Jerry Lee Wiggins, 40, was on Friday listed as deceased in the Florida Department of Corrections website. The site does not list a date of death, nor the circumstances of his death.
He is listed on the site as a “released” inmate, and the release date listed is Dec. 20.
Wiggins was convicted in October 2014 for the 2004 rape and murder of 26-year-old nanny Monica Rivera Valdizan. He was also serving a 15-year sentence for the 2003 rape of a Broward County girl and a total 90 years – 50 years for attempted murder and 40 years for armed burglary – for a 2003 home invasion robbery.
His attorneys in each trial argued that, with a severely low IQ and documented mental illnesses, that he was mentally unfit to stand trial.
A psychologist found Wiggins “marginally competent” during the nanny murder trial.
When Joel Jones raped a woman in August 2014 after she answered a Craigslist ad for a job with an office cleaning business, he called 9-1-1 on himself after he told her he did it to earn a trip to prison so he could get even with the person who had killed his 14-year-old son.
On Thursday, Circuit Judge Jack Cox made at least the prison part of Jones’ request come true, sentencing him to 25 years more than two months after a jury convicted him of armed sexual battery.
The sentence was less than the life in prison sentence that Assistant State Attorney Chrichet Mixon requested, but at 49 years old and with no possibility of credit for good behavior on the 25-year minimum mandatory sentence, Jones will likely spend the rest of his days behind bars.
“This case is not really about what someone did to your child, but what you did to someone else’s child,” Cox told Jones. “The things that you did to her was completely beyond the realm of what a human being should do to another human being.”
According to an arrest report, Jones first met the victim when she filled out an application to work for his cleaning business two weeks earlier. On the night of the attack he lured her to a doctor’s office in unincorporated Palm Beach Gardens for a cleaning job, showed her the rooms she was supposed to clean, then raped her at knifepoint in one of the rooms.
Jones would later say that his attack was prompted by the shooting death of his 14-year-old son, and that he raped the woman because “this is how he would get to the people who killed his son,” according to an arrest report.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Jones was convicted for sexual battery and burglary in 1991 and served more than two years of a six-year sentence. He is not listed in Florida’s sexual offenders database because the Florida Sexual Predator Act does not include those convicted of sex-related crime before Oct. 1, 1993.
He also served almost eight years in prison for second-degree murder, though his sentence was 12 years, according to department of corrections records.
A woman was in the middle of an otherwise uneventful Christmas Eve shift at the mall’s jewelry store.
And another woman was with her daughter, shopping and getting her nails done in time for the holiday.
On Wednesday, all three took the stand as state witnesses in Wilson Pierre’s retrial on murder charges connected to the 2006 gang-related killing and described for jurors a fight, shooting and ensuing chaos that surrounded the death of 24-year-old Berno Charlemond.
Two of the three witnesses, Latisha Jones and Daryl Demarsico, said they actually saw the shooting. Ashley Lockett, the jewelry store worker, said she saw the fight between Charlemond, Jesse Cesar, Fergens Daniel, Pierre and others, but only heard the gunshots.
“He was on the ground, his arms stretched out, and his eyes were wide open,” Jones said of Charlemond after the shooting. “They had the church people around him and everything praying for him, but he wasn’t making any noise..”
Demarsico said he shielded his son from Charlemond’s body, but saw a man he later identified as Pierre shoot him, and then walk to the other side of the mall. Demarsico said he followed Pierre and later pointed him out to police as the shooter.
Boynton Beach Police initially arrested Cesar and Daniel in connection with the shooting. Demarsico said he later told police he saw Cesar’s photo in the paper and let them know they had the wrong person.
Pierre’s previous attorney, Peter Grable, told a first jury in 2009 that Cesar was the shooter. Cesar moved to Orlando after the shooting and was killed up there in 2007.
Salerno didn’t make those claims Wednesday. In stead, he criticized the two eyewitness identifications and pointed to a photo lineup where Pierre’s picture appeared to be lighter than the other five photos, each of which contained men who were also darker skinned than Pierre.
A jury in Pierre’s first trial in 2009 convicted him of second-degree murder, and he was sentenced to 40 years in prison, but that sentence was overturned on appeal after Florida’s 4th District Court of Appeal determined jurors in that case received erroneous jury instructions on a lesser possible manslaughter charge.
Pierre in October 2010 was also convicted of aggravated assault with a firearm for a 2006 drive-by shooting in residential Boynton Beach that targeted Berson Dieudonne. He is currently serving a 20-year prison sentence in that case.
Assistant State Attorneys Crag Williams and Danielle Sherriff were expected Wednesday to call several witnesses before resting their case. Salerno told Circuit Judge Dina Keever that Wilson was considering possibly testifying in his own defense.