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He agreed to be hooked up to a machine deed to detect lies. He spoke again about what had happened in the dark a month earlier on an early morning in May. Ever since, he said, he had nightmares. In them, he saw a man straddling a young girl. He saw the man plunging a knife into her body.
Pearcy is serving life, while Dailey was long ago condemned to death. In September, after years of legal wrangling, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered Dailey to die. With his death warrant came a frenzy of new appeals, with arguments long dismissed by state courts, that Dailey might be innocent. His attorneys have said that Pearcy is solely responsible, that he implicated Dailey to shift the blame.
More than once, Pearcy has said Dailey was not involved in the crime. Though Dailey, now 73, won a stay of execution while his attorneys argued to save him, that expired late last month. The governor could reset his execution any day.
Police in Indian Rocks Beach were directed to a rocky strip of land just north of the Walsingham Road bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway. The dead girl was nude. Cuts, gashes and deep puncture wounds — more than 30 of them — marked her hands, back, head and face.
She wore a turquoise ring on her left hand. Her underwear, jeans and blouse were strewn nearby. Police found drag marks over dirt and rocks to the shore. Further west, two large blood spots marked the ground. Nearby was a puddle of vomit. She grew up poor, with a father who had little money to buy his children clothes. They moved to Florida months earlier from Battle Creek, Mich. A truant officer for the local school system found the family using an open oven to keep warm on a cold day. Boggio was a troubled teenager, already smoking and frequently absent from school, often staying away from St.
Petersburg Florida gf wife exs lonely mature woman overnight. He was with Dailey and another man in a white Toyota the night before when they picked up the sisters and their friend after spotting the girls hitchhiking in Kenneth City. Shelly recognized him. He had bought marijuana from their father, Frank Boggio, who chastised Pearcy for his interest in Shelly. Pearcy was a construction worker, brawny, with wild eyes and a cocky attitude.
He had a checkered history that included allegations of domestic violence and involvement in a thwarted murder-for-hire plot. The latter earned him the notice of cops in his hometown of Olathe, Kan. He and Dailey were friends and roommates whose relationship revolved around drinking and drugs.
Dailey was no saint. He once bragged to his ex-wife that he dressed up all in black and broke into a sporting goods store just to see if he could do it and not get caught. He also boasted that he could beat a polygraph test because he lied so much. He was known to have been in fights and had been treated for alcoholism. But those who knew Dailey said there was another side. In Kansas, he rescued a couple from drowning. He wrote original poetry in cards to his teenage daughter. He served several tours at the height of the Vietnam War as an electronics technician in the Air Force.
He played folk guitar and liked mystery TV shows.
He came to Florida in early with plans to make a go of a new life. That night, the men took the teenage girls to Sunset Beach. They tried to get into a bar, but a bouncer stopped Shelly Boggio and told them to leave. They drove back to the house, ate hamburgers, baked beans and potato salad, drank beer and wine coolers and watched Alfred Hitchcock on TV. Pearcy rolled ts and passed them around. Dailey asked Boggio to dance. She declined. She danced with Pearcy instead.
By the time they all returned home about midnight, she planned to take the girl home herself. But as she stepped into a bathroom, Pearcy and Boggio left with Shaw in the Toyota. A man was with her. They asked for help getting a car unstuck from the sand. Shaw would later testify that Pearcy returned to the house sometime early that morning. The pair left.
Florida detectives flew up that night. He was read his rights. He said he wanted a lawyer.
A month later, Pearcy sat beside a public defender in a little room in the Pinellas County Criminal Court Complex and agreed to let a prosecutor ask questions. He admitted he was with Boggio at the murder scene. They picked up Dailey, Pearcy said, and drank at another bar. Back on the road, he said, Dailey told him to pull off at a secluded spot along the Intracoastal Waterway, a place the men had gone fishing before.
He gave a vivid description of watching her being stabbed and seeing her try to grab the blade. He described the knife in detail: a survival-style blade with a nut on the back and a leather handle grip, a serrated edge about 6 inches long with a groove down the middle. Pearcy said he tried to pull Dailey off the girl but fell into some bushes. He said on the way home, Dailey told him to pull over, got out and threw the knife and sheath into Walsingham Reservoir. Detectives were uncertain if Pearcy was telling the truth. They gave him the polygraph exam the next day.
Confronted with accusations that he was being deceptive, Pearcy broke down. Gradually, he acknowledged being more than a bystander. He admitted he held the knife. Dailey was arrested months later in California. Unlike Pearcy, he said nothing to the cops. But he would later give an explanation for his wet pants that morning: Pearcy woke him about a. They grabbed some beers and drove out to the Belleair Causeway. They tossed around a Frisbee that at one point flew into the water.
Dailey said he waded in to retrieve it. Dailey would later say his attorneys found the Frisbee story so implausible they refused to let him talk about it at trial. Prosecutors suggested the crime was sexually motivated. They sought the death penalty for both men. Pearcy was found guilty in November There was emotional testimony on his behalf at his sentencing hearing.
The jury declined to recommend a death sentence. The most incriminating testimony came from three jailhouse informants. Two said they helped exchange notes between Dailey and Pearcy in which the pair seemed to be on friendly terms. They also claimed Dailey made incriminating statements. In March ofPearcy, then 37, gave a sworn statement in a bid to get Dailey a new trial. By then Pearcy had exhausted his own appeals. His attorneys were long gone. He seemed reed that he would stay in prison for good.
This time, he said he made up his earlier story about what Dailey had done. One of them may soon be killed for it. Subscribe Manage my subscription Activate my subscription Log in Log out. Regions Tampa St. Letters to the Editor Submit a Letter. Investigations Narratives Pulitzer Winners. Connect with us. About us. Obituaries Homes Jobs Classifieds. Careers Advertise Legal Contact. Log in. Manage my subscription Activate my subscription Log out. Two men are in prison for the same Florida murder. One may be innocent. He also may be executed.
The case of James Dailey, facing a death sentence for the Pinellas County murder of a year-old girl, is full of contradiction, ambiguity and doubt. Court records tell the terrible story. By Dan Sullivan. Published Jan. Up next: Pentagon announces restrictions on foreign military students after Pensacola shooting.St. Petersburg Florida gf wife exs lonely mature woman
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