Murder suspect’s appeal denied

By Eric Cravey
Posted 10/17/18

TALLAHASSEE – A Clay County man awaiting trial for the 2007 of a beloved Orange Park veterinary tech will not be getting a new arraignment as prosecutors plan for second trial.

The 1st District …

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Murder suspect’s appeal denied

Posted

TALLAHASSEE – A Clay County man awaiting trial for the 2007 of a beloved Orange Park veterinary tech will not be getting a new arraignment as prosecutors plan for second trial.

The 1st District Court of Appeal denied the appeal of Michael Renard Jackson, 48, who is in the Clay County Jail awaiting re-trial for the January 23, 2007 in the death and rape of vet tech 25-year-old Andrea Boyer of Middleburg.

According to the 1st District Appeal Court ruling published Oct. 16, Jackson’s defense attorney asked the court to order the lower court to hold a new arraignment on grounds that recent changes in how the death penalty is handed down, should also apply to arraignments.

“However, the reversal of Jackson’s conviction and ordering of a new trial did not require a new arraignment,” states the ruling.

Jackson was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder and sexual battery on February 22, 2010 and sentenced to death on July 16, 2010. The Florida Supreme Court reversed the lower court’s death penalty verdict and sent the case back to Clay County for a retrial on November 16, 2012.

The three-judge 1st District Court of Appeal also ruled that the state’s new law governing the death penalty “does not apply retroactively to an arraignment that occurred in 2007.”

Jackson’s conviction was overturned on multiple grounds, including a challenge of a taped interview with Jackson that was admitted into evidence and played for the jury during trial. The Florida Supreme Court, in its November 12, 2012 ruling said the lower court “committed reversible error in the guilt phase by admitting Jackson’s videotaped custodial interrogation.” The high court said the videotaped interview would prejudice the jury and make an impact on the verdict.

The high court also ruled that detectives who interrogated Jackson used an intimidating line of questioning the court deemed “problematic and prejudicial assertions.”

“…the only question I have is: Why did you kill her”; (2) “I know you did it. You used a fire

extinguisher. I know you did it”; (3) “No. I’m saying something that you did do and you know in your heart you did it”; (4) “There’s no doubt in my mind you did it, okay? There’s no doubt”; (5) “You have no explanation of how you could have come inside her other than being there raping her and then consequently she dies,” states the Florida Supreme Court ruling in which the conviction was overturned.

The Florida Supreme Court also took issue with court testimony in which detectives called Jackson “a nobody” and referred to Boyer as a “rising star within the community.”

Jackson has been in the Clay County Jail awaiting a retrial since the first conviction was overturned. The state is again seeking the death penalty in the case.

Before Jackson was sentenced, Refik Eler, Chief Assistant Public Defender for the Fourth Judicial Circuit, filed papers opposing the death sentence on grounds that mitigating circumstances outweighed the aggravated circumstances.

“The Court has the ability to override the jury’s recommendation of death and based on the facts of this case as well the evidence presented at the penalty phase it should override the jury’s recommendation of death and impose a sentence of life imprisonment.

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