By Emanuella Grinberg, Court TV
OCALA, Fla. — A jury has found Bo Pete Jeffrey guilty of first-degree murder in the death of 48-year-old Lisa Jeffrey. The judge sentenced Bo Pete Jeffrey to life in prison. The convicted killer must also pay a $10,000 fine plus court costs.
Bo Pete Jeffrey’s first-degree murder trial resumes Thursday morning with closing arguments before a jury in Marion County deliberates his fate. Jeffrey faces a mandatory sentence of life without parole if convicted of the first-degree premeditated murder for the death of his ex-wife Lisa Jeffrey.
Jeffrey made the admissions in a police interview in the ICU of Putnam Community Medical Center on December 5, 2018, one month after Florida prosecutors claim he beat Lisa Jeffrey to death on her 48th birthday.
A medical examiner testified Wednesday that Lisa Jeffrey died of 26 blunt force injuries that caused significant internal bleeding, sending her into a hemorrhagic shock.
Medical examiner Tera Grant was unable to give a precise time of death or identify the injury that ultimately killed Lisa Jeffrey — a gap the defense attempted to fill with another theory from an independent forensic pathologist.
Dr. William Anderson opined saying Lisa Jeffrey’s injuries were consistent with alcohol-related falls, based on superficial soft tissue damage and elevated levels of alcohol in her system. Anderson conceded under cross-examination that the injuries could also be consistent with homicide, given Jeffrey’s admission to punching his wife in the head four to five times over several hours.
Prosecutors say the duration of the beating – lasting several hours, by the defendant’s own accounting – shows Jeffrey intended to kill his wife, an element of first-degree murder. To further make their case, prosecutors called two more relatives of the victim to describe instances of domestic violence they witnessed.
It was likely the defendant’s rambling and profane interrogation that took the day. The 90-minute interview was the last of three he gave investigators who found Lisa Jeffrey’s body wrapped in garbage bags in the camper the recently divorced couple had shared. Jeffrey gave conflicting timelines for the night in question, but ultimately admitted to beating up his ex-wife and hiding her body when he claims he discovered it in the bathroom. He said he welcomed her death because he hated her so much, but he insisted he did not intend to kill her.
Here’s what to expect during closing arguments:
- Each side is expected to take around 45 minutes for closings
- Jury can deliberate as late as they want
- The judge will address questions from the jury in open court
- Court clerk will read the verdict
- If convicted of first-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life without parole, sentencing will be held after the verdict, unless either side gives a legal basis for it to be delayed
- LESSER-INCLUDED OFFENSES: Second-degree murder and manslaughter