ORLANDO, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - The parents of an Orlando teenager who was murdered will have to re-live the pain, after the Florida Supreme Court ruled in favor of a new sentencing phase for the killer.
Rafael Zaldivar says he expected convicted killer Bessman Okafor to get a second chance at life. We talked over the phone about the Supreme Court's decision on Thursday.
"We're not happy with it, but we're going to do it and I'm very confident he's going to get his hearing and we're going to get the 12-0 decision again and he's going to be sent back to death row."
"The decision in the Okafor case was 11 to 1 in favor of death. Both the U.S. Supreme Court and Florida Supreme Court came out and said it has to be unanimous," says defense attorney Mark O'Mara.
O'Mara says Okafor and others are getting a second chance after state legislators changed the law.
"There are a number of cases that were pending during a time the Supreme Court made these changes. So Okafor is one of them. We're gonna see them throughout the state."
It was back in 2012, when Rafael's son, Alex, was murdered by Okafor, after he was supposed to testify in a home invasion case against Okafor. Even back in January, Rafael was worried this would happened.
"He's coming back. It's a 50/50. He's coming back, and we're gonna have to tolerate this guy at taxpayers' expense."
O'Mara says it could take six months before Okafor's sentencing phase could take place.