Sheriff's Deputy Lonnie Coburn
Facts of the Crime:
On February 21, 1978, Karol Hurst, who was twenty-one years old and seven months pregnant at the time, was leaving the Pantry Pride grocery store in Leesburg, Florida at approximately 3:00 p.m., when Hall approached her. Hall and an accomplice, Mack Ruffin, were looking for a car to use in a robbery, when Hall approached Hurst and forced her into their car. Hall drove the car away, with Hurst and Ruffin following in another car. Hurst was driven to a wooded area, beaten, raped, and shot, then the body was dragged further into the woods.
On the evening of February 21, 1978, Hall and Ruffin walked into a convenience store in Hernando County, Florida. The conduct of the pair aroused the suspicions of the store clerk, who called the sheriff substation located across the street from the store. Deputy Lonnie Coburn responded to the call and met Hall and Ruffin in the store’s parking lot, where witnesses saw Deputy Coburn approach Hall and Ruffin. Although conflicting evidence existed, at some point in the confrontation between Hall, Ruffin, and Deputy Coburn, Deputy Coburn was disarmed and shot and killed with his own gun. Hall and Ruffin fled the scene.
The pair were spotted and pursued by another deputy, during which gunfire was exchanged between the pair and the deputy. Eventually, Hall and Ruffin abandoned their car and were later apprehended. Deputy Coburn’s gun was found in the abandoned car. Hall and Ruffin were both present and principals in the murder of Deputy Coburn and the assault and murder of Hurst.
Both Hall and Ruffin aided and abetted each other in the commission of the crimes.
Hall was re-sentenced to death in Putnam County on February 21, 1991.
Ruffin and Hall were tried separately murder of Hurst. Ruffin was convicted and was originally sentenced to death; however, he was later resentenced to life imprisonment. Ruffin and Hall were tried together for the murder of Deputy Coburn. Ruffin was sentenced to life imprisonment.