The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal by a Death Row inmate convicted in the 2015 murders of two Polk County women after a police chase.

Death Row Inmate Loses Appeal In 2015 Murders Of Mother And Daughter In Polk County

The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal by a Death Row inmate convicted in the 2015 murders of two Polk County women after a police chase.

POLK COUNTY, Fla. – The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal by a Death Row inmate convicted in the 2015 murders of two Polk County women after a police chase.

Justices unanimously upheld Michael A. Gordon’s convictions and two death sentences in the murders of 72-year-old Patricia Moran and her 51-year-old daughter Patricia Royal.

Gordon was accused of murdering the women after being involved in a pawn-shop robbery that led to a police chase. The chase included people in a fleeing SUV firing shots at Haines City police officers, according to Thursday’s ruling.

After the vehicle stopped in a Haines City subdivision, the occupants ran in different directions. A resident of the area reported hearing screaming from a house, where officers subsequently found Moran and Royal, whose throats had been slashed and who had suffered stab wounds, the ruling said.

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Gordon also was accused of taking the victim’s car, backing out of the home’s garage, and nearly hitting officers before he was captured.

Gordon, now 42, was convicted on numerous charges, including two counts of first-degree murder. The appeal involved issues such as a challenge to prosecutors’ decision to block a potential juror from the trial.

Gordon, who is Black, argued that prosecutors were “impermissibly motivated by race” when they objected to the potential juror, who also was Black, according to the ruling.

The Supreme Court rejected the arguments in an opinion written by Justice John Couriel and joined fully by Chief Justice Carlos Muniz and Justices Charles Canady, Ricky Polston, and Jamie Grosshans. Justice Jorge Labarga agreed with the result but did not fully sign onto the opinion.

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