A Broward County Circuit Court judge may sentence a man to die by lethal injection this afternoon. The man, Randy Tundidor, was convicted of first-degree murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, armed robbery and arson. In the penalty phase of the trial (a capital murder trial is divided into a guilt phase and penalty phase), the jury must decide whether to impose the death penalty or life in prison (there is no parole in Florida). The jury decided that Mr. Tundidor should die for his crimes.
After much delay, the sentencing hearing is being held this afternoon in Broward County, Florida.
In Florida, a jury’s verdict regarding the sentence (whether it should be the death penalty or life in prison) is just a recommendation. The judge ultimately decides whether to impose a sentence of life in prison, which is the mandatory sentence for first-degree murder in Florida, or a sentence of death.
Defense attorneys and prosecutors alike will present evidence to the court as to why one sentence should be imposed over the other.
Tundidor was convicted of breaking into the home of his landlord and murdering him in the presence of his wife and child. The landlord worked as a professor at Nova Southeastern University (NSU) in Davie, Florida.
At the hearing, the victim’s surviving wife testified. This is known as a victim impact statement and it can be very powerful testimony.
Given the horrific facts, it is likely that the judge will uphold the jury’s recommendation and sentence the defendant to death.
Eric Matheny is a criminal defense attorney representing clients in Miami and Broward. Eric Matheny represents clients charged with murder and attempted murder.