Friday, December 4, 2009

the sentencing

was truly hell on earth.

For those of you who have never witnessed something like this, let me tell you, I've had quite a few truly horrific days in my life and this can be counted right up there with the worst.

First the judge was awesome and yes we are very pleased with the judicial system. Justice has not been as swift has KathyK stated. It's been almost two years. But all in all justice was swift with the trial lasting only a week, the verdict coming in less than two hours, the sentencing phase of the trial only lasted a week with the jury's recommendation coming in less than 3 hours.

Today the judge pronounced his sentence. It took probably around 45 minutes. First he listed all the aggravating factors and then stated one by one how these were proved beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecution. To do this he recited the entire story with graphic detail of how Denise was taken, brutally raped, sodomized, terrorized and then shot in the head. He had to state (to keep appeals at bay) how she was terrorized. He read Denise's 9-1-1 call. We had to sit and listen to it all, all over again. It was unbearably painful. Sue, me, Amanda, Nathan and most of the audience was openly sobbing.

Then the judge goes over the mitigating factors presented by the defense one by one and in this case most were given little merit.

Then the sentence.

By this time we are numb. Literally numb with emotion.

A reporter asked me if I was "happy" with the sentence and I just gave him a blank stare. Happy? What's there to be happy about?

Closure? What's closed? Today brought nothing to us but more pain. No joy.

Had he been taken out right then and there and shot, maybe there would be some closure. No happiness but maybe closure.

This man deserves what he got. All you have to do is listen to Denise's 9-1-1 call. The man had ample opportunity to let her go and allow her to live. And he made a choice.

My friends all wanted to celebrate. Celebrate? We just witnessed a man sentenced to die.

So, I told the reporter I was "satisfied" with the justice served. But, happy? I'm too damn numb to be happy.

Also, the state sentenced him to death. Not me or my family.

I have to say after listening to the judge (and he himself got choked up talking about the events) it's going to be a very long while before this man gets any forgiveness from me. He's scum.

Sorry to sound so angry. But it is what it is and I'm sorry you all have to share it. And that I've been so angry.

I posted this in a piano forum earlier this evening. I would like to add that IMHO Denise was the best witness the prosecution had. It's interesting the 9-1-1 could not save Denise but it did give King the death sentence. Judge Economou clearly stated how unusual it is to hear a victim's last words. You, Denise, were so smart and clever. I miss you dearly. Kudos to Lon Arend and the prosecuting team, the North Port Police Department, the jurors and Judge Economou. God bless you all.