Lawyers To Decide Fla. Boys' Future

Alex King, 13, left, and Derek King, 14, listen as Judge Frank Bell orders a new trail for them, Thursday, Oct. 17, 2002, in Pensacola, Fla. The brothers were convicted last month of killing their father Terry King. A new trial date has not been set. AP

In the same Pensacola, Florida courthouse where a jury convicted brothers Alex and Derek King of viciously murdering their father, their fate is once again in question, reports CBS News Correspondent Bobbi Harley.

The boys, who were facing long prison terms, are now in legal limbo. The judge, after tossing out their convictions, ordered mediation - something unheard of in a murder case - which could mean much less jail time or even a new trial.

That's a relief to at least one juror in the case. "I feel good that the boys have a better chance of getting the kind of justice they need," said jury forewoman Lynne Schwarz.

Schwarz says she and her fellow jurors believed another man murdered the boys' father, Terry King, but that the boys knowingly let the killer into the house.

"Then I heard they were going to get 33 years and that's not what we ever wanted," she told Harley.

The man the boys' jury thought was guilty was Ricky Chavis, who was also tried for the murder, but found not guilty. What was more shocking was how the prosecutor decided - and then the judge allowed - to try Chavis and the brothers in separate proceedings for the same exact crime.

"If the state had done the investigation from the beginning the way you would want an investigation done, Ricky Chavis would have been found guilty in a heartbeat," said James Stokes, Alex King's defense attorney.

The judge has never revealed exactly why he threw out the verdict and the prosecutor refuses to talk about the case. But critics point to a bungled investigation where even the scene of the murder was bulldozed shortly after the boys confessed and the inquiry about what happened stopped.

"The whole thing went bad from the investigation at the crime scene right up to the prosecution," said the boys' aunt, Shannon Castro.

It's now up to a mediator, the judge and maybe another jury to straighten out the mess.

A mess that Schwarz hopes is cleared up soon. "I thought that was what it was all about - finding out the truth."

Even so, despite the two trials and three people charged with the crime, just who killed Terry King may never be known.

  • Bootie Cosgrove-Mather

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