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Jurors to vote life or death for King

The 12 jurors who found Michael King guilty of kidnapping, raping and murdering Denise Amber Lee will be called on to recommend whether he should be put to death.

Should they vote in favor of the death penalty, and if 12th Circuit Judge Deno Economou agrees and sentences King to die, he will be shipped to one of two prisons: Union Correctional Institution in Lowell or Florida State Prison in Starke.

There, he would join 391 others sentenced to death in Florida.

Fifteen of those committed crimes locally in Charlotte, Sarasota and Manatee counties.

King would spend his remaining years — 12.5 years is the average amount of time an inmate lives on Death Row — alone in a room the size of a bathroom: 6 feet by 9 feet, according to the state Department of Corrections.

Death is what Denise’s family wants for King.

Her father, Rick Goff, a sergeant in the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office’s Felony Warrant Squad, described the trial as only one-third completed. He said after the penalty phase of King’s trial, he plans to watch the sentence carried out.

“I will go to watch them put the needle in his arm,” Goff said Friday. “They can’t send him there fast enough.”

King, 38, kidnapped Denise, 21, from her North Port home Jan. 17, 2008. He raped her and then shot her in the head before burying her in a grave.

She fought for her life for hours — making a 911 call from King’s phone, screaming to witnesses for help and pounding on the window from the back seat of King’s Chevy Camaro.

Jurors found King guilty Friday after about two hours of deliberations.

They reconvene Tuesday for the sentencing portion of the trial, which is set to begin at 10 a.m.

Life on Death Row

This is King’s future:

n Death Row.

n Or being “that guy” who kidnapped, raped and murdered a detective’s daughter.

If the judge sentences King to death, he will be spared the frequent contact of other inmates who may not look too kindly toward “that guy” who kidnapped, raped and murdered a young mother.

King would spend virtually every hour of every day for the rest of his life alone in a tiny cell, where officers would check in on him every hour.

He’d have a toilet, a sink, a thin-mattressed bed and no air conditioning.

Death row inmates can have access to a small TV, but no cable.

They are allowed to shower every other day.

They get three meals a day, which may be eaten with only a spoon or their hands. Breakfast is served to their cells at 5 a.m. Lunch arrives at 10:30 a.m. Dinner makes its way at 4 p.m.

A death row inmate can request a last meal, but it has to cost less than $40, according to the Department of Corrections.

Old Sparky, the electric chair, still exists and remains an option for execution. Lethal injection is the other and more commonly used option.

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