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Sentencing for two Other Defendants in Kidnapping and Murder of FSU Student

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UPDATED
By: Court Communications Officer
June 26, 2014
4:30pm

A St. Johns County jury today voted 12 to 0 to recommend the death penalty for Kentrell Johnson. This same jury had convicted him last week of two counts: first degree murder (both premeditated and felony murder) and kidnapping.

Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano will hold a hearing at a later date to review the legal factors regarding imposition of the death penalty. The judge at a later date will hold a final sentencing hearing.

Peter Hughes, another defendant, today pleaded guilty to first-degree murder and kidnapping. He was sentenced to life in prison by Judge Zambrano.

The first defendant tried for the murder, Quentin Truehill, has already been convicted of first-degree murder and kidnapping and was sentenced to death.


UPDATED
June 19, 2014
6:20pm

A second man has been convicted in the kidnapping and murder of FSU student Vincent Binder.

Kentrell Johnson was found guilty as charged this afternoon after just an hour of jury deliberations.

Next week, jurors will be asked to decide if he should get a death sentence for it. The penalty phase is set to begin on Tuesday.

Binder was abducted in April 2010 as he walked home from a friend's house in Tallahassee. His body was found off I-95 near St. Augustine about a month later.

Quentin Truehill is already on death row for Binder's murder. A third suspect has yet to be tried.


UPDATED
June 19, 2014

The prosecution is expected to wrap up its case against Kentrell Johnson today.

The jury could begin deliberations as early as this afternoon. We'll keep you posted on a verdict.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
June 16, 2014

A second man is now on trial in the kidnapping and murder of FSU student Vincent Binder.

Kentrell Johnson is one of three prison escapees accused of kidnapping Binder as he walked home in April 2010. Binder's body was found about a month later off I-95 near St. Augustine.

Attorneys made their opening arguments in Johnson's murder trial this morning.

Jurors saw surveillance video of the escape as well as surveillance video that prosecutors say shows the men stealing a woman's purse outside a convenience store afterward.

Quentin Treuhill has already been convicted and sentenced to death for Binder's murder. Peter Hughes has yet to stand trial.

We'll keep you posted on a verdict in Johnson's case.


Updated By: Julie Montanaro
May 16, 2014

A man was sentenced to death this morning for kidnapping and killing an FSU student.

Quentin Truehill was convicted in the murder of Vincent Binder. This morning, a judge followed the jury's recommendation and imposed the death penalty.

Binder disappeared while walking home from a friend's house in Tallahassee in April 2010. He was beaten and stabbed to death and dumped in a field off I-10.

Beth Frady was one of the last people to see Binder alive.

"We have a closure as far as the case goes, but we still don't have our friend, and truly what justice would be is if we had our friend still," said Frady, Binder's friend.

Truehill was the first of three men to stand trial for Binder's abduction and murder.

Kentrell Johnson is scheduled to stand trial in June and a trial date has not yet been set for Peter Hughes.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
March 7, 2014

A jury has unanimously recommended the death penalty for Quentin Truehill.

A judge will have the final say at a hearing on March 27th.

Truehill is the first man to be tried and convicted in the kidnapping and murder of FSU student Vincent Binder.

Two other prison escapees are still awaiting trial for it.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
March 3, 2014

A St. Johns County jury is now considering whether Quentin Truehill should face life or death for kidnapping and killing FSU student Vincent Binder.

Truehill was convicted last month and the jury reconvened today for the penalty phase of his trial.

Testimony is expected to last the week. We'll let you know what the jury decides.

Two other men accused in Binder's death have yet to stand trial.

For more information, click here.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
February 18, 2014 6:45pm

Jury will reconvene March 3 to decide if Quentin Truehill should get a life sentence or the death penalty for the murder of FSU student Vincent Binder.

There are no trial dates set yet for the other two men accused in Binder's abduction and murder.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
February 18, 2014, 5:45pm

Tallahassee, Fla. -- Jury has reached a verdict. The jury has found Quentin Truehill guilty for the murder of FSU student Vincent Binder.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
February 18, 2014, 5:15pm

Tallahassee, Fla. -- Jury has reached a verdict. We will announce it as soon as it is announced in court.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
February 18, 2014

Tallahassee, Fla. -- Jury started deliberations this afternoon around 2:15 p.m.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
February 17, 2014

The state rested its case this morning in the murder trial of Quentin Truehill. The defense then rested its case without calling any witnesses.

Truehill is on trial in the kidnapping and murder of FSU student Vincent Binder. Binder disappeared while walking home from a friend's apartment in April 2010. His body was found about a month later off I-95 near St. Augustine.

Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano asked Truehill if he wanted to testify and Truehill said he did not.

Closing arguments are scheduled to begin tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. Then the jury will receive instructions and will begin deliberations.

The judge advised jurors to be prepared to be sequestered until they reach a verdict.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
February 14, 2014

A man accused of kidnapping and killing FSU student Vincent Binder could get a verdict next week.

Quentin Truehill is one of three men accused in 2010 Binder's murder.

According to St. Augustine.com, the medical examiner was back on the stand today for a second day. He testified that Binder had been stabbed in the back, suffered blows to his head, and had broken ribs and a broken arm.

According to St. Augustine.com, the judge told jurors they could begin deliberating in the case as early as Tuesday. He told them to pack a bag, that they would be sequestered for deliberations.

For more information on the day's testimony, http://bit.ly/1dR7Gbo


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
February 13, 2014

The trial of a prison escapee accused of kidnapping and killing FSU student Vincent Binder is now in its fourth day.

Quentin Truehill is the first of three men to stand trial for the 2010 crime.

Today fingerprint and DNA experts took the stand.

According to St.Augustine.com, the DNA analyst testified she found Binder's DNA on a silver knife, a wash cloth, a baseball cap and two pairs of jeans belonging to the defendants.

This afternoon the medical examiner took the stand. According to St.Augustine.com, he testified Binder tried to defend himself before his death.

For more on today's testimony, www.staugustine.com



UPDATED
February 13, 2014
By Stuart Korfhage
stuart.korfhage@staugustine.com

Medical examiner: Binder tried to defend himself from attack
DNA, fingerprint analysts also testify in capital murder case

The death of Vincent Binder was not a gentle one, former medical examiner Dr. Frederick Hobin told the court Thursday.
Hobin was the first to examine Binder’s remains on April 29, 2010, after his body was found in a field near State Road 16 and Interstate 95.
A retired medical examiner from Fort Pierce, Hobin was filling in on a temporary basis— as he sometimes still does — when Binder’s body was brought to him.
What Hobin found was a body that “had undergone advanced postmortem decomposition.” But it was obvious Binder had suffered a variety of hideous injuries, ranging from a skull fracture, to stab wounds, broken ribs, a broken forearm and a severed finger.
“I would characterize these injuries as applied with a great deal of force,” Hobin said. “I would list cause of death as homicidal violence.”
Hobin’s testimony came Thursday during the fourth day in the capital murder trial of Quentin Truehill Thursday at the St. Johns County courthouse.
Truehill, Peter Hughes and Kentrell Johnson are charged with first-degree murder and kidnapping in the death of Vincent Binder in April 2010 after escaping from a Louisiana detention center. All three defendants are being tried separately with Truehill going first.
Marvin Stephens and Suzanne Livingston with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement crime lab in Tallahassee also testified Thursday. But their testimony lacked the impact of Hobin’s. And for good reason.
Photos both before and during the autopsy of Binder were introduced into evidence. But before showing them to the jury while Hobin was on the stand, Judge Raul Zambrano sent the jury out. He invited the victim’s family members in attendance to view the photos in case there was a reaction that could be disruptive to the trial.
Some decided not to see the photos at all. For those who did, the reactions might not have been loud, but the impact was clearly powerful and unsettling.
When the trial resumed, the jurors seemed attentive without being overly shocked. No one asked to be excused.
Hobin provided a detailed description of every injury Binder suffered. Some of them he described as mostly likely defensive wounds, including a broken left forearm. He said Binder’s hands suffered “chopping-type injuries,” and one of his fingers was completely amputated through the bone.
“Mr. Binder was in a struggle and tried to protect himself,” Hobin said. “This is homicidal violence that’s being inflicted.”
Throughout the graphic testimony of the state of Binder’s body, Truehill revealed nothing. He remained completely neutral but alert through the entire day of the trial.
While Hobin didn’t try to determine the exact weapon used to kill Binder, he said the stab wounds in his back were likely caused by a different knife or weapon than the other injuries. When asked by Assistant State Attorney Mark Johnson, he said he could not rule out that the majority of the injuries could have been caused by one of the large knives in evidence believed to be used by the defendants.
Before Hobin took the witness stand, Livingston testified that several pieces of evidence found after the defendants were apprehended April 12, 2010, in Miami were brought to her for testing.
She told the court that she found DNA matches to Binder on several items that were found to have contained blood. Matches with Binder’s DNA were found on a silver knife, a washcloth, a brown baseball cap and two pairs of jeans thought to belong to the defendants.
On the knife, Livingston testified that DNA information was also found to match that of Brenda Jo Brown, a woman who testified earlier that she was attacked by the three defendants in Pensacola. Other DNA information found on the knife included all three defendants, but a complete profile could not be obtained for any of them.
Although there was no blood, Livingston also matched DNA evidence to Binder on a Florida State wallet found after the defendants’ capture.
To start the day, Stephens testified that he examined several pieces of evidence, including print cards taken from a pickup truck authorities believe was stolen by Truehill, Hughes and Johnson.
Stephens said he did find matches to the prints for Hughes and Johnson on the truck and from Johnson on a high school graduation card from Cris Pavlish. In previous testimony, Pavlish said she was robbed by the three defendants on April 1, 2010, in Tallahassee, just hours before Binder was last seen by friends.


UPDATED
February 12, 2014
By Julie Montanaro

A man is now on trial in the 2010 kidnapping and murder of an FSU student.

Jurors got a close up look at the suspected murder weapon today.

Vincent Binder disappeared while walking home from a friend's house in Tallahassee in April 2010. He was later found stabbed to death off I-95 near St. Augustine.

Quentin Truehill is the first of three prison escapees to stand trial for Binder's murder.

According to St. Augustine.com, a Miami-Dade Police department employee testified today that he found a stolen truck abandoned in a park there with a large and bloody knife beneath the front seat.

That knife was attached to a board and passed among the jurors this morning.

You can read more about today's testimony at staugustine.com


UPDATED
February 11, 2014
By Julie Montanaro

A man testified he was held up at knifepoint by the same man who is now on trial for the kidnapping and murder of FSU student Vincent Binder.

Binder disappeared while walking home in April 2010. His body was found about a month later off I-95 near St. Augustine.

Quentin Truehill - one of three prison escapees accused of the murder - is now on trial.

According to St. Augustine.com, Mario Rios took the stand today and descirbed how the men held him up at knife point the same night Binder disappeared, but he managed to get away.

Friend Beth Frady described the last time she saw Binder as her left her apartment that night and friend Rebecca Edwards fought back tears as she identified Binder's Florida State Wallet.

Testimony could last three to six weeks.

To read more of St. Augustine.com's coverage of the Truehill trial, including the testimony of a Tallahassee police officer, you can click on this link:

http://staugustine.com/news/local-news/2014-02-11/day-2-capital-murder-trial-robbery-victims-testify


UPDATED
Samuel King, CBS47 Action News Jacksonville
February 10, 2014

Prosecutors paint a picture of a multi-state violent crime spree that ended with the brutal death of an FSU graduate student.

Vincent Binder's body was found dumped in St. Johns County in April 2010.

Prosecutors say Quentin Truehill was part of a trio that robbed two women and eventually murdered Binder.

The defense tried to surpress evidence of their alleged crimes in Louisiana - including surveillance video of their escape from jail.

Prosecutors argued it all began here in Marksville, Louisiana when three inmates overwhelmed guards at a parish jail and escaped.

It ended with this black Chevy truck being found more than a thousand miles away in Miami. The three men placed under arrest.

In between, prosecutors allege Quentin Truehill and the others kidnapped and robbed Vincent Binder in Tallahassse, later hacked and stabbed him, then dumped his body near State Road 16 and interstate 95 in St. Johns County. Binder's family and friends sobbed while hearing the details of his death.

"They had hour after hour after hour to think about what they were going to do with Vincent Binder, and that the decision was made to murder him," assistant state attorney Mark Johnson told the jury.

But even before this, prosecutors said the men attacked and robbed two women on their way to South Florida, one in Pensacola, the other in Louisiana just miles from the jail.

Leann Williams testified she tried to fight back after the men pulled her to the ground and took her purse.

"I have a gun and I felt threatened and so I picked up my gun and was actually talking to them and the time I got it to go back and go after them, I realized I needed to stop, I was no longer the victim," Williams testified.

Other witnesses testified about seeing the men after they escaped. The defense objected to all of these witnesses - arguing they weren't relevant to the case.

The defense also chose to defer its opening statements, which is why testimony started so quickly.

There is a long list of witnesses so it could be a few days before the defense gives their side in full. Reporting live in st. Augustine,

The jury in this case is sequestered. The witnesses have also been told not to discuss the case.


UPDATED
Feburary 10, 2014
By Julie Montanaro

Testimony began in the murder trial of Qunetin Truehill this morning in a St. John's County courtroom.

He is one of three prison escapees accused of kidnapping and killing FSU student Vincent Binder in April 2010.

Prosecutors told the jury that Binder was hacked and stabbed repeatedly.

Defense attorneys decided to wait and make their opening statements to the jury later in the trial.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
February 7, 2014

A jury was sworn in today in the trial of a prison escapee accused of kidnapping and killing an FSU student.

Vincent Binder disappeared while walking home in April 2010.
His body was found about a month later off I-95 near St. Augustine.

Three prison escapees were arrested for it. Now the first of the three - Quentin Truehill - is set to go on trial for it.

A 15 person jury was sworn today. That includes 12 jurors and three alternates.

Opening arguments begin on Monday. The trial is expected to last three to six weeks.


By: Julie Montanaro
February 3, 2014

An escaped prisoner accused of kidnapping and killing an FSU student is now on trial for it.

Vincent Binder disappeared while walking home from a friend's house in April 2010. His body was found nearly a month later in a field off Interstate 95 near St. Augustine.

Three escaped convicts from Louisiana were ultimately arrested for Binder's abduction and murder. Now the first of the three men is standing trial for it in St. Johns County.

Jury selection started this morning in "state" versus Quentin Truehill.


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