Yesterday a major murder trial got started with jury selection in the Lee County Courthouse. Dustin Jaye is on trial for his alleged role in the killing of Three Oaks resident Debbie Striano. His uncle, Billy Retherford, was also implicated in the killing. It was a vicious killing, as Ms. Striano’s throat was deeply cut, and even the dog was slashed.
Retherford allegedly killed another person while on the lam, and then died in a shootout with law enforcement when they tried to take him into custody. That presents a hurdle for prosecutors to prove Jaye’s role in the case, as the Defense has a readily available person to blame for the killing.
However, court documents reveal the State has witnesses that will tie Jaye to the planning of the robbery. If he is guilty of taking part of the robbery, under Florida’s principal theory, he is also guilty of murder for anyone who is killed during the robbery. Jury selection is expected to last a couple days, and there is at least one suppression issue the court must address regarding the admissibility of evidence.