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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: September 27, 1991
Date of arrest: October 3, 1991
Date of birth: May 25, 1962
Victim profile: Lorraine Pezza
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
LocationBroward County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on November 17, 1993

Florida Supreme Court

opinion 82780 opinion SC04-520

DC #941687
DOB: 05/25/62   

Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Case #91-19140
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Howard M. Zeidwig 
Trial Attorney:  Jeffrey Alan Glass, Esq.     
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Jeffrey L. Anderson - Assistant Public Defender 
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Ira Still, Esq. - Registry

Date of Offense: 09/27/91     

Date of Sentence: 11/17/93         

Circumstances of Offense:

Robert Consalvo was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Lorraine Pezza that occurred on 09/27/91.

On the evening of 09/21/91, Lorraine Pezza went to an automatic teller machine (ATM) with her neighbor, Robert Consalvo. Pezza withdrew $200, putting $60 in her wallet and placing the other $140 in her glove compartment. 

The two returned to Pezza’s apartment, and about an hour later, Pezza realized she had left her $140 in the car. Pezza searched for her car keys, but was unable to find them.  Relying on a spare key, Pezza unlocked her car and discovered that her money was missing. 

She called police, and when they arrived, they questioned Consalvo. He denied having any part in the missing keys or money. When the police and Consalvo left, however, Pezza phoned the police asking them to return. 

Pezza expressed that she felt Consalvo stole the money, but that she was afraid to voice her suspicions earlier with him present.  Pezza also inquired as to how she could press charges against him.

On 09/27/91, Pezza hired a locksmith to change the locks on her doors, mailbox and car.  He was the last person to see her alive.  On the same day, Consalvo was seen using Pezza’s ATM card, as documented by the teller’s security camera.  Consalvo was also recognized driving a car that looked like Pezza’s.

On 10/03/91, Consalvo was spotted breaking into the apartment of Myrna Walker, the downstairs neighbor of Lorraine Pezza.  Police were called to the scene and Consalvo was apprehended. Upon searching Consalvo, police found Pezza’s checkbook in his possession. 

One of the detectives attempted to speak with Pezza regarding the stolen checkbook, but there was no answer at her door. He left his card lodged in her doorway, instructing her to call him when she got in. 

When friends and family began to worry about her disappearance, and police noticed the detective’s card still lodged in her doorway, they broke into Pezza’s apartment.  Pezza’s body was found decomposing in her apartment. 

The cause of death was determined to be several stab wounds, the fatal wound being inflicted to the left side of her chest. Medical examiners determined that Pezza had been killed three to seven days before her body was found.

While in custody for the burglary of the Walker residence, Consalvo made several incriminating statements implicating himself in Pezza’s murder. 

He confessed to his mother that he was involved in a murder during a telephone conversation, and he allegedly told a fellow inmate in that he killed Pezza after she caught him breaking into her apartment. When searching Consalvo’s apartment, investigators found a towel with blood on it that matched Pezza’s

Additional Information: 

Consalvo was convicted and sentenced to three years community supervision for an additional burglary that he committed in 1986.

Trial Summary:

10/23/91          Defendant indicted on:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder
Count II:          Armed Burglary

02/11/93          The jury found the defendant guilty on both counts.

03/25/93          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by an 11 to 1 majority, voted for the death penalty.

11/17/93          The defendant was sentenced as followed:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder - Death
Count II:          Armed Burglary - Life

Case Information:

On 11/29/93, Consalvo filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court.  In that appeal, he argued that the prosecution made several discovery violations and that during their closing argument, they improperly executed a “straw man” defense.  Consalvo also contended that the trial court erred when it instructed the jury that unexplained possession of stolen property could justify a burglary conviction.  In regard to the penalty phase, Consalvo asserted that victim impact evidence was improperly admitted, that his due process rights were violated in the sentencing order and that the court erred in its consideration of non-statutory mitigating evidence.  He also argued the application of the “avoid arrest” aggravating factor.  The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentence of death on 10/03/96. 

Consalvo next filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on 05/04/98.

He filed Motion to Vacate Judgment and Sentence (3.850) in the State Circuit Court on 04/09/99, which was denied 02/19/04.   

Consalvo filed an appeal of the denial of the motion in the Florida Supreme Court, raising evidentiary issues.  On 05/18/06, the FSC affirmed the denial of the motion.



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