Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

After two years, sex offender to stand trial for girl's death

By Aaron Robson     Feb 12, 2007 in Crime
Ruth Lunsford often visits the grave of her granddaughter, Jessica, most recently to tell her that the man accused of kidnapping, raping and murdering her nearly two years ago is finally about to stand trial.
"I went to the grave site and said to Jessie, 'It's almost over,"' she said in an interview. "I know she's looking down on us and saying, 'Good job.' When this is all over, she's going to be doing cartwheels all over heaven. She's going to be saying, 'Amen."'
If only she was able to do the cartwheels on earth. If only something like this never happened. The Jury selection had begun on Monday in the trial for John Evander Couey. He is a 48-year-old convicted sex offender who now faces the death penalty for Jessica's 2005 slaying.
The Circuit Judge (Richard Howard) had denied a defense request to further delay the trial, saying, "The fact of the matter is, this case is going forward." A few minutes later, he had began questioning prospective jurors about their knowledge of the case.
Wide publicity had forced the trial to be moved from Citrus County, where the crime occurred, to Miami.
Jessica's death had led to tougher sex offender laws in Florida and at least 18 other states and prompted creation of the first-ever coordinated Justice Department effort to track down noncompliant offenders nationwide, such as those who fail to register or aren't living where they are supposed to.
"The impacts of Jessica Lunsford's story have been huge," said Ernie Allen, president and chief executive officer of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in Alexandria, Virginia. "In our view, enormous good has come and thousands of children's lives are going to be saved because Jessica Lunsford lived."
More about Two, Years, 2, Sex, Offender
Latest News
Top News