TAMPA BAY - It took the jury just over an hour to reach their decision. The victim's testimony, her attacker's taped admission to the crime, and the DNA evidence left no room for reasonable doubt. Joseph Frye is guilty of the brutal attack and armed sexual assault of a 75 year old woman back in September of 2009.
Prior to sentencing, the defense brought up Frye's mental health issues and then Frye himself would address the court, saying he was sorry. "I understand that I am responsible for my my own actions. But I was highly intoxicated and mixing that with drugs."
Considering the brutal nature of the crime, the rape, those words were lost in the courtroom, with Judge Chet Tharpe looking right at Frye saying pointedly, "Mr Frye you're a predator, you're an animal."
Frye had been in jail for a similar attack and had been sentenced to serve 40 years, but the state released him after serving only 19. Frye was out of jail for only 21 days before he raped his 75-year-old victim. In court Judge Tharpe would address that issue speaking directly to the victim, "The State of Florida failed you and I am sincerely sorry."
And to make sure failure was no longer an option when it came to Joseph Frye, Judge Tharpe would start out, "You do not deserve to spend one day of the rest of your life as a free person." He would then sentence Frye to four life sentences to be served consecutively.
The victim herself would pass on to me following the sentencing, outside the courtroom, "I'd like to thank the jury. And I am glad it is over."
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A warm and humid day with sun, clouds and a chance for showers and storms mainly in the afternoon. Storms won't be as numerous as yesterday.