire as one of the men involved in the murders.

    In arguing for the death penalty, Pattey told jurors that the killings were carefully planned and executed, with multiple phone calls among the assailants to coordinate the attack. They rented a U-Haul van and ransacked the 2314 E. Magnolia St. house before leaving, taking electronics and pulling a television from the wall.

    Pattey said Branch, 31, and Castro, 23, appeared to be shot while they were in their beds.


    We have three young people who were shot in the head, who were at their homes, and by all accounts, in bed, she told jurors. Were they angels? No. But did they deserve to be executed the way they were? No.

    She said that in the alternative, Alcegaire will spend the rest of his life in prison without parole, but justice calls for the death penalty.

    Fridays hearing included statements from families of the victims, including Branchs mother-in-law, Ann Branch.


    Stacy left behind a flood of people who loved her, especially her two precious daughters beautiful little girls who will miss getting makeup lessons and doing their nails with their mom, Branch said. They wont be able to ask if she thinks their boyfriends are cute or help them pick out a dress for the prom.

    Her absence is a sadness that does not go away, she said.

    Pattey read statements written by Washingtons mother, Christine Derby, and Castros mother, Angelica Saldana.

    I cry all the time, Derby wrote. No more holidays, and I truly miss his smile. When he saw a homeless person, he would always give him some change.

    He wasnt perfect, she wrote, but he had a loving and caring heart.

    Saldana said she will ensure that her daughters legacy remains alive.

    I miss all the joy of her and I will never finish dreaming and talking about her, she wrote. I am certain this world will be missing her forever.

    http://www.theledger.com/news/201809...asion-killings
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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    Senior Member CnCP Addict one_two_bomb's Avatar
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    Good job to the prosecution and jurors! I am unaware of Polk county's post-Hurst record.

  9. #9
    Administrator Helen's Avatar
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    Convicted in Lakeland triple murder, Johnathan Alcegaire concedes fight against death penalty

    By Suzie Schottelkotte
    The Ledger

    BARTOW During a hearing Monday intended, in part, to offer evidence that might save his life, convicted murderer Johnathan Alcegaire said he wanted no part of it.

    Im innocent and I had nothing to do with the crime that I have been convicted of, but yet my life is threatened to be taken away. So that puts me in a position that if my life is to be taken away or Im to get a life sentence or the death penalty, or whatever it is, Im not going to beg for my life. Im not going to ask for mercy or anything like that, he told Circuit Judge Jalal Harb in an unsworn statement.

    Its wrong. If I was guilty, then please Lord, show me mercy, said Alcegaire, wearing a knit prayer cap in court, But its wrong. I had nothing to do with anything.

    Alcegaire was found guilty by a jury in September for the home-invasion murders of three people in Lakeland and the attempted murder of a fourth, and is facing the death penalty after the same jurors voted unanimously to recommend that he die for the killings.

    Although Harb must give great weight to the jurys recommendation, the final decision on sentencing rests with him.

    Mondays hearing was intended to give lawyers for the state and for Alcegaire an opportunity to present additional evidence for sparing his life or imposing the death penalty, but that didnt happen. Alcegaires lawyers, David Carmichael and Kevin Kohl of Bartow, said he told them he had no interest in presenting testimony on his behalf.

    I dont want any mercy from anyone, Alcegaire said during Mondays hearing. Through the grace of the Lord, and Sharia law, Ill be vindicated one day. One day Ill be free again, whether when I give up my last breath or my appeal. Either way I go, I dont want nothing else to do with the court.

    Harb instructed Alcegaires lawyers and Assistant State Attorney Paul Wallace to file their written sentencing memorandums by Dec. 14, and he set sentencing for Jan. 4.

    Alcegaire was the first of four Miami men to stand trial for the murders of a Lakeland man and two women who were gunned down during a predawn home invasion in January 2016. Polk County Sheriffs detectives said David Washington, 24, had just returned from Miami, where he had conducted drug transactions, when three Miami men stormed into his house at 2314 Magnolia St. East.

    During Alcegaires trial, Felix Campos, 21, the lone survivor of the attack, testified that he played like he was dead after one of the men shot him in the face. Campos had told detectives he recognized the men from their previous meetings with Washington.

    Campos told the jury he heard the assailants arguing with Washington, then heard a series of screams and gunshots, and heard them rummaging through the house before they left.

    Detectives said the assailants took televisions and electronics, and staged the house to look like a robbery, according to reports.

    Washington died in the attack, along with Stacy Branch, 31, and Angelica Castro, who had turned 23 two weeks earlier. The women had been sleeping and were gunned down in their bedrooms. Each of them was shot in the head.

    Also charged with three counts of first-degree murder, attempted murder, conspiracy and armed robbery are Alcegaires older brother, 38-year-old Andrew Joseph, whose case is scheduled for trial beginning Jan. 6, 2020, along with Jamaal John Smith, 27, and Tavaris Mack, 29, whose cases havent been set for trial.

    Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against each defendant.

    Through Campos, detectives identified Alcegaire, Mack and Smith as the alleged assailants in the home-invasion, and Joseph as the alleged principal who orchestrated the crime, according to court records.

    https://www.newschief.com/news/20181...-death-penalty
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

  10. #10
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    Johnathan Alcegaire gets death sentence for home-invasion triple murder in Lakeland

    This is what I expected from sitting through the whole trial, Anna Branch, Stacy Branchs former mother-in-law, said after Fridays hearing. He deserves this. He has no conscience. He has no feelings. What he said didnt upset us he cant hurt us anymore.

    By Suzie Schottelkotte
    The Ledger


    BARTOW Johnathan Alcegaire will go to Floridas death row for the murders of three Lakeland residents in a January 2016 drug-related shooting, Circuit Judge Jalal Harb ruled Friday.

    But before Harb announced his sentence, Alcegaire had a few words of his own.

    I have been wrongfully convicted, so all of you that want my life are wrong, he said in court.

    To the prosecution: Yall the killers. You all are the ones guilty of murder, and perjury, and robbery, and home wrecking.

    To the families of the departed: You all were here the whole trial and know the state did not prove the case against me, but your hunger for vengeance blinded you to all the facts.

    In September, a 12-member jury deliberated about six hours over two days before finding Alcegaire, 30, of Miami, guilty in the shooting deaths of David Washington, 24, Stacy Branch, 31, and Angelica Castro, 23.

    Alcegaire is the first of three Miami men accused in the predawn home-invasion murders. During his trial, the lone survivor of the shooting, Felix Campos, told jurors he saw Alcegaire among the three assailants in Washingtons home that morning. They shot Campos, too, but he survived to identify the men who he said did it. He said he had known them from previous meetings at the house.

    Alcegaire was found guilty of driving to Lakeland the morning of Jan. 6 with Jamaal Smith and another man and storming into Washingtons house demanding money. During the trial, court testimony revealed that Washington had been buying drugs from the Miami men, including Alcegaires brother, 38-year-old Andrew Joseph, and had just returned that morning from a trip down there.

    Prosecutors alleged that the gunman, who they identified as Smith, killed Washington first, then the two women, who were sleeping in their respective bedrooms.

    Defense lawyers for Alcegaire argued that he had come along on the ride up from Miami, but only so he could visit friends in Lakeland. They showed searches on Alcegaires phone for another location to support his reasons for visiting Lakeland.

    After his conviction, Alcegaires lawyers told the court he did not want to present additional evidence in the penalty phase when jurors hear testimony supporting either a life sentence or the death penalty. Jurors heard only evidence from prosecutors, and after deliberating 90 minutes, they returned with a unanimous recommendation that Alcegaire be sentenced to death for each of the three murders.

    But in a defense sentencing memorandum filed in February, Alcegaires lawyers presented arguments for sparing his life including that the jury heard no reasons to support a life sentence, that Alcegaire wasnt the gunman and that hes had no behavioral problems in the three years hes been in the Polk County Jail.

    Prosecutors had argued that the murder was committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner, that it was done for pecuniary gain, that the killings were committed during a robbery and that Alcegaire had prior convictions for capital crimes, with each murder in this case serving as a prior conviction to the other.

    In his sentencing order, Harb said the states arguments supporting the death penalty outweighed the mitigating factors from the defense.

    When addressing the court Friday, Alcegaire said he wasnt seeking mercy from Harb.

    If I am to die, he said, then my only option is to die well not like no stinking, begging coward. Therefore, I dont want or expect any mercy from this court.

    Anna Branch, Stacy Branchs former mother-in-law, said she was expecting Alcegaire to receive the death penalty.

    This is what I expected from sitting through the whole trial, she said after Fridays hearing. He deserves this. He has no conscience. He has no feelings. What he said didnt upset us he cant hurt us anymore.

    Christine Derby, Washingtons mother, said shes satisfied that Alcegaire was sentenced to death.

    It wont bring them back, and its still going to be a long process, she said. Im glad this is over.

    She said shes disappointed that prosecutors dropped the murder charges against Tavaris Mack, who was thought to be the third person in the house that day. But their case against Mack hinged on Campos testimony, and he told them after Mack was charged he could not identify Mack as the third assailant. Without his testimony, prosecutors decided in December to dismiss the charges against Mack.

    Charges remain pending against Joseph and Smith, 28. While authorities havent alleged that Joseph was at the murder scene, prosecutors maintain he orchestrated the execution-style slayings which, under Floridas felony murder law, would make him legally responsible for the killings if hes convicted. Hes scheduled to stand trial Jan. 6. No trial date has been set in Smiths case.

    Smith and Joseph remain in custody at the Polk County Jail without bail.

    https://www.theledger.com/news/20190...er-in-lakeland
    "I realize this may sound harsh, but as a father and former lawman, I really don't care if it's by lethal injection, by the electric chair, firing squad, hanging, the guillotine or being fed to the lions."
    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian

    "There are some people who just do not deserve to live,"
    - Rev. Richard Hawke

    "Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence"
    - Edgar Allan Poe

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