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With 82-year-old William Cruse's death Sunday of natural causes, Bryan Jennings becomes the most likely of Brevard County's eight remaining killers on death row to be executed next.
He was found guilty and sentenced to die after three different trials and has been denied more than a dozen times by courts on various appeals. His most recent appeal before the Florida Supreme Court maintains he had poor legal counsel.
Jennings brutally raped and killed a 6-year-old girl in 1979 after snatching her through a window of her Merritt Island bedroom.
Others from Brevard on death row and length of time there:
He was convicted of shooting to death his ex-girlfriend and her new male companion in 1986.
about 18 years
He repeatedly struck his neighbor over the head with a blunt object in 1990 when she caught him burglarizing her home.
He raped and murdered his 80-year-old neighbor after sneaking into her home.
He shot and killed his brother's 17-year-old girlfriend in 1998 in a car after accusing her of being unfaithful. He had just been released from prison.
almost six years
He broke into his friend's home with the intentions of forcing one or both of his friend's sisters to have sex with him in 2000. When the 10-year-old girl woke and recognized him, the 18-year-old stabbed her and then the girl's father, killing them both.
He was convicted for the drug-related beating, kidnapping and murder of a man whom he suspected to be an undercover drug agent in 2003. Walker beat the man for more than three hours before executing him.
almost two years
While serving a life sentence for murdering his wife, he confessed to the 1988 rape and murder of another woman after sneaking into her home.
Another may join them soon. Justin Heyne was found guilty of killing two adults and their child earlier this year. A jury recommended the death penalty, but Judge O.H. Eaton has yet to issue the sentence.
the past 18 months, Brevard's numbers on death row have declined.
The state executed Mark Dean Schwab for killing 11-year-old Junny Rios-Martinez in 1991. Then in the past year, Crosley Green's death sentence was converted to life in prison after the Florida Supreme Court ruled the jury should never have known about his juvenile record. He was convicted of murdering Chip Flynn in 1989.
Early next year, Anthony Welch will be resentenced as the state's top court said a judge erred during jury selection in the penalty phase of the case. Welch pleaded guilty in 2005 to killing his former next-door neighbors in their Pineda Crossings home. His request to withdraw his plea was denied.
Similarly, Willie Nowell will be given a new trial after the Florida Supreme Court said the prosecution improperly excluded a prospective Hispanic juror and made a forbidden appeal to the emotions of jurors. He was sentenced to death for killing a woman and her unborn child in 2002 in Palm Bay.http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20091201/NEWS01/912010332/1086/rss07