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Normal Jessica Lunsford

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:02 pm

Author: Vic Micolucci, Mobile Journalist , [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]
Published On: Jan 20 2012 05:01:35 PM EST
Updated On: Jan 20 2012 05:43:09 PM EST
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Jessica Lunsford
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -
Jessica Lunsford was only 9 years old when she was abducted from her home, raped and later buried alive.

Now a documentary about her life and her father's crusade against sex offenders, called "Jessie's Dad," shows this weekend in St. Augustine.

Jessie's Dad shows a father on a mission -- his precious daughter ripped from his life by a sex offender and child killer. The pain he experiences is unbearable, but he's working to keep it from happening to anyone else.

Jessica's brutal rape and murder gained national attention, and that of a Florida journalist.

"And then I noticed he was becoming an activist, which I thought was fascinating," filmmaker Boaz Dvir said of Jessica's father, Mark Lunsford.

Dvir decided to highlight Lunsford's work to make the world a better place for children.

"Well, truthfully, I used to live in Homosassa, which is where this happened, and when it happened, live, I followed it on the Internet," Dvir said. "I was really frightened by the whole thing and so heartbroken, and when they found Jessica dead, I mean, my sister went to the same elementary school that she did, so I had a really close personal connection."

Dvir said that as he was making the documentary, he was taken aback by Lunsford's strength and will to make a difference.

"He helped create and then convince lawmakers around the country to pass Jessie's Law," Dvir said. "Jessie's Law has many facets to it, so we probably don't have time to get into it, but the main thing is that it toughens the sentencing against sex offenders. It also helps us know where they are. You know those listings that they print in newspapers now and online to show you where the sex offenders are? That came out of Jessie's law. The fact that if you're a sex offender, you can't work in a school sounds obvious, but that came out of Jessie's Law."

Lunsford said he'll keep pushing for change so his daughter's death wasn't in vain. And as for the film about him and his daughter:

"I just, you know, very emotional, and every time I see it, it's emotional," he said. "And I always walk away with one thought that, 'You know, every time somebody sees this, somebody's going to do something, somebody out there in the group of people that's watching, they're going to do something."

The screening of "Jessie's Dad" will be Saturday at the St. Augustine Film Festival.
It starts at 2 p.m. at the Gamache-Koger Theatre.

To learn more about the film, visit [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] .

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Normal Murder of Jessica Lunsford ~ From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:07 pm

Jessica Lunsford
Born Jessica Marie Lunsford
October 6, 1995
Gastonia, North Carolina, U.S.
Died February 27, 2005 (aged 9)
Homosassa, Florida, U.S.
Relatives Joshua Lunsford (brother)

Jessica Marie Lunsford (October 6, 1995 – February 27, 2005) was a nine-year-old girl who was abducted from her home in Homosassa, Florida in the early morning of February 24, 2005. Believed held captive over the weekend, she was raped and later murdered by 47-year-old John Couey who lived nearby. The media covered the investigation and trial of her killer extensively. On August 24, 2007, a judge in Inverness, Florida sentenced Couey, a convicted sex offender, to death for kidnapping, sexually battering, and First degree murder of Jessica.

Couey stated in an audio/videotaped confession that he had abducted, raped, and murdered Jessica Lunsford.[1] A judge ruled on June 30, 2006 that Couey's confession was inadmissible in court because when it was recorded police had not granted Couey's requests for a lawyer, thereby rendering the confession invalid and unreliable under the Fifth and Sixth Amendments. Over Couey's objection, the trial court ruled that all evidence collected after the confession, including the recovery of Lunsford's body, would be admitted, as would incriminating statements allegedly made by Couey to investigators and a jail guard.[2]
[edit]Couey's confession

In his confession Couey said that he entered Lunsford's house through an unlocked door at about three o'clock in the morning, awakened Lunsford, told her "Don't yell or nothing", and told her to follow him out of the house.[3] He occupied a trailer along with two women, some 100 yards (91 m) away, at the time of Lunsford's abduction.[4] He admitted in a videotaped and recorded deposition to raping Lunsford in his bedroom. Lunsford was kept in Couey's bed that evening, where he raped her again in the morning. Couey put her in his closet and ordered her to remain there, which she did as he reported for work at "Billy's Truck Lot".[3] Three days after he abducted her, Couey tricked Jessica into getting into two garbage bags by saying he was going to 'take her home'. He instead buried her alive as he decided he could do nothing else with the girl. He said he 'Didn't want people seeing him and Lunsford across the street.'[citation needed]

On March 19, 2005, the police found Lunsford's body at a residence located on West Sparrow Court, buried in a hole approximately 2½' deep and 2' circular, covered with leaves. The body was removed from the ground and transported to the coroner's office. Her body had undergone "moderate" to "severe" decomposition and according to the publicly released autopsy reports was skeletonized on two fingers that Lunsford had poked through the bags before suffocating to death. The coroner ruled that death would have happened even in best circumstances within 2–3 minutes from lack of oxygen.[citation needed]

[edit]Arrest of John Couey

After approximately three weeks of intense searching for Lunsford around the area of her home, John Couey, age 47,[5] was arrested in Savannah, Georgia for an outstanding warrant of cannabis possession, but he was released after questioning because it was only a local warrant. He was later arrested in Augusta, Georgia. On March 18, 2005, Couey confessed to having kidnapped and murdered Lunsford. On March 19, 2005 police found Lunsford's body. On March 7, 2007, Couey was found guilty in Florida of all charges in relation to Lunsford's death, including first degree murder, kidnapping, and capital sexual battery. On March 14, 2007, the jury recommended the death penalty. The case was appealed to the Florida Supreme Court. Couey continued to maintain that he was innocent until his death in September 2009.[citation needed]
[edit]Death of John Couey

On August 24, 2007, Couey was sentenced to death, in addition to three consecutive life sentences. However, on September 30, 2009, before the sentences could be carried out, Couey died from colon cancer.[6]
[edit]Jessica Lunsford Act

Main article: Jessica's Law
Following her death, her father, Mark Lunsford, pursued new legislation to provide more stringent tracking of released sex offenders. The Jessica Lunsford Act was named after her. It requires tighter restrictions on sex offenders (such as wearing electronic tracking devices) and increased prison sentences for some convicted sex offenders.[7] Jessica's Law refers to similar reform acts initiated by other states.

[edit]Wrongful death and negligence lawsuit

On February 19, 2008, almost three years to the day after her kidnapping and murder, Jessica's father was represented by Jacksonville, Florida lawyers in a pre-trial brief filed against the Citrus County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.[8] After receiving notice of the pending suit, Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy stated that he believed the case to be "baseless... There is only one person in the world that should be held responsible for Jessica Lunsford's death and that's John Couey."[9]

Following complaints and suggestions from Citrus County residents that the pending litigation was being pursued out of greed and that had he been a better father his child may still be alive,[10] Mark Lunsford and Jacksonville-based attorneys Eric Block and Mark Gelman held a news conference in Jacksonville, where it was stated that the pending litigation was "not for the money... but for change." Lunsford stated that changes were needed in procedures and policies. It is alleged that Couey had Jessica Lunsford alive in the trailer while Citrus County officials visited the trailer, that police dogs indicated Jessica was being held in the direction of the trailer and were ignored, that Citrus County officials actively pursued Mark Lunsford's father as their prime suspect while evidence pointed elsewhere, and that had Citrus County officials followed up on an outstanding warrant issued by Georgia, that Citrus County officials could have entered Couey's residence and possibly saved the child.[10][11][12]

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Normal "Jessica Lunsford Act"

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:08 pm

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Normal Re: Jessica Lunsford

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:09 pm

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Normal The Jessica Lunsford Case

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:11 pm

By Charles Montaldo, About.com Guide

Nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford disappeared from her bedroom at her grandparents' home in the middle of the night Feb. 23, 2005. A massive search was launched for the missing girl that drew the attention of national television networks over the following three weeks.
Police found the body of Jessica Lunsford buried in a shallow grave under the back porch of a mobile home less than 150 yards from her home on March 18, 2005, a day after a convicted sex offender told authorities that he had killed the nine-year-old.

Latest Developments

Jessica Lunsford's Killer Dies in Prison
Sept. 30, 2009
The man who kidnapped, raped and murdered 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford and buried her alive behind his sister's trailer, has died on death row of natural causes. John Evander Couey died at a Jacksonville hospital after a lengthy illness.

Previous Developments

John Evander Couey Gets Death Penalty
Aug. 24, 2007
A repeat sex offender whose crimes against nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford led to new, tougher laws across the nation, was sentenced to death today in a Florida court.
Judge: John Evander Couey Not Retarded
Aug. 7, 2007
John Evander Couey is not retarded and is eligible for the death penalty, a Florida judge has ruled. Official sentencing is scheduled for Friday for the 48-year-old repeat sex offender.

Couey Sentencing Delayed Again
July 17, 2007
John Evander Couey will not know until August 10 if he will face the death penalty or life in prison, as a Florida judge decides if Couey is mentally retarded or not.

John Evander Couey Still Not Sentenced
June 22, 2007
Three months after a jury recommended the death sentence, John EvanderCouey has yet to be sentenced and is not scheduled back in court for a hearing until July 17.

Jury Recommends Death for John Evander Couey
Mar. 14, 2007
A jury of his peers took less than one hour today to recommend a death sentence for John Evander Couey for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Jessica Marie Lunsford.

Justice for Jessica: Couey Found Guilty
Mar. 7, 2007
A jury in Miami deliberated for almost four hours today before returning guilty verdicts in all charges against John Evander Couey in the kidnapping, rape and murder of Jessica Lunsford.

Closing Arguments Set in Lunsford Trial
Mar. 6, 2007
Closing arguments are scheduled in the murder trial of John Evander Couey after the defense suddenly rested its case after calling only one witness.

Jury Selection Winds Down in Couey Trial
Feb. 23, 2007
The first round of jury selection in the Miami murder trial of John Evander Couey ended last week with 71 potential jurors of 288 advancing to the second round of questioning, expected to last only two days.

Jury Selection Begins
Feb. 12, 2007
Almost two years after nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford was kidnapped, raped, murdered and buried alive, jury selection is scheduled to begin today.

Judge Tosses More Evidence
Jan. 8, 2007
A Florida judge has thrown out more statements made to law enforcement officer by John Evander Couey while being questioned about an unrelated Orlando case.

Jessica Lunsford Trial Moved to Miami
Sept. 14, 2006
Florida will try again to find an impartial jury for the trial of John Evander Couey, this time in Miami.

Judge Halts Couey Jury Selection
June 13, 2006
After three days of questioning potential jurors in the murder trial of John Evander Couey, a Florida judge halted the procedure and dismissed the remaining jurors, because he said an impartial panel could not be found in Lake County.

Jury Selection Begins
July 10, 2006
Most of the potential jurors questioned during the first day of jury selection in the trial of John Evander Coueysaid they had heard of the case, but knew few details about Couey and why he came to be charged.

Confession Tossed in Jessica Lunsford Case
July 2, 2006
A Florida judge has ruled that John Evander Couey's confession to investigators cannot be used as evidence in his trial, but the discovery of her body and a later jailhouse confession can be used.

John Evander Couey Wants Confession Tossed
May 19, 2006
Attorneys for John Evander Couey filed motions to suppress his confession because they said he was denied access to a lawyer.

Judge Grants Change of Venue for Couey Trial
Apr. 21, 2006
A Florida judge has granted the request from John Evander Couey's attorneys to move to another county his trial for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Jessica Lunsford. Prosecutors did not contest the motion.

Cops Came Close to Finding Jessica Lunsford
June 23, 2005
The confession of John Evander Couey revealed that Jessica Lunsford was still alive in a closet when police came to the door to question her Homosassa, Florida neighbors about her disappearance.

Jessica Lunsford Was Raped, Buried Alive
April 20, 2005
Documents released by state prosecutors show that nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford was raped and buried alive in two plastic garbage bags with her hands tied with speaker wire.

John Evander Couey Charged in Jessica's Death
March 23, 2005
A convicted sex offender apparently kidnapped Jessica Lunsford from her bedroom and held her bound and gagged for at least two days 100 yards from her home while police, search dogs and volunteers swarmed the neighborhood.

Police Find Jessica Lunsford's Shallow Grave
March 18, 2005
Police found the body of Jessica Lunsford buried in a shallow grave under the back porch of a mobile home less than 150 years from her home.

Sex Offender Questioned in Jessica Lunsford Case
March 17, 2005
Rather than searching for Jessica Lunsford, authorities were investigating a registered sex offender who lived nearby and left the area shortly after Jessica vanished.

Police Puzzled Over Disappearance of Jessica Lunsford
March 7, 2005
Authorities in Homosassa, Florida have very few, if any, clues in the disappearance of Jessica Marie Lunsford 10 days after she vanished from her bedroom.

9-Year-Old Jessica Lunsford Still Missing
Feb. 28, 2005
More than 500 volunteers searching in the rain and wind and hundreds of tips received by authorities in the past four days have yet to turn up any clues in the disappearance of Jessica Lunsford of Homosassa, Florida.

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Normal Re: Jessica Lunsford

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:21 pm

I have to say, I am Stunned we did not have anything on Jessica. I remember this horrific case so clearly as was living in Florida at the time. And, many judged poor Mark cause he was just your run of the mill guy..didn't have a lot of money, etc..had been in jail a time or two and peeps judged him very harshly. If it were not for Mark Lunsford, there would be NO "Jessica Lunsford Act." If you read up on Mark, he has been involved in many cases and is a tireless advocate.

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Normal Re: Jessica Lunsford

Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:23 pm

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:37 pm

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:45 pm

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:48 pm

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 5:51 pm

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:01 pm

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:03 pm

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Post by Wrapitup on Fri Jan 20, 2012 6:10 pm

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Normal 'Jessica's Law' fails again before Colorado lawmakers 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford raped, killed in 2005.

Post by Wrapitup on Sat Feb 16, 2013 11:01 pm


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Normal Re: Jessica Lunsford

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Normal Re: Jessica Lunsford

Post by Wrapitup on Thu Jul 25, 2013 6:12 am

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