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Judge denies motion for James Dailey to avoid death penalty

He was convicted of the 1985 murder of Shelly Boggio in Pinellas County.
Credit: Florida Department of Corrections

PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. — The conviction and death penalty will stand in the case of James Dailey.

A judge has denied his motion to avoid the death penalty.

Back in September, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a death warrant for the 73-year-old. The execution was originally set for Nov. 7 at Florida State Prison. But, it was delayed as the courts considered new motions.

Dailey was convicted of the 1985 murder of Shelly Boggio in Pinellas County. Investigators say Dailey and two other men met Boggio and her twin sister when the girls were hitchhiking near St. Petersburg. After a night of barhopping, Dailey and one of the other men, Jack Pearcy, 64, took Boggio to a deserted fishing area.

Boggio's nude body was later found in the water. 

Dailey's defense teams have claimed he might be innocent of the murder.

Pearcy was also convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. He told detectives that Dailey stabbed Boggio and held her down in the water. Court documents say Boggio was beaten, choked, stabbed 31 times and held underwater until she drowned.

Dailey was convicted largely on testimony from three jailhouse informants, who claimed Dailey shared graphic details of the murder. No physical evidence of eyewitness testimony linked Dailey to the crime.

Dailey's legal teams have filed numerous appeals over the decades since, and the case has been tried twice with two different juries recommending the death penalty.

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