A jury in Florida on Thursday unanimously recommended to send convicted killer Gerhard Hojan, 43, back to the death row for the 2002 murder Waffle House
A Florida jury has taken a unanimous decision to condemn a murderer who has been convicted of killing two workers in a waffle house and seriously injuring a third 16 years ago on death row after his previous sentence was destroyed.
It took jurors in Broward County nine hours to discuss the fate of the 43-year-old Gerhard Hojan.
Hojan was originally sentenced to death in 2003 after being convicted of first-degree murder, attempted murder, armed kidnapping and theft in connection with the cold-blooded killings of Willie Absolu and Christina Delarsoa in the Waffle House freezer near Interstate 75 in Davie in the early hours of March 11, 2002.
That first jury voted 9-3 for the death penalty for Hojan, which at the time was enough to send him to death row
But in 2016 a new law was passed that made it necessary for a jury to take a unanimous decision on the death penalty, which led the Florida Supreme Court to condemn the condemnation of Hojan, Sun-Sentinel said.
During the trial of Hojan last month, the prosecutor said that the execution models of 18-year-old chef Absolu and 17-year-old waitress Delarosa were especially cruel and cruel.
In March 2002, Hojan drove three employees in a freezer at this Waffle House in Davie, Florida, and shot execution garments during an armed robbery.
The employee of the victims, Barbara Nunn, who was shot dead but survived, told the court how Delarosa and Mickel all three knelt in the freezer of the restaurant and ordered them to put their hands on their heads.
State attorney Mike Satz told the jury how a terrified Delarosa Hojan and his accomplice, Jimmy Mickel, asked if she would ever see her six-month-old son, Kyle, ever again.
According to court records, Hojan and Mickel entered the Waffle House in Davie at 4 o'clock in the morning at 4 o'clock in the morning, where Mickel had once worked, and where both men were familiar with previous interactions.
After eating breakfast, Mickel left and came back with a pair of screwdrivers.
Hojan then produced a gun, drove the three employees who worked the cemetery to a freezer in the kitchen and locked them up.
While Delarosa, Absolu and Nunn were running hot together, Mickel went around the locks to cash shops.
Hojan went back to the freezer three times: first he demanded that the victims provide him with their cell phone; then he returned and demanded their money; the third time, Hojan ordered the two teenagers and Nunn to turn around and kneel on the floor.
Nunn tried to convince Hojan not to shoot them, but her pleas for mercy left him unmoved and he opened fire and struck Absolu in his arm, neck and head, and Delarosa shot in the back and neck.
Hojan (pictured in court in 2005) was originally sentenced to death in 2003 by a jury that voted 9-3 for the death penalty, but in 2016 a law was passed that required a jury to take a unanimous decision in cases about capital murders.
According to published reports, Delarosa died huddled under a freeze rack and screamed for her baby.
Despite being shot in the back of his mind, Nunn regained consciousness after the suspects had left, and he could crawl out of the freezer and take her to a petrol station for help.
Hojan's handleader, Jimmy Mickel (photo), serves five life sentences for his role in the attack
Before being transferred to a hospital in a critical condition, Nunn gave the police a recorded statement and identified Mickel and Hojan as the perpetrators of the deadly armed robbery.
During his resentencing, Hojan's lawyers presented mitigating circumstances on behalf of their client, including a history of parental surrender and neglect and evidence of child abuse and head trauma.
However, the jury found that the aggravating factors justifying the death penalty compensated the mitigating factors.
But it is not the end of the road for Hojan: retreating Broward County Judge Paul Backman may ignore the recommendation of the jury for the death penalty.
Hojan gets another chance to argue for mercy during a hearing scheduled for December 10th.
His accomplice, the 49-year-old Mickel, is sentenced to five life sentences after being convicted of armed robbery and misdemeanor abduction, but acquitted of the murders.