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  1. #1

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    Konstantinos Fotopoulos - Florida Death Row


    Kevin Ramsey, 19




    Summary of Offense:

    During the summer of 1989, Konstantinos Fotopoulos began having an extra-marital affair with a bartender, Deidre Hunt, who worked at his bar. On October 20, 1989, Fotopoulos and Hunt lured Kevin Ramsey to an isolated shooting range by telling him he was to be inducted into a club. Fotopoulos intended to kill Ramsey to prevent Ramsey from blackmailing him [Fotopoulos] concerning counterfeiting activities. Fotopoulos threatened Hunt that he would kill her if she did not kill Ramsey. Ramsey was tied to a tree, and Hunt shot Ramsey three times in the chest and once in the head with a .22 pistol, while Fotopoulos videotaped the shooting. Fotopoulos stopped taping and shot Ramsey once in the head with an AK-47 assault rifle.

    Fotopoulos then conspired to kill his wife, Lisa Fotopoulos, in order to collect $700,000 in insurance proceeds. Fotopoulos used the videotape of Hunt killing Ramsey in order to get Hunt’s cooperation in the murder of Lisa Fotopoulos. Fotopoulos instructed Hunt to hire someone to kill Lisa Fotopoulos. Hunt attempted to hire a man on two occasions, but the plan never materialized. A friend of Hunt’s, Lisa Henderson, led Hunt to her boyfriend, Teja James, who was hired to kill Lisa Fotopoulos for $5,000.

    After James botched two attempts to kill Lisa Fotopoulos, Bryan Chase was hired to kill Lisa. After several unsuccessful attempts, Chase went to the Fotopoulos home on November 4, 1989 and shot Lisa Fotopoulos once in the head, but the wound was not fatal. Fotopoulos then shot Chase repeatedly, to make the murder attempt appear to be a failed burglary. In a search of the Fotopoulos home by police, the Ramsey murder videotape, a .22 pistol, and an AK-47 assault rifle were found.

    Fotopoulos was sentenced to death in Volusia County on November 1, 1990.

    Co-defendant information:
    Deidre Hunt was indicted for the same crimes as Fotopoulos, but pled guilty to the charges and was sentenced to death for the murders of Ramsey and Chase. On appeal, however, her convictions were affirmed but her death sentences were vacated. Before her retrial, Hunt was allowed to withdraw her guilty verdict and proceed to trial. The jury returned guilty verdicts on all charges.
    On May 7, 1998, Hunt was sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment.

  2. #2

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    11th Circuit Reinstates Death Sentence for Konstantinos Fotopoulos FL DR in 1989 Murder

    February 15, 2008

    The mastermind behind one of Central Florida's most bizarre and sensational murder plots has lost a bid to get off death row.

    On Thursday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta overturned the ruling of an Orlando federal judge who offered Konstantinos "Kosta" Fotopoulos a chance to be resentenced for the 1989 scheme to kill his wife.

    Fotopoulos, former owner of a Daytona Beach pool hall, whose plot left two teenagers dead, has few remaining avenues to get his death sentence overturned, said State Attorney John Tanner, who prosecuted the original trial.

    "Bottom line: He's still on death row and this eliminates one more legal hurdle to his execution," Tanner said. "We're certainly pleased with the federal decision."

    James L. Driscoll Jr., Fotopoulos' attorney, said he was disappointed and that he may ask the appeals court to rehear the case or petition the U.S. Supreme Court to review it.

    "We'll consider all our options," said Driscoll, of Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, the state-funded office that handles death-penalty appeals.

    In 1989, Fotopoulos orchestrated an elaborate plan to kill his then-wife, Lisa, for $700,000 in life insurance, according to court evidence.

    First, he videotaped his former lover, Deidre Hunt, as she tied 19-year-old Kevin Ramsey to a tree and shot him to death. That tape became his leverage to convince Hunt to hire 18-year-old Bryan Chase to kill Lisa Fotopoulos during a staged burglary at her home. Chase shot the wife in the head as she lay in bed. Kosta Fotopoulos then shot and killed Chase.

    The wife, who has since remarried, survived but still has a bullet in her head.

    Last year, U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell ruled in Orlando that the death sentence against Kosta Fotopoulos was unfair because prosecutors had presented two starkly different versions of Hunt's role in the plot.

    The appeals court ruled that presenting the different theories at Fotopoulos' trial could have detracted from Fotopoulos' defense. The judges determined that the former defense attorney had made a strategic decision, rather than performed incompetently, when he did not dwell on the different theories. The Florida Supreme Court had come to the same conclusion in its opinion on the case.

    (Source: AP)

  3. #3
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    Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:

    The 3.850 Motion was pending from 02/28/95 06/15/00 and the federal Habeas was pending from 11/04/03 01/29/07.

    Case Information:

    Fotopoulos filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 12/03/90, citing sixteen errors, many of which focused on inclusion of certain testimonial evidence and aggravating circumstances used in the penalty phase of trial. On 10/15/92, the FSC affirmed the convictions and sentences.

    Fotopoulos filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on 03/23/93 that was denied on 05/17/93.

    Fotopoulos filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court on 02/28/95 that was denied, without an evidentiary hearing, on 05/16/97.

    Fotopoulos filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 08/04/97, citing claims of ineffective assistance of counsel and failure to grant an evidentiary hearing for his 3.850 Motion. On 08/25/99, the FSC dismissed the Appeal without prejudice to allow the Circuit Court to hold a Huff hearing to determine if an evidentiary hearing was necessary.

    On 03/06/00, a Huff hearing was held in the Circuit Court, and on 06/15/00, the 3.850 Motion was again denied by the Circuit Court.

    Fotopoulos filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 07/20/00, citing claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. On 12/19/02, the FSC affirmed the denial of the 3.850 Motion.

    Fotopoulos filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Florida Supreme Court on 12/21/01, citing claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. On 12/19/02, the FSC denied the Habeas Petition.

    Fotopoulos filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, on 11/04/03 and amended the Petition on 04/29/04. On 01/29/07, the USDC granted and denied the petition in part and ordered a resentencing. The court found that prosecutorial misconduct and ineffective assistance of counsel occurred during sentencing. On 03/13/07, Fotopoulos filed a COA, which was denied on 07/23/07.

    A Habeas Appeal was filed by the State on 03/13/07 in the United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit. The court reversed the judgment of the U.S. District Court on 04/22/08.

    On 07/02/08, Fotopoulos filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. The petition was denied on 10/06/08.

  4. #4
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    Documentary about the case "Wicked Attraction: 57 Seconds".


  5. #5
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    Notorious Fotopoulos case still fascinates

    Lisa Psaros sat on a stool at the counter in a Boardwalk arcade, smiling as she talked about her life today.

    Elsewhere in the city, a film crew from a cable television show interviewed key figures from one of the city’s most heinous crimes in decades, now known as “the Fotopoulos case.’’

    It’s been almost 25 years since she was shot in the head by what was first thought to be an intruder who was gunned down seconds later by her then husband. When the entire plot unfolded, it turned out Lisa was the target of her husband, Kosta Fotopoulos’ devious plot that left two young men dead.

    “It was a terrible time, but it is what it is,’’ said the petite brunette, a happy smile set off by bouncing dark hair.

    Her shooting that Nov. 4 morning in 1989 set off an investigation that landed her husband on Florida’s death row and his accomplice-girlfriend, Deidre Hunt, in a Florida prison for life.

    Her story has been told again and again, in a paperback book with a screaming headline, “Sex, Money and Murder in Daytona Beach,’’ as well as a hardcover book, “Perfect Husband’’ on which she and her brother cooperated.

    Film crews from as far away as Japan have made the trek here many times interviewing key players in the drama. This time, Lisa said she wasn’t even approached.

    This newest effort will be for a series on the Oxygen Channel called “Snapped — Killer Couples — the Kosta Fotopoulos Story.’’ Producer Tracy Ullman, a former BBC producer of documentaries, led the effort on the filming, due to air in November.

    I found myself in a darkened hotel conference room last week, again answering questions about what was the biggest story of my reporting career. The public’s fascination with this case remains constant.

    For Lisa, life has moved on. The week after she was shot, she was back at work at her gift shop on the Boardwalk, home to her family’s amusement/arcade businesses for many years.

    She has remarried and enjoys her life as businesswoman and doting aunt to her two nephews.

    “I thank God every day,’’ said Lisa. She carries a bullet in her brain, a daily reminder of the day life as she knew it ended. Surgeons have decided it would be safer to forgo the surgery to remove it.

    She sees herself as a strong woman and a role model to others facing tough times. She goes to work every day at her Boardwalk store, not letting the memories of those dark days bring her down.

    “It’s my family business, and I’ve been doing this since I was 16, ‘’ she said.

    It was there her then husband operated a small business called Top Shots and where he would meet the young woman with whom he would have an affair, ending his marriage and eventually his freedom.

    She recalls her meeting with Kosta, then a waiter at her aunt’s restaurant, a young Greek man from a good family who was here to attend Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.

    “I was just what he was looking for,’’ she recalled. “He wined me and dined me.’’ One month later, the handsome Greek native proposed marriage. Lisa said she was caught up in the moment, going through with the wedding even though she already had doubts about her husband to be.

    “Once you say ‘I do’, how do you say ‘I don’t’?”

    Ten days before she was shot, she learned he was having an affair. By the time she was shot in her own bed, Kosta had engineered several attempts on her life by recruiting young men who hung around the pool hall.

    It is a chapter in her life she has closed, but the public’s fascination with the case keeps it open.


    http://www.news-journalonline.com/ar...1065?p=3&tc=pg
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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