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DeMilly Murderer Seeks Sentencing Clemency

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Posted: Friday, June 29, 2018 12:15 am | Updated: 10:33 am, Fri Jun 29, 2018.

Doc John W. DeMilly was a local veterinarian and popular town leader. He helped found the Homestead Rodeo Association.   So when he was assassinated in 1985 during a robbery, the public reaction was shock and outrage.  Gilford Robinson was soon arrested for the horrific murder and convicted January 9, 1986. He’s been in prison ever since;thirty-three years.

The final action on record was a denial of appeal filed February of 2005.

Now Robinson has filed a Request for Review to ask the Florida Office of Executive Clemency for a commutation of his life sentence.

“This SOB that shot my Dad in the mouth and then in the temple to kill him cannot go free,” posted John “Tad” DeMilly III, a former five-term Homestead Mayor from 1987 to 1997. The crime occurred the first year of his two terms as a City Councilman.

The memory of that event was dredged up on June 18 when the Office of Executive Clemency sent a letter to DeMilly’s sister seeking comment from the victim’s family.

“It is very important to the (Clemency) Board that the family of victims be notified and given every opportunity to voice their opinions regarding Clemency cases,” explained Jonathan Riley, a Victim Advocate for the state.

“I sent email letting Mr. Riley know that guy should never see the light of day, let alone even honoring his Request for Review for a Commutation of Sentence,” posted Sue Ingram DeMilly on Tad’s Facebook page.

“The case is pending investigation and there are no time frames to know when the case will be reviewed. It could take several months to a year before a decision is made,” responded Riley in an email.

The process has the Board grant a Request for Review which starts a formal Clemency meeting. If the request is denied, the case goes not further and is closed. The actions available to the Board for a commutation include adjustment to a less severe penalty or reduction of sentence to time served.

“Had there not been a screw-up in the trial proceedings, he would have been put to death by now,” DeMilly wrote in his Facebook posting.

The Request is now pending in Governor Scott’s office.

A DeMilly supporter posted on Facebook, “I’ve written the Governor. Since he’s running for Congress maybe he’ll listen.”

Letters about the case become part of the file for the Board’s consideration. Written statements can be sent to Florida Commission on Offender Review – Victims Services, ATN: Jonathan Riley, 4070 Esplanade Way, Tallahassee, Florida 32399-2450.

Former Mayor DeMilly concluded his post with, “…please write or call the Governor’s office and ask that they deny this request prior to the election this fall. That will ensure that the request will not carry over into another administration.”

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