Suspect in Sarasota murder case Robert Jeffrey Trease, from Polaroid copies of file photos. The body of Paul S. Edenson of Sarasota, Florida, was found on August 18, 1995, at his St. Armand's home in Sarasota. Edenson was the owner of Bayview Motors, a collector car dealership in Sarasota. Backstory: Trease's August 2000 appeal to the Florida Supreme Court: "On August 17, 1995, Hope Siegel arranged a date with the victim, Paul Edenson, so Trease could learn where the victim hid his safe. When Siegel arrived at the victim's home they talked for a while, after which Siegel departed and walked to Trease's location, and told him that the victim did not have a safe. Trease followed her back to the victim's house where he surprised the victim and battered him in an effort to get the sought-after information. Upon the victim's insistence that he did not have a safe in the house, Trease told Siegel to get a gun which Trease put to the victim's head as he continued the questioning. The victim remained uncooperative so Trease fired a nonlethal bullet into his head and then sent Siegel for a knife with which he cut the victim's throat. An expert medical witness testified that the victim would have died a few minutes later.
Subsequent to their arrest, Trease denied any knowledge of the crime, but Siegel made a taped statement implicating both. The State had no physical evidence tying Trease to the crime, so Siegel's testimony was critical at trial. The jury found Trease guilty of first-degree murder, burglary, robbery with a firearm. Trease submitted mitigating evidence that he was abused as a child, adjusted well to incarceration, helped prevent the suicide of an inmate, and that Siegel had received a disparate sentence. The trial court imposed the death sentence in compliance with the jury's 11-1 vote and Trease filed an instant appeal."
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