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Eddie Lee SEXTON

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Abusive/incestuous father who commanded his children to kill
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: 1993
Date of arrest: January 14, 1994
Date of birth: May 12, 1942
Victims profile: His daughter smothered her infant child on his orders / His son strangled the child's father (Sexton's son-in-law)
Method of murder: Smothering / Strangulation
Location: Hillsborough County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on November 2, 1994. Resentenced to death on November 18, 1998
 
 
 
 
 

Supreme Court of Florida

 

opinion 86132

opinion SC94487

 
 

opinion SC07-286

 
 
 
 
 
 

DC# 532757
DOB: 05/12/42

Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County, Case #94-1299
Sentencing Judge (1st): The Honorable Robert Mitchams
Sentencing Judge (2nd:  The Honorable J. Rogers Padget
Attorneys, Trial (1st and 2nd): R. Terrance and R. Fraser – Special Public Defenders
Attorney, Direct Appeal (1st and 2nd):  Andrea Norgard – Assistant Public Defender
Attorneys, Collateral Appeals:  Robert Strain & Carol Rodriguez – CCRC-M

Date of Offense:  11/17/93

Date of Sentence (1st):  11/02/94

Date of Sentence (2nd): 11/18/98

Circumstances of Offense:

Eddie Lee Sexton was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Joel Good.

Joel Good was married to Estella Sexton (Pixie), the daughter of Eddie and Estella Sexton.  Joel’s body and the body of Joel and Pixie’s son were each buried near Tampa area campsites.

Sexton and his family moved to Florida from Ohio because Sexton was wanted on charges of sexual abuse in Ohio.  The family temporarily stayed with Sexton’s sister in Tampa, but then moved to Hillsborough State Park, where they lived in a mobile home. 

During this time, Pixie and Joel’s infant son, Skipper Lee Good, fell ill, but Sexton would not allow them to take their son to the doctor for fear of being found.  Sexton, also, threatened to hurt their son if Pixie did not make the baby stop crying.  Pixie covered the baby’s face until he stopped crying.  The baby was found dead in the morning, and Sexton made Joel Good and Sexton’s son, William Sexton, bury the body in the woods. 

Joel wanted to go back to Ohio with Pixie and her two daughters after the death of his son.  Pixie, at this point, informed Joel that Eddie Sexton, her father, was also the father of her two daughters.  Sexton would not allow them to return to Ohio.  He threatened to turn in Pixie for killing her son if they left.  During this period of time, the Sexton family moved to Little Manatee State Park.

Eddie Sexton had William Sexton, his son, kill Joel Good because Eddie Sexton was afraid that Joel Good would tell the police about the infant’s death, the sexual abuse, and the location of Sexton and his family.  William, who was 22-years-old, was determined to function on the level of an 8-year-old. 

On 11/17/93, some members of the Sexton family, including Eddie Sexton, went on a picnic.  Other members of the family stayed at the campsite, including Pixie Good, Joel Good, and William Sexton. 

Pixie testified that William and Joel left the campsite and went into the woods.  Pixie and her sister, Sherry Sexton, went to look for them when they heard Joel shout.  According to Pixie, they found William strangling Joel with a rope.  Pixie went and found her father, Eddie Sexton, bringing him to where William and Joel were in the woods.  Sexton saw that Joel was still moving and told William to finish killing Joel. 

Eddie and William Sexton buried the body of Joel Good with a shovel that Eddie Sexton sent Pixie to buy.  Eddie Sexton told William Sexton to cut off Joel Good’s hands so that there would not be fingerprints, but William was not able to cut off his hands. 

The state’s medical examiner observed ligature marks around the Joel Good’s neck and a deep cut on the his right hand.  She concluded that the victim was strangled to death.

Sherry Sexton, however, gave a different account of the events surrounding Joel Good’s death.  She testified that Pixie helped William kill Joel Good.  Sherry also reported that Eddie Sexton was upset with William for killing Joel and that Pixie said she was glad Joel was dead.

The FBI tracked the Sexton family to the Little Manatee River Campground.  The FBI were investigating the Sexton family due to the charges of Sexual Misconduct of the Sexton parents against their children and the charges of Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution in Ohio. 

Eddie Sexton made a phone call to his brother-in-law in Indiana and charged the call to his previous number in Ohio.  The FBI determined that the call was placed from a pay phone in the Little Manatee River State Park.  The FBI also determined that the Sexton family was probably driving a gray 1993 Nissan Sentra that Eddie Sexton had bought from his brother-in-law but had not made the payments; therefore, Sexton’s brother-in-law reported the automobile as stolen.  The FBI in Ohio contacted the FBI in Tampa and gave them the information about the location of the Sexton family and their automobile. 

On 01/14/94, the FBI located the Sexton family at the Little Manatee River State Park.  The FBI maintained surveillance on the Sexton family and arrested Eddie and Estella Sexton when they left the campsite in the automobile.

The Stark County Sheriff’s Department questioned Charles Sexton, a son of Eddie and Estella Sexton, after Joel Good’s aunt reported Joel Good missing.  Charles Sexton told them that Joel Good and Skipper Good were both dead.  He showed officials the burial locations for both Joel and Skipper Good.

Additional Information:

Current Prison Sentence History 

Hillsborough County Circuit Court # 94-7915 

Eddie Sexton conspired with family members, specifically his son Willie Sexton, to murder a campground resident, Raymond Hesser.  Eddie Sexton wanted to assume the identity of Hesser due to Sexton’s fugitive status.  The Sexton family also planned to take Hesser’s camper and truck after he was dead.  After killing Hesser, the Sextons would dispose of his body in the Little Manatee River State Park.  The FBI arrested members of the Sexton family, including Eddie and Willie Sexton, which prevented the completion of the Hesser murder.  Eddie Sexton was sentenced to 30 years for Conspiracy to Commit First-Degree Murder on 11/02/94.

Codefendant Status:  William Sexton (Hillsborough County Circuit Court #94-1299) 

William Sexton was convicted of Second-Degree Murder for the murder of Joel Good on 11/17/93.  William Sexton was sentenced to 25 years on 11/10/93.

Trial Summary:

01/14/94          Sexton was arrested for the murder of Joel Good.

02/16/94          Sexton was indicted on the following counts:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder

10/06/94          Sexton was found guilty of Count I of the indictment during the first trial.

10/07/94          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 7 to 5 majority, voted for the death penalty.

11/02/94          Sexton was sentenced as follows:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

09/03/98          On remand from the Florida Supreme Court for a new trial, a jury found Sexton guilty for Count I of the indictment during the second trial.

09/04/98          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by an 8 to 4 majority, voted for the death penalty.

11/18/98          Sexton was sentenced as follows:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

Case Information:

Sexton filed his first Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 07/20/95.  The issues addressed included that the court mishandled aggravating factors and that capital punishment was not proportionate to the crime committed, nor was it constitutional.  Sexton further argued that the trial court erred in allowing testimony that Sexton allegedly physically and sexually abused his children, practiced Satanism, threatened his children if they discussed family issues outside of the family, and trained his children to kill government agents, specifically FBI agents.  The Florida Supreme Court determined that allowing the testimony of the children to these acts outside of the murder of Joel Good might have inflamed the jury; therefore, the Florida Supreme Court reversed the sentence and conviction and remanded for a new trial on 07/17/97.  A Mandate was issued on 08/18/97.

On remand from the Florida Supreme Court for a new trial, Sexton was found guilty of First-Degree Murder on 09/03/98.  Upon jury advisory sentencing, the jury, by an 8 to 4 majority, voted for the death penalty on 09/04/98.  Sexton was sentenced to death on 11/18/98.

Sexton filed his second Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 12/10/98.  The issues addressed included that the trial court erred in admitting evidence about Skipper Lee Good’s death, in not granting Sexton new counsel, in admitting victim impact testimony, and in mishandling aggravating factors.  Furthermore, Sexton argued that the sentence of death was disproportionate and unconstitutional.  The Florida Supreme Court did not find errors that warranted reversing the conviction or sentence and affirmed the conviction and sentence on 10/12/00.  Rehearing was denied on 12/21/00.  A Mandate was issued on 01/22/01.

Sexton filed a 3.850 Motion with the Hillsborough County Circuit Court on 01/18/02.  Sexton filed Amended 3.850 Motions on 03/21/02.  The motion was denied in part and granted in part (for an evidentiary hearing) on 03/11/03.

Floridacapitalcases.state.fl.us

 
 

Eddie Lee Sexton sentenced to death

The judge says the father dominated his son, forcing the son to kill his brother-in-law

By Sue Carlton - St. Petersburg Times

November 19, 1998

Eddie Lee Sexton was even more responsible for the murder of a relative than the "simple-minded" son Sexton used as his "weapon of choice" to do the job, a judge wrote in an order released Wednesday.

With that, Circuit Judge J. Rogers Padgett followed the recommendation of a jury and sentenced the Ohio family patriarch to die in the electric chair for the 1993 murder of Sexton's son-in-law in a Florida park.

The 56-year-old father of 12, who authorities say controlled his children with years of incest and horrific abuse, sat passively in a wheelchair in the courtroom, nodding his head when the judge delivered the sentence. Two months earlier, when the jury that convicted him then recommended the death penalty by a vote of 8-4, Sexton merely shrugged.

"That's life," he told his attorney then.

It was, after all, Sexton's second time around. In 1994, he was convicted and sentenced to death in the murder of his daughter's husband, Joel Good, but won a new trial after the Florida Supreme Court ruled the jury should not have heard certain lurid details of the bizarre Sexton household.

The Sexton children told authorities their father persuaded them he had Satanic powers and repeatedly raped and beat them. Sexton, his wife and several children were on the run from child abuse charges in Ohio when they camped out at the Hillsborough River State Park five years ago. Sexton's daughter smothered her infant son after her father ordered her to quiet the child, and the boy's body was buried in the park.

Good began talking of taking his son's body back to Ohio, so Sexton taught his son, Willie, then 22, how to strangle a man using a rope twisted tight with sticks. Good's body, too, was buried in a park.

Willie Sexton, who was sexually abused throughout his childhood and who spent more than a year in a state mental hospital after his arrest, testified against his father and was sentenced to 25 years in prison on a second-degree murder charge.

"The evidence clearly showed the dominance of the defendant over his simple-minded son achieved by a lifetime of cruel, insidious and humiliating physical, emotional and sexual abuse," Padgett wrote in his order.

Sexton's attorney, Robert Fraser, said he believes certain testimony, including mitigating evidence about Sexton's own mental condition, could be factors in an appeal.

"I don't think the evidence supports the idea that Willie is a robot," Fraser said.

 
 

SEX: M RACE: W TYPE: T MOTIVE: PC-domestic

MO: Abusive/incestuous father who commanded his children to kill; daughter smothered her infant child on his orders; son strangled the child's father (Sexton's son-in-law)

DISPOSITION: Condemned + 15 years for conspiracy, 1995; death sentence overturned with new trial ordered, 1997.

 
 


 

 

 
 
 
 
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