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Florida murderer punches his lawyer as he is sentenced to death for child and babysitter

In a shocking incident, a Florida double-murderer, Joseph Zieler, assaulted his own lawyer in court as he was sentenced to death for killing an 11-year-old girl and her babysitter. The courtroom video shows Zieler beckoning his lawyer, Kevin Shirley, over to speak to him after entering court in handcuffs for a pre-sentencing hearing. Suddenly, Zieler caught Shirley in the face with a violent elbow shot, sending him spinning. As onlookers gasped, three bailiffs immediately subdued Zieler, who was already in restraints, taking him down to the ground before removing him from the courtroom.

According to the Fort Myers News-Press, the attorney managed to keep his composure and return to his table. He then assured the judge he was okay and as a former boxer had sustained much heavier blows than the one Zieler had dished out. Zieler, 61, of North Fort Myers, carried out the 1990 attack by sneaking into a condominium and finding Robin Cornell, 11, and babysitter Lisa Story, 32, inside. The child’s mother had gone to her boyfriend’s home for the night and returned to the Cape Coral apartment the following day to find her daughter and Story dead.

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Photo credit: Joseph Zieler in court before assaulting his lawyer.

The victims had both been sexually assaulted and beaten before being suffocated, prosecutors said. The case went cold for more than two decades before new DNA evidence tied Zieler to the crime in 2016. He was already in custody for assaulting his stepson when he was charged with the double-killing. A jury convicted him of the slayings in May and recommended the death penalty earlier this month.

Photo credit: Zieler was sentenced to death after the attack.

Zieler denied any connection to the crime and testified on his own behalf at his initial trial. (nypost.com) Lee County Circuit Robert Branning formally sentenced Zieler to death Monday afternoon following the assault on his lawyer. Jan Cornell, the slain child’s mother, was in court Monday and witnessed the attack on the attorney.

Photo credit: Victim Lisa Story, who was murdered while babysitting in 1990

The incident has left the legal fraternity in shock and raised questions about the safety of lawyers in courtrooms. The assault on the lawyer has highlighted the need for better security measures in courtrooms. (news-press.com) The incident has also brought back the memories of the gruesome double-murder that Zieler committed in 1990. The assault on the lawyer has shown that Zieler has no remorse for his actions and is a danger to society. The judge’s decision to sentence him to death is a step towards justice for the victims and their families. The incident has also shown that justice may be delayed, but it is not denied.

Photo credit: Robin Cornell, who was also murdered by Joseph Zieler
Photo credit: nypost.com

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