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Man Convicted Of Slaying 26 Years Ago Set For Execution

Dec 13, 2018

A man who was convicted of beating and stabbing an elderly woman to death in Miami-Dade County 26 years ago is scheduled to die by lethal injection Thursday at the Florida State Prison.

Unless there is a stay, 55-year-old Jose Antonio Jimenez will be executed. After a trial a jury gave him a death sentence for killing 63-year-old Phyllis Minas in her North Miami apartment in 1992.

Court records show that on Oct. 2, 1992, Minas found Jimenez in her second-floor apartment. During his trial, neighbors said they heard her screaming, and they tried to enter, but someone inside locked the door.

Prosecutors at the trial said a fingerprint found in the inside of the apartment's front door matched Jimenez's print. Also, the building's custodian said he saw Jimenez jump from a second floor balcony from Minas' apartment.

The defense argued that Jimenez didn't stab or kill Minas, and that all of the evidence against him was circumstantial.

After a week-long trial, he was found guilty and later sentenced to death.

After his arrest, he was also convicted of a prior burglary and second-degree murder in the 1990 death of Marie Debas in Miami Beach.

Over the years, he's filed various appeals. In an appeal filed with the U.S. Supreme Court this week, Jimenez and his attorneys say detectives who investigated the case gave "false or, at best, misleading testimony." Also, several key police reports were lost.

Additionally, his attorneys filed a motion asking the court to issue a stay of execution and consider whether Florida's lethal injection protocol is cruel and unusual punishment and violates the Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

In July, Gov. Rick Scott signed the death warrant and scheduled the execution for August.

But the Supreme Court issued a stay. In October, the court lifted the stay.

According to corrections officials, there have been 27 executions since Scott took office in 2011, and Jimenez will be the 28th if carried out.

That's the most of any Florida governor since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.