TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Citing “overwhelming evidence” of guilt, the Florida Supreme Court on Thursday rejected an appeal in the murder of a Volusia County man who was pistol-whipped, bound with duct tape and tied to the four corners of a bed.
Justices unanimously ruled against Joseph Edward Jordan, who was convicted of first-degree murder in the 2009 robbery and death of Edgewater resident Keith Cope. The ruling said Cope was beaten and bound in his home, with Jordan using the victim’s debit card to make bank withdrawals and driving the victim’s truck to Broward County.
He told a friend in Broward County that Cope was tied up and that the friend could steal guns out of Cope’s gun safe. The friend and three other people then traveled to Cope’s home, where they found the victim “in an extremely distressed state, barely alive, restrained by multiple ropes and pieces of duct tape and suspended by rope at the foot of the bed,” the Supreme Court opinion said.
One of the people called 911, and Cope later died. Jordan, in part, argued at the Supreme Court that he had received “ineffective assistance of counsel” before being convicted of first-degree murder. But justices turned down the arguments in a 24-page opinion.