John Demeo via LCSO
Lee County made its first arrest of an individual for violating the governor’s ‘Safer-at-Home’ order. He was not arrested just for being away from his home for non-essential activities; he was also arrested for multiple other offenses. That is to say, he was going to jail anyway, not just for the violating the stay-at-home order.
John Demeo was first warned to stay away, after he allegedly got intoxicated and threatened his girlfriend. Officer’s told him not to call her, but he called her again while they were still at her home and threatened her while the officer was listening. They tracked him by cell phone GPS to a parking lot, but agreed to not arrest him, and waited for someone to pick him up. About 10 minutes later, they got another call from the girlfriend that John had returned. When they detained him, they discovered he already had an out-of-county warrant for a DUI violation of probation, and proceeded to arrest him for disorderly intoxication, criminal mischief (for damaged property) and the violation of the governor’s emergency order, all misdemeanors. He was held with no bond until he went in front of a judge, but was subsequently able to bond out.
John Ferguson, via DOC
A federal appeals court in Atlanta has issued a last-minute stay of execution on John Ferguson, a man suffering from schizophrenia who killed 8 people. The Supreme Court earlier this evening denied 3 emergency appeals, and he was being prepped for the execution when the order came down. He had already eaten his last meal. The State has filed an emergency appeal to the Supreme Court asking them to allow the execution to proceed.
This is the stuff of movies. All death sentence cases have last-minute appeals, often in state and federal courts. However, it’s highly unusual for them to be granted, especially at such a late hour, especially by a lower court after the Supremes Rule.
I haven’t been following the case that closely, though it has garnered some interest due to the fact that Mr. Ferguson has extreme mental health issues: Scott Greenfield calls him “Crazy John Ferguson”. The AP has some good background– it’s tough to track this case, as so much is happening so quickly, and courts don’t handle quickly well. @FloridaLegal has found a link to the stay order. The briefs will be due in a matter of weeks, which wold hold the execution that long… unless the Supreme Court steps in. It would be highly unlikely for the court to rule that there is no issue to be heard to lift the stay, but nothing would surprise me at this point. #johnferguson
UPDATE: Supreme Court will not step in tonight. Thanks @Floridalegal: http://www.supremecourt.gov/orders/courtorders/102312zr4.pdf