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Death Penalty to Be Sought for Singleton

March 25, 1997|From Associated Press

TAMPA, Fla. — Prosecutors said Monday they will seek the death penalty in the case against convicted rapist Lawrence Singleton, who has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder.

Hillsborough County prosecutors notified defense lawyers that this would be a death penalty case during a hearing at which they dropped their request to view some of Singleton's psychiatric records.

Singleton was convicted of raping a teenage hitchhiker and hacking off her forearms with an ax 19 years ago in Northern California. The teenager, Mary Vincent, survived to testify against him.

Singleton served only eight years of a 14-year sentence and, upon his release, returned to his native Florida after residents in several California towns refused to accept him.

Last month, according to authorities, he fatally stabbed 31-year-old Roxanne Hayes in his living room.

"They framed me the first time, but this time I did it," Singleton, 69, reportedly said on his way to jail Feb. 19, just after his arrest. He remained jailed Monday without bond.

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