Granville Ritchie Wiki
Granville Ritchie Biography
Who is Granville Ritchie ?
A convicted child rapist and murderer is appealing his death sentence in Florida arguing that the prosecutor violated the so-called ‘Golden Rule’ by asking the jury to imagine his victim’s suffering.
Granville Ritchie, 41, was sentenced to death in September 2020 for the 2014 murder of nine-year-old Felecia Williams, who was raped, strangled, stuffed into a suitcase and thrown over an overpass.
In defending the death penalty, Tampa prosecutor Scott Harmon told the jury, in part: ‘Can you imagine the fear of knowing that her life is ending and she is in pain all over her body? That pain would have been greater for a girl. ‘
That argument is considered legally incorrect because jurors are expected to consider a verdict objectively based on evidence alone, rather than their personal feelings.
Florida Supreme Court hearing Thursday
During a Florida Supreme Court hearing Thursday, Judge Jamie Grosshans closely examined Harmon’s comments and noted that she leaned toward the defense position.
“I’m trying to figure out how that’s not a violation of the Golden Rule,” she said Grosshans, referring to the prosecutor’s speech.
Rick Buckwalter, the Florida appeals attorney, admitted it was “a close call,” but argued that Harmon did not cross the line.
Buckwalter claimed that the prosecutor was simply describing Ritchie’s actions to jurors and made a brusque comment.
Roebuck, the appellant’s attorney, insisted that there was nothing spontaneous in Harmon’s argument.
‘Mister. Harmon is a veteran prosecutor who has been prosecuting homicides for 20 years, ‘he told the court. He wrote this argument, gave it to his colleagues, I guarantee it, and tested it. This was deliberate. ‘
Ritchie was convicted in 2019 of first degree murder
The seven justices of the state Supreme Court did not reach a decision in Ritchie’s case this week.
If the inmate wins on appeal, he will be awarded a new sentencing trial to determine whether he is re-sentenced to life imprisonment or the death penalty.
Ritchie was convicted in 2019 of first degree murder, s*xual assault and aggravated child abuse in connection with Felecia’s death.
During his sentencing hearing last year, Felecia’s father surprised the courtroom by telling the murderer of his daughter that he forgave him.
” I’m not like everyone else, bro. I have no ill will against you, ” Jerome Williams said, reports WREG.
Ritchie and Felecia did not know each other before meeting on May 16, 2014, but they were both close to Eboni Wiley, who was the man’s girlfriend and the girl’s neighbor and family friend.
On the day of the murder, Felecia left home with Wiley and went to Ritchie’s mother’s apartment in the Doral Oaks apartment complex.
Ritchie motioned for Wiley, who was babysitting Felecia, to leave the house to buy marijuana.
Ritchie then s*xually assaulted and strangled the girl while Wiley was away, prosecutors said during his trial.
When Wiley returned almost an hour later, Ritchie claimed that he gave Felecia money for her to go buy candy at a nearby CVS store and that she had not returned.
According to the Tamp Bay Times, prosecutors said Ritchie raped and strangled the young woman before putting her body in a suitcase.
Later that night, Ritchie drove to the Courtney Campbell Causeway, where he dumped Felecia’s body into the bay.
Wiley initially told investigators that Felecia had run away while she and Ritchie had s*x in a bedroom, but later admitted that she lied.
Wiley was a witness at Ritchie’s trial and was accused of lying during the missing person investigation.
In October 2020, she pleaded guilty to lying to the police and was later sentenced to 75 days in jail and five years of probation.
Granville Ritchie Quick and Facts
- Granville Ritchie, 41, was sentenced to death in September 2020 for the 2014 killing of nine-year-old Felecia Williams
- Felecia was raped and strangled to death, and her body was stuffed into a suitcase and thrown off overpass
- During sentencing, prosecutor told jurors: ‘can you imagine the dread of knowing that your life is ending and you are feeling pain all over your body?’
- Ritchie is now appealing, claiming that prosecutor’s speech violated so-called ‘Golden Rule’
- Golden Rule is an improper legal argument that persuades jurors to put themselves in the place of the victim when considering a verdict
- During hearing in Florida Supreme Court, Ritchie’s attorney argued prosecutor broke the rule, but lawyer for the state said he did not cross the line