According to court documents Sonny Jeffries and an accomplice would force their way into the home of Wilma Martin who would be robbed and brutally murdered
Sonny Jeffries would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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Sonny Jeffries Now
DC Number: X18736
Name: JEFFRIES, SONNY R
Birth Date: 09/04/1963
Initial Receipt Date: 04/14/1999
Current Facility: UNION C.I.
Current Custody: MAXIMUM
Current Release Date: DEATH SENTENCE
Sonny Jeffries Case
Sonny Jeffries and Harry Thomas were accused of murdering Wilma Martin, an Orlando woman in her late sixties. Martin worked as a property manager and her responsibilities included collecting the monthly rent. In the course of carrying out these responsibilities, Martin established a landlord-tenant relationship with Kevin Jeffries, Appellant’s brother. Roxanne Jeffries and Tammy Avant, Appellant’s sisters, also lived in central Florida.
In the summer of 1993, Sonny Jeffries moved to Florida from New Jersey. He originally stayed with Tammy, but he also spent time with Roxanne and her live-in boyfriend Dennis Thomas. As a result of the time that he spent with Dennis Thomas, Appellant met Dennis’s brother Harry Thomas. And at some point in time, Appellant became familiar with Martin through conversations with his brother Kevin.
On August 20, 1993, Martin’s body was found in her home. She had been stabbed several times and kicked or stomped to death. She also had defensive wounds. The medical examiner testified that multiple blunt and sharp force injuries were the cause of death. A bloody footprint was left at the scene of the crime and a fingerprint was also discovered. Several pieces of jewelry were taken from Martin’s house. The parties stipulated that Appellant pawned several pieces of Martin’s jewelry within days of the murder.
Roxanne testified that in August of 1993, she overheard Appellant tell Harry Thomas that they should go out and rob and kill somebody. She testified that immediately after she overheard this, Harry Thomas and Appellant went out together. They told Roxanne that they were going to Disney World. A few days later, Roxanne noticed that Appellant had some rings in his possession that he did not have prior to the his recent outing with Harry Thomas. Tammy also testified that after Martin was killed, she remembered seeing Appellant with certain rings that he did not have before the murder.
Dennis Thomas testified that he overheard Harry Thomas and Appellant talking about robbing Martin. He overheard the two talking about the fact that she would be a good target because she collected rent money on Fridays.
An expert laboratory analyst testified that he compared the shoe print left at the crime scene to the shoes that Appellant was wearing when he was arrested. The expert testified that the shoe print was left by the same type of shoes as Appellant’s, but he was not able to conclusively determine that the shoe print was made by Appellant’s shoes. He stated that because Appellant was not apprehended for a number of days after the crime, the tread on his shoes may have worn down, thereby making a conclusive identification impossible. Finally, an expert crime scene analyst testified that the fingerprint left at the crime scene matched Appellant’s fingerprint.
The defense did not present any evidence at trial. The jury ultimately found Appellant guilty of first-degree murder and armed robbery with a deadly weapon.