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Appeal of First Degree Muder Conviction

The appellant of this case is William Coday and the Appellee in the case is the State of Florida.

The Case

A New York Lawyer said that William Coday is in court today to appeal his conviction of first-degree murder and the sentence to death.

History of the Conviction

The original case is a murder case that went through a jury trial. The jury found William Cody guilty of first degree murder and the trial court sentenced him to death.

The murder victim of the case is Gloria Gomez, who Coday stated to have an on again, off again, relationship with. In June of 1997 he accused Gomez of having an affair and she moved out of his apartment and into an apartment with some friends. Coday proceeded to leave messages for Gomez and told her that he was dying of cancer. She told him that she would come and visit him on Friday July 11th in the morning, between 10 and 11. A New York Custody Lawyer said he did not arrive until nearly one p.m. and he was upset. The initial conversations were about his condition and then he told her that he wanted her back. When Gomez told him that she didn’t love him, he became enraged and punched her. He then struck her with a hammer and a struggle ensued. After knocking her to the ground he went into the kitchen and retrieved a knife and then started stabbing her. The cause of death was multiple blunt and sharp force traumas.

Case Sentencing

When the court sentenced Coday to the death penalty, there was great weight given to the nine to 3 death penalty recommendations from the jury. The court found that the murder was heinous, atrocious, and cruel, and was proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

Basis for Appeal

The appellant, Coday gives several reasons for the appeal of the judgment and the sentence. The first reason given is that the State did not prove that the murder was premeditated. He also argues that at the time of his arrest he was staying at the residence of his ex wife and because of this he had the right of privacy within that residence. A Nassau County Divorce Lawyer said he states his arrest was unlawful as the police entered the home and arrested him without a warrant, without his ex wife’s permission, and without exigent circumstances.

Discussion and Verdict for the Appeal

During the trial an “expert witness” gave testimony stating that Coday was unable to conform his conduct to act in the requirements of the law. However, these conclusions were based on various reports given about his particular memory of the murder and feelings of detachment at the time. These opinions lacked sufficient basis and cannot be used as evidence that over a period of 20 years he would not be able to conform his conduct to act within the requirements of the law. For this reason the testimony was rejected. This rejected testimony may have factored into the sentencing of the defendant, even though it was not deemed to be valid evidence.

A Queens Family Lawyer says the death sentence is only to be used in extreme circumstances and based on the evidence provided today, we agree with the guilty verdict of the trial court. However, we are sending the sentencing back to the trial court for review.

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