The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments in an appeal by Death Row inmate Everett Miller, who was convicted in the 2017 murders of two Kissimmee police officers.
A jury last year unanimously recommended Miller receive the death penalty for murdering officers Matthew Baxter and Sam Howard.
Miller’s attorney, George Burden, said there is no doubt his client shot the officers, but the killings were not premeditated.
Burden said Miller’s post-traumatic stress disorder from serving in the Marines and other untreated mental-health issues helped lead to the killings.
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“This is a tragic first-degree murder, where the system failed everybody,” Burden said. “The system failed Mr. Miller. The system failed these officers.”
But Assistant Attorney General Patrick Bobek said Miller initiated contact with the officers, with the goal of killing them.
“These were execution-style killings,” Bobek said. “Both officers were shot in the back or the side of the head. They never even got a chance to unclip their guns from their belts.”
It is unclear when the Supreme Court will rule. The appeal, in part, asks the Supreme Court to vacate the death sentences.
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