april 16, 2012 source : http://www.myfoxtampabay.com
It has been 26 years since three young women were murdered in Tampa.
Investigators say Stephanie Collins, Teri Matthews and Natalie “Blanche” Holley were each confronted and attacked by Oscar Ray Bolin.
The former truck driver is now 50 years old, about the same age as two of his victims would have been.
But Bolin is back in a Hillsborough County courtroom, on trial for the 10th time in the murders of the three women.
A jury has convicted him nine times, but he’s been retried trhee times each in the Matthews and Collins cases.
He’s being retried now for the 4th time in the Holley case. The trials were previously overturned for a variety of reasons — basically, mistakes that were found in the trials.
Kim Seace, a former prosecutor and now a defense attorney in Tampa, says it is unusual.
“It’s unusual for it to be overturned that many times, but you have to remember when it’s a death penalty case, it’s held to a very high level of scrutiny at the appellate level. So they are going to scrutinize absolutely everything that took place,” Seace said.
During jury selection on Monday, out of a pool of 70 potential jurors, only 12 were dismissed for having prior knowledge of the case or of Bolin.
But because it was 26 years ago, most of the jurors have no recollection.
Bolin is currently serving two death sentences for Stephanie Collins and Teri Matthews, both of which have been upheld so far.
Kim Seace says the prosecutors may be going for a 3rd death sentence for a few different reasons.
“It’s something they would consult the victim’s family, and take their wishes into account. I think that would be a decision by each state attorney that is prosecuting him. And you don’t want to run the risk something is going to get overturned and you’re not going to have a death sentence in place on him,” Seace said.