Nearly 3 years after police found Dick and Myra Larkin bludgeoned to death in
their Amelia Island home, a judge has sentenced their son to death.
Circuit Court Judge Robert Foster ruled Thursday there were sufficient
aggravating factors to impose the death penalty on Gregory David Larkin, the
couple's killer and youngest son.
"Gregory David Larkin, you have not only forfeited your right to live among us,
you have forfeited your right to live at all," Foster told Larkin.
Larkin, 38, will be sent to Florida State Prison to await his punishment, the
Foster weighed several factors before arriving at his decision, but said the
aggravating circumstances far outweighed any mitigating ones.
"The process is more qualitative than quantitative," he said.
Foster said he gave great weight to the contemporaneous nature of the murders.
Physical evidence, specifically defensive injuries indicating the victims were
aware of their attack, also supported the prosecution's contention that the
crimes were especially heinous, atrocious and cruel, said Foster.
The judge said he gave considerable weight to Larkin's minimal criminal
history, which consisted of a possession of marijuana charge and an
interference offense dating back to 1995. Foster also considered pleas from
members of the victims' advocates panel, who encouraged him to spare Larkin's
He disregarded one doctor's claim that the defendant may harbor delusions,
affirming his previous contention that there was no evidence to support that
"Justice truly has been served and will be served in its entirety when he's
been put to death for the crimes that he's committed," said Assistant State
Attorney Wes White, head of the Nassau County office, who prosecuted the case.
Larkin appeared to be emotionless after the verdict was read. Only two of his
family members, an older brother and his wife, attended the sentencing hearing.
Larkin was convicted in January of killing his parents in their Caprice Lane
home in 2009. White and Assistant State Attorney John Kalinowski elected not to
prosecute Larkin on a grand theft auto charge stemming from the theft of his
parents' Mercury Mountaineer.
Larkin, who represented himself, did not contest his sentencing with mitigating
factors that might have spared his life even though his standby counsel,
Assistant Public Defender Brian Morrissey, said there were "plenty of
The State Attorney's Office sought the death penalty, citing as aggravating
factors the nature of the murders.
Larkin family members gave emotional but dissenting opinions at a hearing Feb.
23 after a jury concluded a week earlier that there was sufficient cause to
administer the death penalty.
One forensic psychologist who evaluated him testified that Larkin might have
been concealing a mental illness during 1 of 3 separate evaluations to
determine whether he was competent to represent himself. But two other doctors
found him competent.
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,
according to the State Attorney's Office.
Leading up to his trial Larkin dismissed several attorneys, claiming they were
colluding with the State Attorney's Office to secure his conviction, and
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 in a rage over their plans to sell a failing family business he
had been running in Costa Rica.
(source: News Leader)