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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
LarzelereVirginia 842556CCRC-MCase Summary

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DateCourtCase NumberLast Action

Current Attorney


Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

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LARZELERE, Virginia Gail (W/F)

DC# 842556

DOB:  12/27/52


Volusia County, Seventh Judicial Circuit, Case# 91-2561CFAES

Sentencing Judge, Trial:  The Honorable John W. Watson,III

Attorney, Trial:  John Wilkins – Private

Attorney, Direct Appeal:  Christopher S. Quarles –Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  David D. Hendry – CCRC-M



Date of Offense:         03/08/91

Date of Sentence:       05/11/93

Date of Resentence:    08/01/08



Circumstances of Offense:


Virginia Larzelere was married tothe victim, Norman Larzelere, who was adentist.  Virginia was the office manager for Norman’s practice. During the afternoon of 03/08/91, a masked gunman entered the dentaloffice.  The gunman chased Norman down and shot him with a shotgun andthen fled.  Norman died shortly after being shot.  A patient, adental assistant, and Virginia were all present in the office at the time ofthe shooting. 


Virginia and her son, Jason, were charged with themurder.  The State theorized that Virginia and Jason conspired to killNorman in order to cash in a $2 million life insurance policy and $1 million inassets. 


The following evidence was presented by the state attrial.  Two different men presented testimony stating that they hadengaged in affairs with Virginia and that she had asked them to assist her inkilling her husband.  Two additional witnesses, Steven Heidleand Kristen Palmieri, received immunity and testifiedto various incriminating statements and actions made by Jason and Virginiaconcerning the murder.  Heidle and Palmieri testified that the night before the murder,Virginia sent Jason to pick up documents from a storage unit.  Thosedocuments included Norman’s life insurance policies and will.  They alsosaid that Virgina said to Jason after the murder,“Don’t worry, you’ll get your $200,000 for taking care of business.”  Heidle and Palmieri said thatVirginia told both of them that Jason screwed up by showing up at Norman’spractice half an hour late.  If Jason had arrived on time, it would havebeen 12:30 p.m. and the dental assistant, as well as the patient, would nothave been present.  The two witnesses said that Virginia told them to getrid of a .45 handgun and a shotgun by encasing them in concrete and disposingof them in a creek.  In the days after the murder, the two witnesses saidthat Virginia and Jason reenacted the murder, with Virginia playing the role ofthe victim and Jason playing the role of the gunman.  The shotgun wasrecovered from the creek, but no conclusive determination was made as to whetherit was the weapon used in the murder.


Virginia gave several different versions of the murder inher testimony to the police. Both the descriptions of the gunman and thegetaway car changed.  The patient who witnessed the murder heard thevictim say just after he was shot, “Jason, is that you?”


Over the six years before the murder, Virginia took outseven different life insurance policies on the victim.  In the six monthsbefore the murder, she doubled the amount payable from $1 million to $2million.  The victim helped to obtain these policies, but Virginia wasdominant in pursuing the policies.  Virginia also gave false statements and information in order to get the policies. Additionally, Virginia filed a fraudulent will designating her as the sole heirto the estate shortly after the murder.  The will was submitted on thesame day that one of the biggest insurance policies went into effect.



Codefendant Information:


Jason Larzelerewas 18-years-old at the time of the slaying by the masked gunmen.  He wasacquitted of the first-degree murder charge and accepted a $75,000 insurancesettlement in 1994.



Trial Summary:


05/24/91          Indicted as follows:

Count I:           First-DegreeMurder

08/17/92          Jury returned guilty verdicts on allcounts of the indictment and recommended death by a vote of 7-5

05/14/93          Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Murder –Death

02/28/08          FSCvacated the sentence of death and remanded for a new sentencing proceeding

08/01/08          Resentencedto life in prison with the possibility of parole in 25 years.



Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 81,793

676 So. 2d 394


05/21/93         Appeal filed

03/28/96         FSC affirmed conviction and sentence

07/11/96         Rehearing denied

08/12/96         Mandate issued

United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC# 96-6345

519 U.S. 1043; 117 S. Ct.615; 136 L. Ed. 2d 539


10/09/96         Petition filed

12/16/96         Petition denied


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 91-2561-CF-A-ES


11/25/97         Motion filed

08/31/00         Amended motion filed

01/14/03         Second amended motion filed

03/24/05         Death sentence overturned and remanded for resentencing


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC# 05-611


04/11/05         Appeal filed by the State of Florida

02/28/08         Trial Court’s decision affirmed; FSC remands for new sentencing hearing

04/21/08         Mandate issued


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC# 06-148


01/30/06         Petition filed

02/28/08         Petition denied

03/14/08         Motion for Rehearing filed

04/03/08         Motion for Rehearing denied

04/21/08         Mandate issued



Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition ofSentence:


The 3.850 Motion waspending in the Circuit Court for over seven years.



Case Information:


The Direct Appeal wasfiled to the Florida Supreme Court on 05/21/93.  Issues that were raisedincluded whether the trial judge improperly limited the defense’s impeachmentof a witness and whether the trial judge erred in admitted selected portions oftaped statements and in refusing the request to introduce the completestatements.  The Florida Supreme Court found all of the issues eitherharmless or without merit.  The Court affirmed the conviction and deathsentence on 03/28/96. 


Larzelere filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the UnitedStates Supreme Court on 10/09/96, which was denied on 12/16/96.


A 3.850 Motion was filedto the Circuit Court on 11/25/97.  The motion was amended twice on08/31/00 and 01/14/03.  On 03/24/05, Larzelere’sdeath sentence was overturned and ordered for resentencing by Judge Watson, whoclaimed that Larzelere’s lawyers did not presentimportant evidence during the original penalty phase.  Judge Watsonconcluded that Larzelere’s attorneys did not spendenough time preparing for the penalty phase and noted her jury did not hearevidence about her mental health issues and sexual abuse as a child.


On 04/11/05, the State ofFlorida filed a 3.850 Appeal of the trial court’s decision to vacate Larzelere’s death sentence in the Florida SupremeCourt.  On 02/28/08, the Florida Supreme Court released its opinionaffirming the trial court’s order insofar that it vacates Larzelere’sdeath sentence and remands for a new sentencing proceeding before a jury. The Florida Supreme Court issued a mandate in this case on 04/21/08.


On 01/30/06, Larzelere filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to theFlorida Supreme Court.  This Habeas petition was denied on 02/28/08. Larzelere filed a Motion for Rehearing on 03/14/08which was denied on 04/03/08.  The Florida Supreme Court issued a mandatein this case on 04/21/08.


On 08/01/08, the CircuitCourt resentenced Larzelere to life in prison withthe possibility of parole in 25 years.



Institutional Adjustment:


DATE            DAYS          VIOLATION                  LOCATION      

--------           ----              -----------------                           -------------------

09/23/04         0                  LYINGTO STAFF          LOWELLANNEX       



Report Date:    12/03/02          CC

Approved:       12/15/02          WS

Updated:         08/07/08          AEH