TALLAHASSEE, Florida (AP) - The Florida Supreme Court is rejecting an appeal from a man who shot and killed a highway patrol trooper more than five years ago.
The high court Thursday unanimously upheld the conviction and death sentence of Joshua Lee Altersberger. He convicted of killing Sgt. Nick Sottile during a January 2007 traffic stop in Highlands County.
Altersberger pleaded guilty to murder and a jury recommended by a 9 to 3 vote that he receive the death penalty. His attorneys, however, argued that Sottile's murder was not cold, calculated and premeditated and did not merit a death sentence.
Justices disagreed and pointed out that Altersberger earlier in the day had threatened to shoot an officer. Altersberger also did not shoot Sottile until the trooper took his hand off his gun.