Richard Lynch was sentenced to death by the State of Florida for the murders of a mother and her daughter. According to court documents Richard Lynch was having an extramarital affair with the victim and when it ended he would murder her, Roseanna Morgan and her 13-year-old daughter, Leah Caday. Richard Lynch would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
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On October 19, 2000, Richard Lynch pled guilty to two counts of first-degree premeditated murder,1 one count of armed burglary of a dwelling, and one count of armed kidnapping.2 See Lynch v. State, 841 So.2d 362, 365-66 (Fla.2003). These charges arose from the March 5, 1999, deaths of Roseanna Morgan, a woman with whom Lynch had engaged in a “long affair,” and her thirteen-year-old daughter, Leah Caday. Id. at 366. The trial court imposed death sentences for both murders and life imprisonment for the burglary and kidnapping charges. See id. at 368. On direct appeal, we detailed the facts surrounding the murders:
The testimony elicited ․ included a tape of a telephone call that appellant made to the “911” emergency assistance service while still in the apartment where the murders occurred. On that tape, Lynch is heard admitting to the 911 operator that he shot two people at 534 Rosecliff Circle. He said he initially traveled to the apartment only to attempt to have Morgan pay a credit card debt, but resorted to shooting her in the leg and in the back of the head. He told the 911 operator that he had three handguns with him and that he shot Morgan in the back of the head to “put her out of her misery.” Appellant also admitted to firing at the police when they first arrived on the scene.
As to Caday, appellant informed the 911 operator that he had held Caday at gunpoint while waiting for Morgan to return home. He related that she was terrified during the process prior to the shootings and asked him why he was doing this to her. Appellant admitted that he shot Caday, and said “the gun just went off into her back and she’s slumped over. And she was still breathing for awhile and that’s it.” Appellant told the operator he planned to kill himself.
During the course of these events on March 5, 1999, appellant telephoned his wife three times from the apartment. His wife testified that during the first call she could hear a woman screaming in the background. Appellant’s wife further testified that the screaming woman sounded “very, very upset.” When Lynch called a second time, he admitted to having just shot someone.
Prior to being escorted from the apartment by police, Lynch also talked to a police negotiator. The negotiator testified that Lynch told her that during the thirty to forty minutes he held Caday hostage prior to the shootings, Caday was terrified, he displayed the handgun to her, she was aware of the weapon, and appeared to be frightened. He confided in the negotiator that Caday had complied with his requests only out of fear. Finally, appellant described the events leading to Morgan’s death by admitting that he had confronted her at the door to the apartment, shot her in the leg, pulled her into the apartment, and then shot her again in the back of the head.
Several of Morgan’s neighbors in the apartment complex also testified as to the events of March 5, 1999. Morgan’s neighbor across the hall testified that she looked out of the peephole in her door after hearing the initial shots and saw Lynch dragging Morgan by the hands into Morgan’s apartment. She further testified that Lynch knocked on the door to Morgan’s apartment and said, “Hurry up, open the door, your mom is hurt.” The neighbor testified that Morgan was screaming and was bloody from her waist down. Morgan’s neighbor further testified that the door was opened, then after entering with Morgan, Lynch closed the door and approximately five minutes later she heard the sound of three more gunshots. A second neighbor in the apartment complex also testified that approximately five to seven minutes after she heard the initial gunshots, she heard three more.
Id. at 366-67 (footnote omitted).
In imposing death sentences for the murders, the trial court found three aggravating factors as to the murder of Morgan: (1) the murder was cold, calculated and premeditated (CCP) (great weight); (2) Lynch had previously been convicted of a prior violent felony (the murder of Caday) (moderate weight); and (3) the murder was committed while Lynch was engaged in one or more other felonies (little weight).3