The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly. This information, however, is subject to change and may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied upon for statistical or legal purposes.
SEXTON, Eddie (W/M)
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County, Case #94-1299
Sentencing Judge (1st): The Honorable Robert Mitchams
Sentencing Judge (2nd: The Honorable J. Rogers Padget
Attorneys, Trial (1st and 2nd): R. Terrance and R. Fraser – Special Public Defenders
Attorney, Direct Appeal (1st and 2nd): Andrea Norgard – Assistant Public Defender
Attorneys, Collateral Appeals: Robert Strain & David Gemmer – CCRC-M
Date of Offense: 11/17/93
Date of Sentence (1st): 11/02/94
Date of Sentence (2nd): 11/18/98
Circumstances of Offense:
Eddie Lee Sexton was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Joel Good.
Joel Good was married to Estella Sexton (Pixie), the daughter of Eddie and Estella Sexton. Joel’s body and the body of Joel and Pixie’s son were each buried near Tampa area campsites.
Sexton and his family moved to Florida from Ohio because Sexton was wanted on charges of sexual abuse in Ohio. The family temporarily stayed with Sexton’s sister in Tampa, but then moved to Hillsborough State Park, where they lived in a mobile home. During this time, Pixie and Joel’s infant son, Skipper Lee Good, fell ill, but Sexton would not allow them to take their son to the doctor for fear of being found. Sexton, also, threatened to hurt their son if Pixie did not make the baby stop crying. Pixie covered the baby’s face until he stopped crying. The baby was found dead in the morning, and Sexton made Joel Good and Sexton’s son, William Sexton, bury the body in the woods.
Joel wanted to go back to Ohio with Pixie and her two daughters after the death of his son. Pixie, at this point, informed Joel that Eddie Sexton, her father, was also the father of her two daughters. Sexton would not allow them to return to Ohio. He threatened to turn in Pixie for killing her son if they left. During this period of time, the Sexton family moved to Little Manatee State Park.
Eddie Sexton had William Sexton, his son, kill Joel Good because Eddie Sexton was afraid that Joel Good would tell the police about the infant’s death, the sexual abuse, and the location of Sexton and his family. William, who was 22-years-old, was determined to function on the level of an 8-year-old. On 11/17/93, some members of the Sexton family, including Eddie Sexton, went on a picnic. Other members of the family stayed at the campsite, including Pixie Good, Joel Good, and William Sexton. Pixie testified that William and Joel left the campsite and went into the woods. Pixie and her sister, Sherry Sexton, went to look for them when they heard Joel shout. According to Pixie, they found William strangling Joel with a rope. Pixie went and found her father, Eddie Sexton, bringing him to where William and Joel were in the woods. Sexton saw that Joel was still moving and told William to finish killing Joel.
Eddie and William Sexton buried the body of Joel Good with a shovel that Eddie Sexton sent Pixie to buy. Eddie Sexton told William Sexton to cut off Joel Good’s hands so that there would not be fingerprints, but William was not able to cut off his hands.
The state’s medical examiner observed ligature marks around the Joel Good’s neck and a deep cut on the his right hand. She concluded that the victim was strangled to death.
Sherry Sexton, however, gave a different account of the events surrounding Joel Good’s death. She testified that Pixie helped William kill Joel Good. Sherry also reported that Eddie Sexton was upset with William for killing Joel and that Pixie said she was glad Joel was dead.
The FBI tracked the Sexton family to the Little Manatee River Campground. The FBI were investigating the Sexton family due to the charges of Sexual Misconduct of the Sexton parents against their children and the charges of Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution in Ohio. Eddie Sexton made a phone call to his brother-in-law in Indiana and charged the call to his previous number in Ohio. The FBI determined that the call was placed from a pay phone in the Little Manatee River State Park. The FBI also determined that the Sexton family was probably driving a gray 1993 Nissan Sentra that Eddie Sexton had bought from his brother-in-law but had not made the payments; therefore, Sexton’s brother-in-law reported the automobile as stolen. The FBI in Ohio contacted the FBI in Tampa and gave them the information about the location of the Sexton family and their automobile. On 01/14/94, the FBI located the Sexton family at the Little Manatee River State Park. The FBI maintained surveillance on the Sexton family and arrested Eddie and Estella Sexton when they left the campsite in the automobile.
The Stark County Sheriff’s Department questioned Charles Sexton, a son of Eddie and Estella Sexton, after Joel Good’s aunt reported Joel Good missing. Charles Sexton told them that Joel Good and Skipper Good were both dead. He showed officials the burial locations for both Joel and Skipper Good.
Current Prison Sentence History:
1st Degree Murder or Attempt (Conspiracy)
Hillsborough County Circuit Court # 94-7915
Eddie Sexton conspired with family members, specifically his son Willie Sexton, to murder a campground resident, Raymond Hesser. Eddie Sexton wanted to assume the identity of Hesser due to Sexton’s fugitive status. The Sexton family also planned to take Hesser’s camper and truck after he was dead. After killing Hesser, the Sextons would dispose of his body in the Little Manatee River State Park. The FBI arrested members of the Sexton family, including Eddie and Willie Sexton, which prevented the completion of the Hesser murder. Eddie Sexton was sentenced to 30 years for Conspiracy to Commit First-Degree Murder on 11/02/94.
William Sexton (Case# 94-1299) was convicted of Second-Degree Murder for the murder of Joel Good on 11/17/93. William Sexton was sentenced to 25 years on 11/10/93.
01/14/94 Sexton was arrested for the murder of Joel Good.
02/16/94 Sexton was indicted on the following counts:
Count I: First Degree Murder (Joel Good)
10/06/94 Sexton was found guilty of Count I of the indictment during the first trial.
10/07/94 Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 7 to 5 majority, voted for the death penalty.
11/02/94 Sexton was sentenced as follows:
Count I: First Degree Murder – Death
09/03/98 On remand from the Florida Supreme Court for a new trial, a jury found Sexton guilty for Count I of the indictment during the second trial.
09/04/98 Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by an 8 to 4 majority, voted for the death penalty.
11/18/98 Sexton was sentenced as follows:
Count I: First Degree Murder – Death
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal (1st)
697 So. 2d 833
07/20/95 Appeal filed
07/17/97 FSC reversed the judgment and sentence and remanded for a new trial
08/18/97 Mandate issued
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal (2nd)
775 So. 2d 923
12/10/98 Appeal filed
10/12/00 FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence
12/21/00 Rehearing denied
01/22/01 Mandate issued
Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion
01/18/02 Motion filed
03/21/02 Amended motion filed
03/11/03 Motion denied in part and granted in part (for an evidentiary hearing)
04/06/06 Evidentiary Hearing held
05/08/06 Evidentiary Hearing held
07/28/06 Evidentiary Hearing held
01/08/07 Circuit Court denied motion
Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Motion Appeal
997 So.2d 1073
02/14/07 Appeal filed
09/18/08 Disposition affirmed
10/02/08 Motion for Rehearing filed
12/17/08 Rehearing denied
01/05/09 Mandate entered
United States District Court, Middle District – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
03/06/09 Petition filed
Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:
The case was remanded to the trial court for a new trial by the Florida Supreme Court on 07/17/97.
Sexton filed his first Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 07/20/95. Sexton contended that the court mishandled aggravating factors and that capital punishment was not proportionate to the crime committed. Sexton further argued that the trial court erred in allowing testimony that Sexton allegedly physically and sexually abused his children, practiced Satanism, threatened his children if they discussed family issues outside of the family, and trained his children to kill government agents, specifically FBI agents. The Florida Supreme Court determined that allowing the testimony of the children to these acts outside of the murder of Joel Good might have inflamed the jury; therefore, the Florida Supreme Court reversed the sentence and conviction and remanded for a new trial on 07/17/97. A Mandate was issued on 08/18/97.
Sexton filed his second Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 12/10/98. The issues addressed included that the trial court erred in admitting evidence about Skipper Lee Good’s death, in not granting Sexton new counsel, in admitting victim impact testimony, and in mishandling aggravating factors. Furthermore, Sexton argued that the sentence of death was disproportionate and unconstitutional. The Florida Supreme Court did not find errors that warranted reversing the conviction or sentence and affirmed the conviction and sentence on 10/12/00. Rehearing was denied on 12/21/00. A Mandate was issued on 01/22/01.
Sexton filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court on 01/18/02. Sexton filed Amended 3.850 Motions on 03/21/02. The motion was denied in part and granted in part (for an evidentiary hearing) on 03/11/03. On 04/06/06, 05/08/06, and 07/28/06, Evidentiary Hearings were held, and on 01/08/07, the CC denied the motion.
Sexton filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 02/14/07. On 09/18/08, the Florida Supreme Court upheld the sentence and conviction imposed by the Trial Court. On 10/02/08, Sexton filed a Motion for Rehearing in the Florida Supreme Court. On 12/17/08, the Florida Supreme Court denied the Motion for Rehearing. On 01/05/09, the Florida Supreme Court entered a mandate in this case.
On 03/06/09, Sexton filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the United States District Court, Middle District. This case is currently pending.
Report Date: 03/22/02 SQ
Approved: 06/27/02 WS
Updated: 03/30/09 AEH