State seeks death penalty for Chapman

By Joan D. LaGuardia
jlaguardia@news-press.com
Published by news-press.com on September 12, 2005

State Attorney Steve Russell will seek the death penalty against Jeremy Chapman, who is accused of killing Annamarie Cruz Randazzo, 17, and John Hardin, 66, both of Cape Coral.

Russell filed notices to seek the death penalty in both pending first degree murder cases.

Chapman, 23, was indicted by the Lee County Grand Jury Aug. 23 and is charged with first -degree murder in both cases.

Chapman is also charged with kidnapping, sexual battery and arson in connection with the murder of Randazzo.

The Cape Coral teenager was reported missing by her family on July 22. Her charred body was found two weeks later in Lehigh Acres.

Joshua Henninger, 17, of Cape Coral, is also charged in the Randazzo case. He is not eligible for the death penalty because of a United States Supreme Court ruling that prevents a state from sentencing a person under 18 to death. If convicted, Henninger faces life in prison.

Hardin’s body was found in his Cape Coral home on Aug. 6 .

Trial dates in both cases against Chapman have been tentatively set for Dec. 5, 2005.