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Jury recommends death in the murder of father's girlfriend

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Updated: 8/20/2013 10:26 pm
GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- For the second time, a jury recommended a death sentence for a man in the murder of his father's girlfriend.

The jury unanimously voted to send Leo Kaczmar III, 29, to death row for the 2008 murder of his father's girlfriend, 49-year-old Mary Ruiz. 

Police say in December 2008 Kaczmar attacked Ruiz, stabbing her more than 90 times, while he was high on cocaine. He then set the house on fire. After he was arrested, Kaczmar paid an undercover officer $300 to frame someone else for the murder and to intimidate witnesses.

Kaczmar was convicted and sentenced to death row in 2010 on charges of first-degree murder, attempted sexual battery and first-degree arson. He appealed to the Florida Supreme Court but only the sexual battery conviction was thrown out. The case was then sent back to the Fourth Judicial Circuit for a new sentencing hearing. The final decision will be made by a Clay County judge at a later date.
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