Several St. Johns Murder Cases Pending

By Korfhage, Stuart | The Florida Times Union, July 1, 2013 | Go to article overview

Several St. Johns Murder Cases Pending


Korfhage, Stuart, The Florida Times Union


Byline: Stuart Korfhage

In the last 10 days, two suspects in local murder cases have entered no-contest pleas, bringing those cases closer to conclusion.

But there is still a glut of cases in the St. Johns County court system waiting for resolution.

Despite the recent pleas of Philip Carl Pomper and Harry Lewis Henderson, the number of unresolved murder cases in the county still reaches double figures. And that includes only cases in which an arrest has been made and a suspect charged. There are still several murders in the county in which no suspect has been charged.

The unresolved cases go back as far as 2010, including the murder of Vincent John Binder, a Florida State graduate student. Three prison escapees from Louisiana are charged in that crime and face the death penalty. That case could be tried as early as the fall.

The other pending death penalty case is that of Sean Alonzo Bush, who is accused of killing his estranged wife, Nicole Bush.

The next murder case scheduled to go to trial is that of Sharina Jadne Parker. She is a co-defendant - along with Henderson and Rodrick D'Anthony Williams - in the murder of James Vincent Brookins. Parker is scheduled to face trial in August.

HIGH-PROFILE MURDER CASES IN ST. JOHNS

Murder case: Stephanie T. Singleton-Gilliam

April 24, 2012

Defendant: Frederick Gilliam Sr.

Charge: First-degree murder.

Death case: Nothing filed, but Assistant State Attorney Jason Lewis indicated at an August 2012 hearing that state did not plan to seek the death penalty.

Case summary: Frederick Gilliam is accused of killing his wife in their West Augustine home. He told law enforcement that he and his wife were stabbed by two people who fled the home.

Case status: The next pretrial is set for Nov. 4. A trial is not yet scheduled.

Murder case: Daniel Somerson

July 8, 2011

Defendant: Latoya Jordan

Charges: First-degree murder, burglary with assault or battery, grand theft

Death case: State announced its intention not to seek death penalty May 18, 2012.

Case summary: Jordan has a history of meeting men on the Internet and convincing them to let her live with them. She stayed with Somerson for several weeks, according to investigators. She admitted to detectives that she stabbed Somerson 18 times, according to a Sheriff's Office report. Somerson's body was found in his house, rolled up in a rug and left there for a week.

Case status: A hearing is scheduled Oct. 7. Jordan's attorney has sought to suppress her confession. A trial is currently scheduled for December.

Murder case: Brittany J. Tavar

Oct. 10, 2010

Defendant: Joseph Dean Roberts

Charges: First-degree murder, grand theft

Death case: State announced its intention not to seek death penalty Oct. 18, 2011.

Case summary: Roberts met Tavar at a bookstore, and she eventually invited him to live with her. …

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