TAMPA - Circuit Judge William Fuente this morning sentenced a man to death for the 2002 slayings of the man's wife and stepdaughter.
It was a dry, half-hour-long hearing where Fuente read from the sentencing report. Ultimately, he sided with jurors, who recommended in late October that Khalid Ali Pasha receive the death penalty.
A majority of jurors must recommend the death penalty before a judge can impose the sentence. The jurors in Pasha's case voted 7-5. Had one more juror voted against death, Pasha would not have been eligible.
At trial, witnesses testified that on Aug. 23, 2002, they were in the parking lot behind Woodland Corporate Center near Waters and North Manhattan avenues. They saw a tall black man walk in and out of the woods, carrying a shiny object and wearing a white jumpsuit covered in blood.
While on the phone with a 911 operator, one witness and his wife said they saw the man get into a white van, then drive away as they followed in their pickup.
Deputies stopped Pasha in his white van as he waited for a red light. In the van, they found a white jumpsuit covered in the blood of the two victims and a bloody knife. Through the woods at the corporate center, deputies came to a cul-de-sac and found the car and bloody bodies of Robin Canady, 43, and her daughter, Ranesha Singleton, 20.
More blood was found on Pasha's boots, on his tank top and on latex gloves found in the van.
Today, Fuente said he received word from several acquaintances, relatives and co-workers of Pasha who described him as calm, courteous, religious and a good worker.
A psychiatrist evaluated Pasha and found him to be cooperative, to a point, but seemed to be hiding something. Fuente said the psychiatrist's report noted that Pasha suffers from paranoia and can become combative when confronted.
The case took five years to go to trial. Pasha fired four lawyers and tried to represent himself on more than one occasion.
"We all lose in these things," Assistant State Attorney Jalal Harb said after Fuente passed sentence. "This is an old man who has lived a life of crime."
Pasha, 64, has spent more than half his life in prison on charges including armed robbery, armed burglary and bank robbery, Harb said.
In Indiana, Pasha escaped once from prison and once from a county jail. Twice, he had been sentenced to life in prison. One of those sentences was thrown out on appeal after attorneys proved there was a problem with a police lineup. A second life sentence was reduced to 40 years. Pasha was paroled after 20, Harb said.
Pasha was on parole when killed his wife and stepdaughter.
Bob Fraser, one of Pasha's attorneys, said despite Pasha's age and the length of time that usually passes before execution, Pasha is likely to live long enough for the sentence to be carried out.
"He's pretty healthy," Fraser said. "He's a very, very strong person."