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June 24, 2005 | From Associated Press
A sex offender accused of kidnapping and killing a 9-year-old girl said she was alive inside his home when authorities came to investigate her disappearance early this year, according to court documents released Thursday. John Couey, 46, said he fed Jessica Lunsford for two or three days in a closet in a Homosassa mobile home where he was staying before burying her alive in February. During that time, authorities visited the home but never searched it, Couey said.
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March 8, 2007 | Madeline Baro Diaz, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Two years after 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford was snatched from her bed, raped and buried alive, a Miami-Dade County jury on Wednesday found John Evander Couey guilty of the crimes. Jurors will now decide whether Couey, 48, should be sentenced to death or life in prison. During the trial, his attorneys called only one witness, a psychologist who said Couey is mentally ill and has mild mental incapacity, an argument they are expected to make next week in an attempt to save his life.
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NATIONAL
March 8, 2007 | Madeline Baro Diaz, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Two years after 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford was snatched from her bed, raped and buried alive, a Miami-Dade County jury on Wednesday found John Evander Couey guilty of the crimes. Jurors will now decide whether Couey, 48, should be sentenced to death or life in prison. During the trial, his attorneys called only one witness, a psychologist who said Couey is mentally ill and has mild mental incapacity, an argument they are expected to make next week in an attempt to save his life.
NATIONAL
June 24, 2005 | From Associated Press
A sex offender accused of kidnapping and killing a 9-year-old girl said she was alive inside his home when authorities came to investigate her disappearance early this year, according to court documents released Thursday. John Couey, 46, said he fed Jessica Lunsford for two or three days in a closet in a Homosassa mobile home where he was staying before burying her alive in February. During that time, authorities visited the home but never searched it, Couey said.
NATIONAL
August 25, 2007 | From Times Wire Reports
A convicted sex offender was sentenced to death for kidnapping, raping and burying 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford alive in his yard. John Evander Couey, 49, looked straight ahead as Circuit Judge Ric Howard told him he should be executed for the 2005 crimes. The Miami jury that convicted Couey had recommended the death penalty.
NATIONAL
March 21, 2005 | From Times Wire Services
A convicted sex offender entered Jessica Lunsford's house through an unlocked door, took the 9-year-old girl from her bed and sexually assaulted her, authorities said. Lunsford's body was found Saturday in Homosassa Springs. The suspect, John Evander Couey, 46, was booked on a probation violation and failure to register as a sex offender.
NATIONAL
October 1, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
John Evander Couey, a convicted sex offender awaiting execution for kidnapping, raping and burying 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford alive, died of natural causes. Couey, 51, who had been ill for some time, died at a Jacksonville hospital, Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger said. The 2005 crime prompted many states to pass laws that impose more restrictions on sex offenders.
NATIONAL
March 22, 2005 | From Times Wire Reports
A convicted sex offender was formally charged in Inverness with capital murder and other crimes in the abduction and death of a 9-year-old Florida girl. John Evander Couey, 46, was also charged with burglary, kidnapping and sexual battery on a child under the age of 12, officials said. His arraignment is set for today, officials said. Authorities said he confessed to kidnapping and killing Jessica Lunsford.
NATIONAL
March 18, 2005 | From Associated Press
A registered sex offender named as a "person of interest" in the disappearance of a 9-year-old girl was questioned for a second time by police Thursday after he was arrested in Georgia, police said. John Evander Couey, 46, who lived near the home of Jessica Lunsford before leaving Florida, had been questioned by police in Georgia over the weekend, and "he is getting more and more interesting to us as time as goes on," Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said.
NATIONAL
March 15, 2007 | From the Associated Press
A jury decided Wednesday that a convicted sex offender should get the death penalty for the kidnapping, rape and murder of 9-year-old Jessica Lunsford, who was buried alive near her home. The jury, on a 10-2 vote, brushed aside pleas for mercy and a life sentence from defense lawyers, who said John Evander Couey, 48, was mentally retarded and suffered from chronic mental illness. Jurors deliberated for about an hour.
NATIONAL
March 19, 2005 | From Associated Press
A registered sex offender admitted Friday that he kidnapped and killed a 9-year-old girl who disappeared from her bedroom more than three weeks ago, and he told police where they could find her body, authorities said. John Evander Couey, 46, had been arrested Thursday and named a "person of interest" in Jessica Lunsford's disappearance. He confessed to authorities after taking a lie-detector test, Citrus County Sheriff Jeff Dawsy said.
NATIONAL
July 1, 2006 | From the Associated Press
A convicted sex offender's confession in the kidnapping, rape and killing of 9-year-old Jessica Marie Lunsford can't be used in court, a judge ruled Friday. But prosecutors said they still had enough evidence to move forward with the case. John Evander Couey, 47, confessed to detectives in March 2005 and told them where to find the girl's body buried in his yard. But he wasn't allowed to consult a lawyer, as he repeatedly requested.
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