John Evander Couey gets DEATH for the Abduction, RAPE and Killing, of a 9 year old Florida girl…

 John Evander Couey was sentenced Friday to death for abducting, raping and killing a 9-year-old Florida girl by burying her alive in 2005.

Jessica Lunsford was kidnapped in February 2005; her body was found three weeks later.

Couey did not speak during the almost hourlong hearing and showed no emotion when the sentence was pronounced in an Inverness, Florida, courtroom.

Members of Jessica Lunsford’s family embraced and cried.

 Couey said one time, that when he gets to heaven that he was gonna tell Jessie he is sorry. I got bad news, I don’t think you’re gonna make it there,” the girl’s father, Mark Lunsford, said afterward, wiping tears from his eyes.

He also urged his daughter’s killer not to appeal the sentence.

“Take your punishment. Be done with it. You want to do something for her, give your life for the life you took,” Lunsford said.

Citrus County Sheriff Jeffrey Dawsy told reporters after the hearing that he asked Couey to drop his appeals after the automatic appeals required by law. Couey did not reply, he said.

Judge Ric Howard pronounced the sentence as Couey, 48, sat in shackles and an orange jail jumpsuit.

Couey caused a slow, suffering, conscious death,” the judge said as he described Jessica‘s murder in chilling detail.

Couey told Jessica he was planning to take her home, but did not want her to be seen, Howard said, and so persuaded her to get into a trash bag. Couey then knotted another trash bag over her head, placed her in a hole and shoveled dirt on top of her.

The judge described how the girl poked two fingers through the bags to try to escape before she died.

“Simply stated, civilized society recoils in horror at the image of the abject fear and terror that Jessica experienced in her final, conscious minutes of life,” Howard said.

Howard brought many in the courtroom to tears Friday as he elaborated on how Jessica died, by asphyxiation as her oxygen slowly ran out. A medical examiner testified she could have been alive as much as five minutes, or even longer, before she lost consciousness, Howard said.

The judge also noted that Couey made “crude, vulgar and repulsive” comments to police after his arrest regarding his sexual assault of the girl, and said the media was blowing the case out of proportion, “this kind of thing happens every day.”

After the hearing, Mark Lunsford, wearing a tie with his daughter’s face emblazoned on it, spoke of the need for state and federal lawmakers to do more to protect children by pursuing more aggressive prosecution and stricter sentencing for sex offenders.

“The problem is still growing. Children are still being molested. Sex offenders and predators are still being released,” Lunsford said. “Justice was served for this little girl, but what about the rest of them? What about the ones that survive?”

“You can’t do anything to bring my daughter back, but you can do everything to save these other kids.”


Jessica was discovered missing from her home, where she lived with her father and grandparents, on February 24, 2005. Couey later confessed to abducting her from her bedroom the previous night.

A judge threw out Couey’s confession, however, saying it was inadmissible in court because he asked for a lawyer and was not provided one.

His trial was moved to Miami after a judge ruled it would be impossible to find an impartial jury in Citrus County.


Jessica’s body was found buried at the home of Couey’s half-sister, within sight of Jessica’s home three weeks after she went missing.

She was wrapped in plastic garbage bags and her hands were bound with speaker wire. She was clutching a stuffed dolphin, a toy won for her at a state fair by her father, which Couey allowed her to bring with her when she was abducted.

The girl apparently was kept for several days before being killed. Authorities found her blood on a mattress in the home where Couey was living, and also discovered her fingerprints.

During the search for the girl, as authorities and hundreds of volunteers combed Citrus County, north of Tampa, police twice visited that home.

Couey was convicted in March of first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual battery on a child under 12. Later that month, a jury deliberated for about an hour before recommending 10-2 that Couey, a previously convicted sex offender with a 30-year criminal history, receive the death penalty.

In a recorded jailhouse phone call this month with a woman who Florida corrections officials said is his aunt, Couey said he expected to be sentenced to death for killing Jessica in 2005.

“We all know what he’s going to do,” Couey said of the judge during the call, an excerpt of which CNN obtained.

He told the woman, “I kick myself in the butt a hundred times a day. Stupidity. … Just trying to figure out, I’m just asking myself, why was you so stupid?”

“Well, none of us are perfect, and the drugs didn’t help any,” the woman said.

“No, that was a big problem,” Couey said. “Drugs, alcohol.”

The St. Petersburg Times reported that during the hourlong conversation, Couey also told the woman he wanted to be cremated after his execution.

But he said, “There’s a lot of good that came out of this, too. A lot of laws changed.”

Jessica’s slaying sparked national outrage and led to stricter Florida laws regarding registration and supervision of released sexual predators, following a push led largely by Mark Lunsford.


Thank you CNN News


This guy is a monster and needs to be put out of his misery…or he will do it again.

~The Baby Boomer Queen~ 

~ by thebabyboomerqueen on August 25, 2007.

2 Responses to “John Evander Couey gets DEATH for the Abduction, RAPE and Killing, of a 9 year old Florida girl…”

  1. Ok let’s look at the real issue here! Sure he deserves to be removed from society, even die. However what is with the HORRIBLE fact that the press caused this sick man to panic and kill the child? Where were the experts to guide the search and make sure every possible method was used to return the girl home safely. It is psychology 101 not to corner an individual like that.

    What about the fact that there is a real disease in our society of men that are sexually dysfunctional with an attraction to children even babies? What are we doing about it? Where can these people go to get help before it escalates into abduction and murder? Alcoholics can go to AA, drug addicts to NA, where is Sexual Dysfunction Anonyms?

    I happen to know a man with this disease (molesting a baby and presently in prison for 15+ years), and I also happen to know he reached out for help when he realized his dark thoughts. You can’t imagine the negligence in which his cry for help was treated.

    Are our children not worth some investigation on how to treat, medicate, castrate, and institutionalize these sick individuals before they molest or kill children? PEOPLE WAKE UP THEY ARE OUT THERE AND OUR SHAME TO ADDRESSES THE ISSUE IS MAKING IS NOT HELPING.

    Are we so ashamed and ignorant that we believe this disease will go away? Have you read history; do you realize how prevalent and how long this problem has existed in OUR CULTURE.

    Some kind of “outreach” program with professional help should be available to these individuals to nip potential disastrous results at the bud. Lock them up together, study them, and find out what can be done. ANYTHING pro active.

    Honestly, how many news reports are we going to read like this and shake our heads in disbelief and then go about our day?



  2. Hello Gwendolyn,

    Thank you for visiting my site and leaving your comment.

    To say that “WE ARE ALSO RESPONSIBLE, EVERYONE ONE US.” is perhaps at the very least, over kill…but, being a DRAMA QUEEN, myself, I do understand where you are coming from…as I do love to rant! [smile]

    Medication…it is a beginning…but as with many people who are dysfuntional…we know they do not always take their meds. The homeless population is full of these lost souls. You see them everywhere. Perhaps the most dangerous ones, are the ones that we don’t see…the predator…the ones who hide

    What can the clerk down at the corner convenience store do about this???
    The answer is vote for who you want to get into office, vote for those who will pass such amendments and send monies on health care.
    Perhaps I don’t have all of the words right…but I am sure that you all get the gist of it.

    The US has no proper health system for us. So, why would not having a proper mental health system surprise you.

    NO, the people in office want monies to go to other countries, not our own, to wars and in their own pockets.

    There are studies out there. Serial killers are being studied and even having thier brains examined, before and after death.

    There are some serious health and mental care problems here, in the states.

    I see no difference in Seung-Hui Cho, than with John Couey. They both slipped thru the mental health cracks.

    Please come back soon and comment often.

    ~The Baby Boomer Queen~

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