A divided appeals court Wednesday upheld a life sentence for a woman who was convicted of murdering a Bay County cab driver when she was 15.

Juvenile Life Sentence Upheld In Murder Of Florida Cab Driver

Rebecca Falcon was initially sentenced to life in prison without parole in the 1997 murder. But a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision in an Alabama case said it was unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A divided appeals court Wednesday upheld a life sentence for a woman who was convicted of murdering a Bay County cab driver when she was 15.

Rebecca Falcon was initially sentenced to life in prison without parole in the 1997 murder. But a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision in an Alabama case said it was unconstitutional to sentence juveniles to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

That ultimately led to resentencing for Falcon, who was sentenced by a circuit judge to life in prison with a review after 15 years.

A panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 decision Wednesday, backed the circuit judge.

“The trial court noted that there was little evidence that the appellant (Falcon) had accepted responsibility for her actions and was truly remorseful,” said the main ruling, written by Judge Clay Roberts. “This finding is supported by competent, substantial evidence. The record is replete with instances of the appellant failing to state exactly what she had done. When the appellant addressed the trial court right before resentencing, she apologized to those affected by the taxicab driver’s death and for the role she played in his death. However, she never said what role she played.”

Judge Scott Makar agreed in upholding the sentence but did not fully sign on to Roberts’ reasoning.

Judge Ross Bilbrey wrote a lengthy dissent, pointing in part to Falcon being sexually and emotionally abused as a child and that she had completed many programs and courses while in prison.

Falcon, now 40, is an inmate at Lowell Correctional Institution, according to the Florida Department of Corrections website.

Visit Tampafp.com for PoliticsTampa Area Local NewsSports, and National Headlines. Support journalism by clicking here to our GiveSendGo or sign up for our free newsletter by clicking here

Android Users, Click Here To Download The Free Press App And Never Miss A Story. Follow Us On Facebook Here Or Twitter Here.

Copyright 2022 The Free Press, LLC, tampafp.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Advertisement

Login To Facebook From Your Browser To Leave A Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *