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Jason Brice Looney - Florida Death Row
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Thread: Jason Brice Looney - Florida Death Row

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Jason Brice Looney - Florida Death Row

    Summary of Offense:

    The bodies of Melanie King and Robin Keith Spears were found in their burning home in the early morning hours of July 27, 1997. On July 26, 1997, Guerry Hertz, Jason Looney, and Jimmy Dempsey left an acquaintance’s house on foot, which was within walking distance of the victims’ home, at approximately 11 p.m. A woman who lived approximately 500 yards from the victims’ home said that, at approximately 2 a.m., Hertz came to her home requesting to use her telephone because “his truck had broken down.” She refused and the three men resumed their walk up the road towards the home of Melanie King and Robin Keith Spears. When Looney saw their black Ford Mustang, he exclaimed, “There’s my car right there. That’s the one I want.”

    Acting as a decoy, Dempsey and Hertz knocked on the victims’ front door and asked if they could use a telephone. King gave them a cordless telephone and Dempsey pretended to make a call. When Dempsey started to hand the phone back to King, Hertz forced his way into the home at gunpoint. Looney entered after him and targeted Spears with his rifle. King and Spears were forced face down on their bed after being bound and gagged with duct tape. The three defendants stole various items including a television, a VCR, furniture, jewelry, CDs, and $1500 cash. They loaded the stolen goods into the victims’ two vehicles. Hertz and Looney decided that they could not leave witnesses and then informed Dempsey of their plan. Dempsey testified that Hertz and Looney poured accelerants throughout the house, after which all three men went back to the bedroom armed. King told the defendants that she would “rather die being burnt up than shot.” She then stated, “Please, God, don’t shoot me in the head.” Hertz replied, “Sorry, can’t do that,” before he started firing his firearm.

    Looney started firing and was followed by Dempsey. Both King and Spears died as a result of the gunshot wounds. After the shootings, the house was set afire. Looney drove away in the victims’ Ford Mustang with Dempsey as a passenger, while Hertz drove the victims’ white Ford Ranger. Dempsey reported that the entire episode spanned two hours. They drove to Hertz’ house so that they could divide the money and unload the stolen cargo. Testimony was given by two Tallahassee Wal-Mart employees stating that the three men showed off their new vehicles, a black Ford Mustang and a white Ford Ranger, after making a purchase at approximately 5 a.m. The employees’ testimony was corroborated by a Wal-Mart receipt for clothes that was found in the victims’ Ford Mustang.

    Looney, Hertz, and Dempsey then drove to Daytona Beach, Florida, where they were involved in a shootout after a police pursuit. Looney and Dempsey abandoned the victims’ Ford Mustang and were arrested as they were fleeing the scene. Hertz was shot, abandoned the victims’ Ford Ranger and paid $100 for a cab-ride to his aunt’s St. Augustine home. Hertz was arrested that day and police discovered Spears’ .9mm gun in Hertz’s bag. An FDLE firearms expert testified that one of the bullets fired in the victims’ home was fired from a .380 Lorcin gun that was in Looney’s possession when he was arrested. The Lorcin gun had belonged to Spears and Dempsey reported that Hertz had used it to shoot the victims. The police also found Dempsey’s wallet containing $380, Looney’s wallet containing $464, and a roll of duct tape in the victims’ Ford Mustang. Latent fingerprints that matched all three men were taken from the victims’ Ford Mustang. Evidence of various accelerants were found on clothing in the victim’s Ford Mustang and an expert later testified that the extensive fire damage to the victims’ home could only have been accomplished with the use of accelerants. The bodies of Melanie King and Robin Keith Spears were both severely burned, but the medical examiner testified that both deaths were caused by gunshot wounds due to a lack of soot in the victims’ trachea, indicating that they were already dead when the fire started. Further testimony indicated that both victims lived one to two minutes after being shot.

    Looney was sentenced to death in Wakulla County on February 18, 2000.

    Co-defendant information:
    Guerry Wayne Hertz received the same convictions and sentences as Looney, which included two death sentences. For more on Hertz, see: http://www.cncpunishment.com/forums/...ighlight=hertz
    Jimmy Dewayne Dempsey received the same convictions as Looney and Hertz. Because he entered into a plea agreement with the State, Dempsey was sentenced to life for the murders instead of death.

  2. #2
    Senior Member CnCP Legend JLR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Looney was denied by the Eleventh Circuit back in 2009. I could not find the opinion for some reason but it is stated on the capital case commission website.


  3. #3
    Administrator Heidi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    For Janet Spears, the waiting is the hardest part.

    Her only son, Keith, and his girlfriend, Melanie King, were robbed, murdered and set afire in their Wakulla County home in 1997. Two of the three men convicted in the deaths, Jason Looney and Guerry Hertz, have been on death row since 2000.

    Today, Spears wonders whether she'll live long enough to see her son's killers put to death. "It's a living torture," said Spears, 65. "It's something the family thinks about every day. There's no reason for it being this long."

    Original article Fla. lawmakers look at speeding up death penalty
    An uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    "Y'all be makin shit up" ~ Markeith Loyd

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