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LARZELERE, Virginia Gail (W/F)
DC# 842556
DOB: 12/27/52

Volusia County, Seventh Judicial Circuit, Case# 91-2561CFAES
Sentencing Judge, Trial: The Honorable John W. Watson, III
Attorney, Trial: John Wilkins – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Christopher S. Quarles – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: David D. Hendry – CCRC-M


Date of Offense: 03/08/91
Date of Sentence: 05/11/93


Circumstances of Offense:

Virginia Larzelere was married to the victim, Norman Larzelere, who was a dentist.
Virginia was the office manager for Norman’s practice. During the afternoon of
03/08/91, a masked gunman entered the dental office. The gunman chased Norman down
and shot him with a shotgun and then fled. Norman died shortly after being shot. A
patient, a dental assistant, and Virginia were all present in the office at the time of the
shooting.

Virginia and her son, Jason, were charged with the murder. The State theorized that
Virginia and Jason conspired to kill Norman in order to cash in a $2 million life insurance
policy and $1 million in assets.

The following evidence was presented by the state at trial. Two different men presented
testimony stating that they had engaged in affairs with Virginia and that she had asked
them to assist her in killing her husband. Two additional witnesses, Steven Heidle and
Kristen Palmieri, after receiving immunity, testified to various incriminating statements
and actions made by Jason and Virginia concerning the murder. Heidle and Palmieri
testified that the night before the murder, Virginia sent Jason to pick up documents from
a storage unit. Those documents included Norman’s life insurance policies and will.
They also said that Virgina said to Jason after the murder, “Don’t worry, you’ll get your
$200,000 for taking care of business.” Heidle and Palmieri said that Virginia told both of
them that Jason screwed up by showing up at Norman’s practice half an hour late. If
Jason had arrived on time, it would have been 12:30 p.m. and the dental assistant, as well
as the patient, would not have been present. The two witnesses said that Virginia told
them to get rid of a .45 handgun and a shotgun by encasing them in concrete and
disposing of them in a creek. In the days after the murder, the two witnesses said that
                                                                         Larzelere, V.G. 2


Virginia and Jason reenacted the murder, with Virginia playing the role of the victim and
Jason playing the role of the gunman. The shotgun was recovered from the creek, but no
conclusive determination was made as to whether it was the weapon used in the murder.

Virginia gave several different versions of the murder in her testimony to the police. Both
the descriptions of the gunman and the getaway car changed. The patient who witnessed
the murder heard the victim say just after he was shot, “Jason, is that you?”

Over the six years before the murder, Virginia took out seven different life insurance
policies on the victim. In the six months before the murder, she doubled the amount
payable from $1 million to $2 million. The victim helped to obtain these policies, but
Virginia was dominant in pursuing the policies. Virginia also gave false statements and
information in order to get the policies. Additionally, Virginia filed a fraudulent will
designating her as the sole heir to the estate shortly after the murder. The will was
submitted on the same day that one of the biggest insurance policies went into effect.


Codefendant Information:

Jason Larzelere was 18-years-old at the time of the slaying by the masked gunmen. He
was acquitted of the first-degree murder charge and accepted a $75,000 insurance
settlement in 1994.


Trial Summary:

05/24/91       Indicted as follows:
                       Count I:       First-Degree Murder
08/17/92       Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment and
               recommended death by a vote of 7-5
05/14/93       Sentenced as follows:
                       Count I:       First-Degree Murder – Death
02/28/08       FSC vacated the sentence of death and remanded for a new sentencing
               proceeding


Appeal Summary:

Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
FSC# 81,793
676 So. 2d 394

05/21/93       Appeal filed
03/28/96       FSC affirmed conviction and sentence
07/11/96       Rehearing denied
08/12/96       Mandate issued
                                                                         Larzelere, V.G. 3


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari
USSC# 96-6345
519 U.S. 1043; 117 S. Ct. 615; 136 L. Ed. 2d 539

10/09/96       Petition filed
12/16/96       Petition denied

State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion
CC# 91-2561-CF-A-ES

11/25/97       Motion filed
08/31/00       Amended motion filed
01/14/03       Second amended motion filed
03/24/05       Death sentence overturned and remanded for resentencing

Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal
FSC# 05-611

04/11/05       Appeal filed by the State of Florida
02/28/08       Trial Court’s decision affirmed; FSC remands for new sentencing hearing

Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
FSC# 06-148

01/30/06       Petition filed
02/28/08       Petition denied
03/14/08       Motion for Rehearing filed
04/03/08       Motion for Rehearing denied


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:

The 3.850 Motion was pending in the Circuit Court for over seven years.


Case Information:

The Direct Appeal was filed to the Florida Supreme Court on 05/21/93. Issues that were
raised included whether the trial judge improperly limited the defense’s impeachment of
a witness and whether the trial judge erred in admitted selected portions of taped
statements and in refusing the request to introduce the complete statements. The Florida
Supreme Court found all of the issues either harmless or without merit. The Court
affirmed the conviction and death sentence on 03/28/96.

Larzelere filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court on
10/09/96, which was denied on 12/16/96.
                                                                          Larzelere, V.G. 4



A 3.850 Motion was filed to the Circuit Court on 11/25/97. The motion was amended
twice on 08/31/00 and 01/14/03. On 03/24/05, Larzelere’s death sentence was overturned
and ordered for resentencing by Judge Watson, who claimed that Larzelere’s lawyers did
not present important evidence during the original penalty phase. Judge Watson
concluded that Larzelere’s attorneys did not spend enough time preparing for the penalty
phase and noted her jury did not hear evidence about her mental health issues and sexual
abuse as a child.

On 04/11/05, the State of Florida filed a 3.850 Appeal of the trial court’s decision to
vacate Larzelere’s death sentence in the Florida Supreme Court. On 02/28/08, the
Florida Supreme Court released its opinion affirming the trial court’s order insofar that it
vacates Larzelere’s death sentence and remands for a new sentencing proceeding before a
jury.

On 01/30/06, Larzelere filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to the Florida Supreme
Court. This Habeas petition was denied on 02/28/08. Larzelere filed a Motion for
Rehearing on 03/14/08 which was denied on 04/03/08.


Institutional Adjustment:

DATE        DAYS        VIOLATION          LOCATION
--------    ----       -----------------    -------------------
09/23/04    0          LYING TO STAFF      LOWELL ANNEX
________________________________________________________________________

Report Date: 12/03/02         CC
Approved:    12/15/02         WS
Updated:     04/08/08         AEH

								
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