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Murder retrial to start for ‘Cash Feenz’ defendant

By Staff | Jul 8, 2009

A minimum sentence of 30 years in prison and a maximum sentence of life — this is the reality Roderick Washington must face as he sits before a jury of his peers for the second time.
Jury selection for Washington’s retrial as one of 10 defendants in the 2006 “Cash Feenz” murders of Alexis and Jeffrey Sosa begins today before Judge Thomas Reese.
Reese saw Washington go to trial the first time in his Lee County courtroom in early May.
Washington was tried in the brutal kidnapping, torture, beating and killing of the Sosas that authorities said began at co-defendant Kemar Johnston’s birthday party and ended in a north Cape Coral industrial park, where the Sosas were fatally shot.
After nearly a day and a half of deliberations, jury members convicted Washington of two counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon — a knife — during the first trial.
However, jurors were unable to reach a decision regarding whether Washington was guilty of two counts each of kidnapping and first-degree murder.
The state filed for a retrial May 28.
Washington was sentenced Tuesday afternoon to two consecutive 15-year prison sentences for the aggravated battery counts, which he must serve regardless of the outcome of the retrial, said State Attorney’s Office spokesperson Samantha Syoen.
Syoen said the retrial will focus on the four remaining charges. Jurors will be asked to determine Washington’s guilt or innocence based only on the remaining counts against him.
Washington is the second defendant to be convicted in the Sosas’ killings. Co-defendant Ashley Toye was sentenced to life in prison in 2007.
Paul Sullivan, Washington’s defense attorney, could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.
Washington’s retrial begins at 9 a.m.