A jury has recommended the death penalty for a Florida man convicted of killing a woman and her 11-year-old daughter.
A dozen Palm Beach County jurors unanimously voted Wednesday that Marlin Larice Joseph, 28, should be executed, news outlets reported. The same panel found him guilty Monday of two counts of first-degree murder. Though Florida law requires a unanimous jury recommendation for the death penalty, Circuit Judge Cheryl Caracuzzo could choose life in prison at an April 23 hearing.
Kaladaa Crowell, 36, had been dating Joseph's mother at the time of the December 2017 fatal shootings. During the trial, prosecutors said Joseph killed Cromwell and her daughter, Kyra Inglett, 11, because Joseph was angry about the way Kyra treated his 8-year-old daughter.
“Deliberate cruelty is not forgivable,” prosecutor Richard Clausi said during the penalty phase hearing, quoting from playwright Tennessee Williams. “Deliberate cruelty is what took Kaladaa’s life. Deliberate cruelty is what took Kyra’s life. And deliberate cruelty is why we’re asking you to deliver the punishment that fits the crime, with regards to what he did on that day. And that is a recommendation of death.”
The defense said Joseph grew up in a close-knit family and had the potential to become a college or professional athlete but didn't have sufficient grades. He had two children and then began experiencing delusions and paranoia, defense attorney Sean Wagner said.
Joseph's legal team did not use an insanity defense in the trial. The case went back and forth between criminal court and mental-health court before Joseph was deemed competent to stand trial last year.