After convicting Gregory Larkin of 1st-degree murder for the April 2009
slayings of his parents, a jury ruled unanimously Friday that he should be
sentenced to death.
12 jurors concluded that the crime's heinousness and its multiple victims
formed the aggravating factors needed to impose the death penalty.
Circuit Judge Robert Foster will impose his judgment Thursday at 1 p.m.
Painting a portrait of a killer devoid of remorse, Assistant State Attorney Wes
White told jurors Larkin, 38, beat his parents Dick and Myra to death with a
baseball bat without pity.
"This defendant waited until they were separated, he waited until they were
engaged in their favorite activities, he waited until they were vulnerable,"
said White during closing arguments. "... The death penalty is the only
appropriate penalty for this defendant."
Flanked by his standby counsel - Assistant Public Defender Brian Morrissey -
Larkin offered no closing arguments, no mitigating factors and no evidence and
called no witnesses to his defense.
Instead, Morrissey called Dr. William Meadows to testify. Morrissey's
examination of Meadows reaffirmed the forensic psychologist's previous concern
that Larkin may have been "hiding" or "minimizing" an underlying mental illness
during one of three separate evaluations to determine whether he was competent
Larkin dismissed several attorneys, alleging that they were colluding with the
State Attorney's Office to secure his conviction, and represented himself at
his January trial in Nassau County Circuit Court. After he was convicted,
Morrissey expressed concern that Larkin might suffer from "psychotic
disturbances," prompting Foster to order the evaluations.
But during his cross-examination of Meadows on Friday, White revealed that
Larkin had no history of drug, alcohol or sexual abuse in his family. Nor was
he prescribed medication or seeking treatment for any psychological disorders.
In all he underwent three evaluations, with two of the three doctors finding
him competent to proceed.
Meadows conceded that Larkin's test results indicated he did not suffer from
psychosis, but he suggested the defendant's guarded responses could have
affected the results.
He told White that Larkin was coherent, intelligent and had an appreciation for
the charges leveled against him. The defendant exhibited appropriate courtroom
behavior, he admitted.
"So he was able to control himself?" White asked.
"Yes, sir," said Meadows.
Cleanly groomed and clad in a navy blazer, Larkin sat quietly through the
proceedings. Though unshackled, he seemed restrained, his eyes fixed at times
on a window far to his right. The only departure from his reserved disposition
was his deadpan response to Foster - "I'll be available" - when asked if Feb.
23 was an acceptable date for the trial's next hearing.
Larkin has maintained his innocence since his arrest in April 2009, contending
he was on a job interview in Mexico when his parents were killed and that
prosecutors failed to establish a motive, proper timeline or provide adequate
DNA evidence connecting him to the murders.
Prosecutors said he killed his parents with a bat and smashed his father's head
with a statue at their Caprice Lane home after he became enraged over their
plans to sell a failing family business he had been running in Costa Rica.
(source: Fernandina Beach News Leader)