Thomas Rigterink Florida Death Row
Thomas Rigterink was sentenced to death by the State of Florida for a double murder. According to court documents Thomas Rigterink would go to a drug buy and proceed to stab and kill Allison Sousa and Jeremy Jarvis. Thomas Rigterink would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
Thomas Rigterink 2021 Information
|Name:||RIGTERINK, THOMAS W|
|Initial Receipt Date:||10/18/2005|
|Current Facility:||UNION C.I.|
|Current Release Date:||DEATH SENTENCE|
Thomas Rigterink More News
Prosecutors unveiled a crucial piece of evidence Wednesday before resting their case against accused double-murder defendant Thomas Rigterink.
Assistant State Attorney Cass Castillo played a videotape of Rigterink speaking with detectives about his ″snap shot″ memories of a brutal knife attack.
Rigterink, 33, of Winter Haven, is accused of stabbing Allison Sousa and Jeremy Jarvis to death on Sept. 24, 2003 at an office complex near Winter Haven.
Facing a large television screen, jurors watched Rigterink’s taped statement on Oct. 16, 2003, the day of his arrest.
The roughly 40 minutes of black and white footage was captured at a Polk County Sheriff’s Office interview room, which was equipped with a hidden camera and microphone.
Although Rigterink said he doesn’t remember stabbing Jarvis and Sousa, he does talk on the videotape about specific details of the struggle and leaving the office complex covered in blood.
″I knew … I knew I’d done it,″ Rigterink said, appearing calm and speaking slowly.
Prosecutors say Rigterink attempted to rob Jarvis, 24, inside a warehouse space where Jarvis lived on County Road 542 and Jimmy Lee Road near Winter Haven.
Shortly after 3 p.m., Rigterink attacked Jarvis who managed to escape to the nearby offices where Sousa, 23, worked as a secretary, prosecutors said.
Jarvis was stabbed 22 times, and Sousa was stabbed six times. Both Jarvis and Sousa bled to death.
Rigterink gave detectives the following account on the videotape:
On Sept. 24, Rigterink drove over to Jarvis’ warehouse unit to buy some marijuana.
Rigterink said he took a backpack to hide the drugs. There was also a black hunting knife about 10 inches long inside the bag.
Jarvis talked to Rigterink about a new batch of drugs he had received. Then, Jarvis reached underneath a couch.
″And the next thing I remember is being up against the wall, locked up and I had the knife in my hand and I was covered in blood,″ Rigterink said.
At one point, Rigterink stood up to show detectives how the struggle with Jarvis took place, clutching an imaginary knife and raising his hand over his head.
As part of his self-described ″Polaroid″ images, Rigterink also recalled Jarvis trying to fight back with a bubble gum dispenser. In addition, he remembered not being able to feel Sousa’s pulse before he ″hauled ass.″
Throughout the interview, Rigterink also sketched the crime scene and where events took place.
Rigterink indicated he threw the knife out over a bridge. Investigators were never able to recover the weapon.
Rigterink said he suspected something was psychologically wrong with him because he kept up a relatively normal life and had no problems sleeping after the killings.
″After the fact…, honest to God, I didn’t feel bad,″ Rigterink said.
The videotape statement differs with the defense’s claim that Rigterink stumbled upon the bloody crime scene and saw the real killers.
Sgt. Jerry Connolly, the lead detective in the case, said detectives began collecting fingerprints from possible suspects after the killings to compare against bloody ones left on a door at the crime scene. When Rigterink provided his fingerprints, they proved to be a match, he said.
Connolly testified that Rigterink offered three different accounts before his videotape statement was taken.
The alternate stories varied from Rigterink not seeing Jarvis that day to Rigterink arriving shortly after the attack while the blood was still fresh.
Connolly testified that he challenged inconsistencies in Rigterink’s stories, and Rigterink offered to tell the truth.
Under cross-examination, Rigterink’s lawyer, Byron Hileman, questioned Connolly about whether detectives pressured Rigterink to confess.
″Are you concerned at all that perhaps Mr. Rigterink just finally told you what you wanted to hear?″ Hileman said.
″No,″ Connolly replied.
Rigterink faces two counts of first-degree murder. If convicted as charged, Rigterink could be sent to Florida’s death row.
On Wednesday, Rigterink also backed out of his request to speak with reporters.
His defense team said they advised their client against holding a press conference in the middle of his trial.
Lawyer David Carmichael said Rigterink ″felt it was in his best interest″ to not talk with reporters but speak his mind if he takes the witness stand.
The defense told jurors during opening statements that Rigterink would speak on his own behalf. Rigterink could testify as early as today.
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