Court Reinstates Conviction for Murder of Jacksonville Firefighter

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By: Associated Press
April 28, 2016

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A Florida appeals court has reinstated a conviction and two life sentences for a man who killed a Jacksonville firefighter.

The Florida Times-Union reports that Florida's 1st District Court of Appeal originally threw out the 2014 conviction of Charles Edward Pearce in December. The court ruled that Duval County Circuit Judge Tatiana Salvador made an error when she refused to let defense attorneys show a video interview of Pearce after he was arrested in Arizona in 2011.

Pearce was arrested two weeks after the murder of Michael McCue and attempted murder of his stepfather, Michael Otis Sr.

The attorneys said the video showed Pearce's insanity, but Salvador didn't show it because Pearce was arrested two weeks after the shootings took place.

On Wednesday, the court ruled that any error that might have occurred was harmless.

News Release: Associated Press
June 20, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) -- A northeast Florida man has been sentenced to life in prison for fatally shooting a Jacksonville firefighter.

A Duval County judge sentenced 33-year-old Charles Edward Pearce on Friday. A jury convicted him in May of first-degree murder and attempted murder.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed that Pearce was delusional in 2011 when he killed Mike McCue. Pearce reportedly thought that McCue and others were keeping him from a fictional inheritance and that people were trying to inject him with HIV.

Defense attorneys argued that Pearce was insane at the time of the killing, but prosecutors said Pearce's thoughts were a motive for killing, not an excuse.

The Florida Times-Union Click Here reports that more than 2,000 people either attended McCue's funeral or watched it on a live video feed. Those included soldiers in Afghanistan that McCue had helped train.

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