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    1. #1

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      Michael Lee King - Florida Death Row


      Denise Amber Lee, 21




      Summary of Offense:

      In January 2008, King abducted Denise Amber Lee from her North Port home, leaving her two children at home alone. He reportedly used duct tape to keep her from escaping and raped her repeatedly, before he shot her and buried her in a shallow grave nearby.

      King was sentenced to death in Sarasota County on December 4, 2009.

    2. #2
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      Supreme Court to hear appeal from Denise Lee’s killer

      The man on Florida’s Death Row for killing Denise Lee, a North Port mother abducted from her home in front of her children, will have oral arguments on his first mandatory appeal of his conviction this month.

      Michael King and his attorneys will argue some of the evidence at trial and his death sentence were not fair in a hearing Sept. 9 before The Florida Supreme Court. The appeal process is mandatory because he was sentenced to death. The arguments his attorneys will make appear in this court document.

      The story of Lee’s abduction captured the attention of the community and the nation, from the frantic search for her that night to the missed chances to save her, including a mishandled 911 call.

      Lee was cutting her son’s hair on the lanai of her home on Jan. 17, 2008, when King abducted her. Her two children were left alone at the home.

      King, a stranger to Lee, bound her with duct tape and repeatedly raped her at his home. He eventually shot Lee to death at point-blank range and buried her in a shallow grave in an undeveloped section of North Port.

      During the ordeal, Lee helped build a case against King. She pulled off one of her rings and dropped it in King’s car so detectives would know she had been there. She grabbed his cell phone and dialed 911 and tried to give a dispatcher clues to find her.

      While pleading for her life, Lee never said a four-letter word, and never expressed anger. She said “please” 17 times.

      http://legal-ease.blogs.heraldtribun...e-lees-killer/

    3. #3
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      Killer of Denise Lee wants death sentence overturned

      The man on Florida's Death Row for abducting and killing North Port mother Denise Lee in 2008 says his trial was unfair and he wants his death sentence overturned.

      As part of a mandatory appeal, attorneys for Michael King, 40, told the Florida Supreme Court on Friday that the judge and prosecuting attorney improperly undermined King's main theory of defense — that evidence could not exclude King's friend and shooting-range partner Robert Salvador as the killer.

      The attorneys also argued that the jury should not have been told that bullet casings found at the scene of the crime matched casings found at the shooting range where King had been earlier that day because it was not based on good science.

      King's attorneys argued the former plumber's death sentence should be reduced to a life sentence in prison because of a sledding accident at age 6 that damaged King's brain, among other mitigating factors.

      The jury that convicted King heard this and other evidence and unanimously voted for the death penalty, and the judge agreed. But King's attorneys say King's case has more reasons to go for a life sentence rather than death.

      "The evidence in the penalty phase shows that despite a lifetime of difficulties largely caused by his brain damage and learning deficiencies, Michael King managed to live a useful life — gainfully employed as a plumber, never abusing alcohol or drugs, raising his son as a single father — until this inexplicable violent explosion on January 17, 2008," attorneys wrote in a motion.

      The judge who sentenced King focused on the one piece of evidence that helped catch King and ultimately defined the case as one of Sarasota County's most heinous: Lee's desperate plea for help in a taped 911 call during the abduction.

      The story of Lee's abduction and murder captivated the community and nation, from the frantic search for her that night to the missed chances to save her, including a mishandled 911 call.

      Lee was cutting her son's hair on the lanai of her home on Jan. 17, 2008, when King abducted her. Her two children were left alone at the home.

      King, a stranger to Lee, bound her with duct tape and repeatedly raped her at his home. He eventually shot Lee to death at point-blank range and buried her in a shallow grave in an undeveloped section of North Port.

      During the ordeal, Lee helped build a case against King. She pulled off one of her rings and dropped it in King's car so detectives would know she had been there. She grabbed his cell phone and dialed 911 and tried to give a dispatcher clues to find her.

      While pleading for her life, Lee never said a four-letter word, and never expressed anger. She said "please" 17 times.

      The same jury that convicted King of abducting, raping and killing Lee also recommended 12-0 that King die for the crimes.

      The appeal process is mandatory because King was sentenced to death, and this is the first chance King has had to challenge his conviction. The Florida Supreme Court will mull the arguments before issuing a ruling at a later date.

      http://www.heraldtribune.com/article...NEWS?p=2&tc=pg

    4. #4
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      Michael King v The State Of Florida

      In today's Florida Supreme Court opinions, the court AFFIRMED King's convictions and sentence of death.

    5. #5
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      Jury seated in wrongful death suit

      A jury has been seated in the wrongful death lawsuit filed against the Charlotte County Sheriff's Office for their handling of a 911 call that Nathan Lee claims could have saved his wife's life.

      Denise Amber Lee was abducted, raped and murdered in January 2008. Michael King was convicted of her murder and is on death row.

      Nathan Lee's lawsuit claims a caller to 911 gave dispatchers information as to where the abductor's car was, but that information was never passed on.

      He says had it been relayed to deputies, his wife would still be alive.

      Jury selection began on Monday and lasted through late Tuesday afternoon.

      Once the initial jury was chosen, there was some sort of physical contact between two jurors that was inappropriate. One of the jurors was disqualified because of the incident.

      The details about the incident have not been released.

      Opening statements will begin Wednesday morning.

      The trial is expected to last two weeks.

      http://www.nbc-2.com/story/19047401/...ful-death-suit
      An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    6. #6
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      Settlement reached in Denise Lee civil trial

      The Charlotte County Sheriff's Office sent out a press release confirming that a settlement has been reached between Lee's family and the sheriff's office.

      The announcement was made Friday morning just after court convened.

      Both parties told the judge they agreed to the settlement.

      Lee's widower was seeking a minimum of $750,000 in the case.

      Denise Amber Lee was abducted from her north port home in 2008 and later murdered by Michael King. He now sits on death row.

      The family contends a botched 911 call by the sheriff's office led to the outcome in the case.

      No word yet on the final settlement amount.

      http://www.mysuncoast.com/content/br...9G_Ndr7pA.cspx
      An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    7. #7
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      In today's United States Supreme Court orders, King's petition for a writ of certiorari was DENIED.
      An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    8. #8
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      Denise Lee's killer appeals death sentence

      By Lloyd Dunkelberger
      Herald Tribune

      TALLAHASSEE - Michael King, sentenced to death for the 2008 abduction and murder of Denise Amber Lee, should be resentenced to life-without-parole because of a federal court ruling that invalidated Florida's death-penalty sentencing system, his lawyer told the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday.

      King's case has joined a number of other appeals from Florida Death Row inmates who are arguing that the U.S. Supreme Court's decision last month in Hurst vs. Florida has rendered the death-sentencing law as unconstitutional and they now deserve either life sentences or a new sentencing procedure.

      The state Supreme Court halted the Feb. 11 execution of Cary Michael Lambrix earlier this week as the justices consider the impact of Hurst on Florida's 389 Death Row inmates. The Legislature is moving forward with a revised sentencing bill that would require juries to unanimously agree on “aggravating” factors that would make a murderer eligible for the death penalty and require a jury vote of at least 9-3 to impose the sentence.

      The invalidated Florida law allowed a jury to recommend a death sentence by a majority vote, with the Hurst decision finding that “advisory” procedure violated the constitutional right to a trial by jury.

      An unresolved issue is whether the Hurst ruling should be applied retroactively to cases like Lambrix, who had exhausted his appeals, or King, whose 2009 conviction and sentence has been upheld on its initial appeal.

      Assistant Attorney General Carol Dittmar told the Florida justices that Hurst should not apply to King, where a jury unanimously recommended the death penalty after they had found King guilty of kidnapping, raping and murdering Lee, a 21-year-old North Port mother of two children. The jury heard a 911 call from Lee where the terrorized woman pleaded for help and repeatedly begged King to release her.

      Although some have suggested a “fairness” standard should apply the Hurst ruling to all Florida Death Row inmates, Dittmar told the court that finality in the law “needs to trump fairness.”

      “Certainly the citizens of this state and certainly the families of these victims need to have confidence that when a sentence is final it will only be disturbed when there is a tremendously important reason to do so,” Dittmar said.

      In his questioning, Justice Charles Canady seemed to be in alignment with Dittmar's argument that the Hurst decision was a “limited procedural ruling” without retroactivity, rather than the argument from King and other inmates that the decision had “fundamental significance” and should apply to many if not all the Death Row inmates.

      Canady said without finality in the law, a new decision could be used to “reach back and apply to any case no matter how remote in time.”

      “Every decision we make would mean that if someone had been convicted under a different understanding of the law previously, that would be up for grabs always,” Canady said.

      In addition to the Hurst challenge, King's lawyer told the justices that his sentence and conviction should be overturned because of fundamental mistakes by the lawyers who represented him at his initial trial.

      Maria Perinetti, a lawyer with the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel office in Temple Terrace, said King's trial attorneys failed to object when the state prosecutors rejected an 18-year-old African-American woman as a potential member of the jury.

      The prosecutors eliminated her citing several “race neutral” reasons, including her statement that life in prison was worse than a death sentence and that her brother had previously faced a drug charge.

      Perinetti said the removal of the female juror could have been challenged as a discriminatory move by the prosecutors. “A defendant is entitled to a non-discriminatory jury selection process,” she said.

      But several justices seemed to be skeptical of that claim as part of King's post-conviction appeal.

      “We're sort of re-examining in a microcosm this few seconds of a trial where nothing affected the fairness of the conviction,” said Justice Barbara Pariente. “So that's my problem.”

      The court will issue its opinion in the case at a later date.

      http://www.heraldtribune.com/article...9788?p=3&tc=pg

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