Home US Notorious double child killer Howard Steven Ault will be executed over infamous 1996 sex killings of two young sisters aged 7 and 11, which saw him rape oldest victim in front of her younger sibling then strangle both

Notorious double child killer Howard Steven Ault will be executed over infamous 1996 sex killings of two young sisters aged 7 and 11, which saw him rape oldest victim in front of her younger sibling then strangle both

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Convicted double child killer Howard Steven Ault, 57, was sentenced to death for the third time this week.

A notorious double child killer will be executed for the infamous murders of two young sisters in 1996 after a jury sentenced him to death for the third time.

Howard Steven Ault, 57, was initially sentenced to death in 2000, but several legal challenges and changes to Florida’s death row process have meant two more juries have intervened, culminating in a 9-3 vote this year. week to execute it.

He shocked the nation nearly 30 years ago when he lured DeAnn Emerald Mu’min, 11, and her younger sister, Alicia Sybilla Jones, 7, to his home with the promise of Halloween candy.

After kidnapping the girls, he raped Mu’min in front of his younger sister before strangling them both and hiding them in his attic.

Convicted double child killer Howard Steven Ault, 57, was sentenced to death for the third time this week.

Convicted double child killer Howard Steven Ault, 57, was sentenced to death for the third time this week.

DeAnn Esmeralda Mu'min

DeAnn Esmeralda Mu'min

Alicia Sybilla Jones

Alicia Sybilla Jones

Ault shocked the nation in 1996 when he lured sisters DeAnn Emerald Mu’min, 11, (left) and her younger sister, Alicia Sybilla Jones, 7, (right), to his home, before raping DeAnn and murder them both.

Jurors deliberated for two days before voting 9-3 to sentence Ault to death again, with his fate decided by a non-unanimous decision thanks to a new law introduced by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.

The governor signed a bill in April allowing the death penalty to be approved in his state with a jury vote of just 8 to 4.

Ault has been incarcerated since his arrest shortly after the murders, but has been on and off death row several times despite his heinous crime.

Three years after his initial conviction in 2000, the Florida Supreme Court ordered Ault to undergo a new trial over concerns about jury selection at his trial.

He was then resentenced in 2007 for the girls’ murders in a 9-3 vote, and remained on death row for more than a decade until another ruling by the Florida Supreme Court in 2017.

The court determined that Florida’s death penalty process was unconstitutional because it did not require juries to make a unanimous decision.

With Ault awaiting another sentencing hearing, the case was complicated by the 2018 Parkland school shooting, as the gunman who killed 17 people was spared the death penalty as the jury only voted 12-9 in favor of death.

Amid outrage over the jury’s vote, DeSantis pushed to lower the threshold, ultimately leading to Ault’s third death sentence this week.

According to a New York Times In an article following his arrest in 1996, Ault was known as a long-time sex offender in the state of Florida who was under house arrest for an unrelated sex crime involving another child at the time of the sisters’ murders. .

He quickly confessed to the murders and led investigators to their bodies in the attic of his building.

Ault had befriended the sisters' mother shortly before their murders and lured them to his house with Halloween candy.

Ault had befriended the sisters' mother shortly before their murders and lured them to his house with Halloween candy.

Ault had befriended the sisters’ mother shortly before their murders and lured them to his house with Halloween candy.

The killer was a known sex offender in the area. After his confession, he led investigators to the sisters' bodies in the attic of his South Florida home (pictured).

The killer was a known sex offender in the area. After his confession, he led investigators to the sisters' bodies in the attic of his South Florida home (pictured).

The killer was a known sex offender in the area. After his confession, he led investigators to the sisters’ bodies in the attic of his South Florida home (pictured).

Ault (pictured at his first trial) had a shocking criminal history dating back to 1986, including previous attacks on children.

Ault (pictured at his first trial) had a shocking criminal history dating back to 1986, including previous attacks on children.

Ault (pictured at his first trial) had a shocking criminal history dating back to 1986, including previous attacks on children.

Ault seen in a previous mugshot

Ault seen in a previous mugshot

The murderer has been sentenced to three death sentences.

The murderer has been sentenced to three death sentences.

Following his arrest, the crime sparked outrage when it became clear that Ault (seen in previous mugshots) had an extensive criminal record against children, but was still able to come into contact with the young sisters.

Police discovered that he had befriended the sisters and their mother shortly before the murders, and although he was under house arrest, Ault was not electronically monitored and was only subject to visits from his parole officer.

His arrest sparked outrage as many questioned why a convicted child predator could have contact with the girls, as Ault had a 10-year criminal record at the time.

In 1986, he was accused of a violent attack on a couple on a beach, for which he was sentenced to three years’ probation.

After two years, he pleaded guilty to attempted robbery and attempted sexual assault of a 12-year-old girl, earning him a seven-year prison sentence.

However, Ault was released after only three years and nine months due to prison overcrowding.

Then, in 1994, he pleaded guilty to wrongful imprisonment and sexual activity with a six-year-old boy who lived in his neighborhood, for which he was sentenced to house arrest.

He was also accused on New Year’s Eve 1995 of attempting to rape an 11-year-old neighbor, but was never arrested for the alleged crime.

Following the murders of DeAnn (pictured) and Alicia, outraged mourners at her funeral called for Ault to “never see the light of day again.”

At the funeral of the sisters he murdered, the fury at the system that allowed him to reoffend was palpable.

One attendee, Laura Mucilli, 60, who didn’t know the girls but wanted to support their funeral, said at the time: “We need to start something where once a baby is hurt, they never see the light of day.”

‘We are people. We make the laws. Once and never again will I see the light of day. That’s all that has to happen.”

Tederin Lane, 41, a cousin of the sisters’ mother, added: “They should get these killers tattooed so kids know what they’re walking into.”

Now, although a jury voted to sentence him to death for the third time, he will still be subject to formal sentencing by a judge.

He is scheduled for a status hearing on April 11.

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