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    1. #1
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      Oct 2010

      Dale Glenn Middleton - Florida Death Row

      Dale Glenn Middleton

      Okeechobee jury recommends death for killer

      An Okeechobee County jury voted unanimously Thursday to recommend that Dale Middleton, 39, should face the death penalty for using a knife to murder a neighbor on July 28, 2009.

      The same jury last week convicted Middleton of the first-degree murder of Roberta "Bobbie" Elizabeth Christensen following a trial at the Okeechobee County Courthouse, according to a state prosecutor.

      At trial, jurors were told Middleton targeted Christensen for a robbery after seeing her with a stack of cash from tips she'd earned as a waitress at the Golden Corral restaurant.

      However, when Middleton, of the 2700 block of Northeast 11th Court, went to Christensen's home and couldn't find any cash, he killed the 49-year-old and stole a large-screen television, which he later sold for $200, records show.

      Chief Assistant State Attorney Tom Bakkedahl said Middleton will be sentenced in late September or October. It's up to a judge to rule whether Middleton will face life in prison or execution, but the court is required to give great weight to the jury's recommendation.

      A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    2. #2
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      Oct 2010
      Okeechobee man sentenced to death in woman's murder

      A 39-year-old man convicted of killing a woman was sentenced to death Friday, the Okeechobee County Sheriff's Office said.

      Dale Glenn Middleton, of the 2700 block of Northeast 11th Court, Okeechobee, was taken into custody in July 2009 for the stabbing death of Roberta Christensen, 49, at her home, detectives said. A jury spent one hour on Aug. 6 to convict Middleton of premeditated first-degree murder, burglary while armed and dealing in stolen property, the Sheriff's Office said.

      Acquaintances of Middleton told investigators he had talked about burglarizing Christensen's home days after her death. Investigators learned he had taken a large-screen television from the home. Witnesses told detectives Middleton sold the television for $200.

      A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    3. #3
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      Oct 2010
      Florida Supreme Court hears Middleton appeal

      By Eric Kopp
      Okeechobee News

      OKEECHOBEE — Florida Supreme Court justices heard oral arguments Thursday morning regarding the death-sentence appeal of convicted murderer Dale Middleton.

      Middleton, 40, was convicted Aug. 6, 2012, of killing Roberta ‘Bobbie’ Christensen. The 12-member jury took less than 60 minutes to find him guilty of first-degree murder, armed burglary and dealing in stolen property.

      On Oct. 19, 2012, then-Okeechobee Circuit Court Judge Robert Belanger ruled Middleton should be put to death.

      But in his Feb. 6, 2014, address to the seven justices Public Defender Jeffrey L. Anderson cited several points as to why Middleton’s sentence should be changed to life. He claimed Middleton did not go to Mrs. Christensen’s home with the intent to kill her and that Judge Belanger was biased in his sentencing decision.

      “He wasn’t necessarily using reasoned judgement. He didn’t give it a fair shot,” said Mr. Anderson of the judge’s sentencing.

      Mr. Anderson argued that Middleton, who lived across the street from Mrs. Christensen in the Pine Ridge Mobile Home Park, did not go to her home with the intent to kill her. He was, instead, only planning to ask her to loan him some money.

      He had seen Mrs. Christensen counting her tip money on July 27, 2009. Mrs. Christensen, 49, was a server at the Golden Corral Restaurant.

      On July 28, 2009, Middleton walked the 139 feet from his home to hers. Even though Ms. Anderson said Middleton had no intentions of killing the woman, he did put a knife in his back pocket before he left his mobile home.

      “Are you intending he walked across the street to see the lady and was then going to leave? Is that what you are intending?” asked Justice James E.C. Perry.

      Mr. Anderson replied that at some point, after he had asked her to give him some money, Mrs. Christensen ordered Middleton out of her mobile home. They then began to struggle and Middleton grabbed the smaller woman, drug her to her bedroom and killed her.

      When he couldn’t find the cash, Middleton stole a 42-inch flat screen television Mrs. Christensen had won at a Golden Corral Christmas party. He later sold that TV for $200.

      Justice Jorge Labarga didn’t seem to agree with Mr. Anderson’s argument that the killing wasn’t premeditated.

      “We’re not only talking about the money, but the TV. He could have gone (back) when she wasn’t there,” reasoned Justice Labarga.

      But, the public defender argued that taking the television wasn’t part of Middleton’s plan.

      “He wanted money,” offered Mr. Anderson.

      When Justice Peggy A. Quince spoke of the killing, she didn’t mince words and described it as heinous and atrocious.

      “He did this because he wanted something that didn’t belong to him,” she said.

      And Assistant Attorney General Lisa Marie Lerner didn’t mince words either when she described for the justices the grisly manner in which Mrs. Christensen was killed. When Middleton entered Mrs. Christensen’s home on that day “... his intent was to kill her,” said Ms. Lerner.

      “He was in her house the day before and could have robbed her then. But, he went back the next day,” she told the justices.

      She went on to address a statement by Mr. Anderson that Middleton has an IQ of 83 and that he had been doing drugs, specifically prescription pills and methamphetamine, that day.

      “He played with the psychologists to get the best results because he knew he going to get the death penalty,” said Ms. Lerner, of his pre-trial examinations. “He attacked her within a foot-and-a-half of the front door. The evidence showed she retreated — she did not attack him.”

      She went on to say Middleton used a paring knife to kill the 5-foot-3, 130-pound, woman.

      As for the trial judge being biased in his sentencing of Middleton, Ms. Lerner explained that Judge Belanger gave weight to such mitigators as his IQ and his poor childhood.

      Both sides will now have to wait for the justices to render a decision.

      Middleton is currently being held in the Florida State Prison in Raiford.


    4. #4
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      Oct 2010

      In today's opinions, the Florida Supreme Court AFFIRMED Middleton's conviction of first-degree murder and sentence of death on direct appeal.
      A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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