Michael Gordon was sentenced to death by the State of Florida for a double murder. According to court documents Michael Gordon was fleeing from an armed robbery when he would force his way into a home and stab to death Patricia Moran, and Deborah Royal. Michael Gordon would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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A year ago, 12 jurors agreed that convicted murderer Michael Anthony Gordon should die for the home-invasion murders of two Haines City women who were fatally stabbed in Gordon’s attempt to flee capture for an unrelated armed robbery.
On Friday, Circuit Judge Jalal Harb carried out that recommendation and sentenced Gordon to death for the brutal killings.
But before Harb announced his sentence, Gordon said this:
“I’m an innocent man who’s been recommended for the death penalty,” he said. “I’m a victim in this case, too, and my heart goes out to the victims who were.”
After the hearing, Mary Feiock, who lost her mother, Patricia Moran, and her sister, Deborah Royal, in the killings, dismissed Gordon’s sympathy, saying he deserved the death penalty.
“I just want him to go off and wake up every day, knowing that there are consequences for what he did because he gave them no mercy whatsoever. He could have pushed them down, he could have knocked them out of the way, but what he did to them…” as words escaped her.
“I just want him sitting every day knowing that he’s going to die for what he did to them. I just hope it’s in my lifetime because we’ll be there, too.”
Gordon, 39, becomes the 15th convicted murderer from Polk County on Florida’s death row.
Gordon of Lakeland is the third of four co-defendants to be convicted and sentenced for the January 2015 crime rampage that took law enforcement on a high-speed chase from Auburndale to Haines City. The other two – Terrell Williams, 34, and Devonere McCune, 27, both of Haines City — were sentenced to mandatory life imprisonment.
The fourth defendant, Jovan Lamb, 34, also of Haines City, is scheduled to stand trial March 2021.
The events that led to the three convictions began Jan. 15, 2015, in the late afternoon when three armed men, wearing masks and gloves, stormed into the Cash America Pawn Shop in Auburndale and ordered the two employees, at gunpoint, to get on the floor. After smashing the jewelry case, they scooped out the contents and grabbed an employee’s cell phone before fleeing in a red GMC Jimmy.
Among the jewelry they stole was a piece containing a GPS tracker, according to court testimony. That, and the tracking device in the employee’s cell phone, enabled law officers responding to the armed robbery to locate and follow the fleeing suspects.
A high-speed chase ensued, with the suspects firing on the three patrol cars, until the suspects’ car crashed near the entrance to the Chanler Ridge subdivision in Haines City, according to the officers’ trial testimony.
Gordon, like the other suspects, ran into the subdivision. Moments later, a neighbor of Moran and Royal called 911 saying she had heard someone inside their home screaming for help.
As deputies responded to the house, Gordon crashed through the garage door driving Moran’s car. Deputies opened fire as Gordon drove through a nearby open field and crashed into an embankment along the shoreline of Lake Confusion.
While Gordon was taken into custody, deputies discovered the bodies of Moran, 72, and Royal, 51, inside the house at 618 Astor Drive. Each of them had been stabbed more than 50 times and their throats slit – Royal’s so severely that she was nearly decapitated. Not far from where they were killed, the water was still running in the shower.
Inside the house, deputies also found a single men’s tennis shoe and a pair of gloves bearing the same logo that could be seen in video surveillance at the Auburndale pawn shop, according to trial testimony. They also discovered bloody clothing in the women’s washing machine that matched the clothes Gordon had been wearing in the pawn shop video. One of the bloody shirts had Gordon’s DNA on the collar.
In February 2019, the same jurors who recommended the death penalty for each of the two killings also convicted Gordon of armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, burglary, fleeing to elude law enforcement, two counts of grand theft and five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.