Date of Sentence (1st): 11/02/94
Date of Sentence (2nd):
Eddie Lee Sexton was
convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Joel Good.
Joel Good was married to
Estella Sexton (Pixie), the daughter of Eddie and Estella
Sexton. Joel’s body and the body of Joel and Pixie’s son were
each buried near Tampa area campsites.
Sexton and his family
moved to Florida from Ohio because Sexton was wanted on charges
of sexual abuse in Ohio. The family temporarily stayed with
Sexton’s sister in Tampa, but then moved to Hillsborough State
Park, where they lived in a mobile home.
During this time,
Pixie and Joel’s infant son, Skipper Lee Good, fell ill, but
Sexton would not allow them to take their son to the doctor for
fear of being found. Sexton, also, threatened to hurt their son
if Pixie did not make the baby stop crying. Pixie covered the
baby’s face until he stopped crying. The baby was found dead in
the morning, and Sexton made Joel Good and Sexton’s son, William
Sexton, bury the body in the woods.
Joel wanted to go back
to Ohio with Pixie and her two daughters after the death of his
son. Pixie, at this point, informed Joel that Eddie Sexton, her
father, was also the father of her two daughters. Sexton would
not allow them to return to Ohio. He threatened to turn in
Pixie for killing her son if they left. During this period of
time, the Sexton family moved to Little Manatee State Park.
Eddie Sexton had William
Sexton, his son, kill Joel Good because Eddie Sexton was afraid
that Joel Good would tell the police about the infant’s death,
the sexual abuse, and the location of Sexton and his family.
William, who was 22-years-old, was determined to function on the
level of an 8-year-old.
On 11/17/93, some members of the Sexton
family, including Eddie Sexton, went on a picnic. Other members
of the family stayed at the campsite, including Pixie Good, Joel
Good, and William Sexton.
Pixie testified that William and Joel
left the campsite and went into the woods. Pixie and her
sister, Sherry Sexton, went to look for them when they heard
Joel shout. According to Pixie, they found William strangling
Joel with a rope. Pixie went and found her father, Eddie
Sexton, bringing him to where William and Joel were in the
woods. Sexton saw that Joel was still moving and told William
to finish killing Joel.
Eddie and William Sexton
buried the body of Joel Good with a shovel that Eddie Sexton
sent Pixie to buy. Eddie Sexton told William Sexton to cut off
Joel Good’s hands so that there would not be fingerprints, but
William was not able to cut off his hands.
The state’s medical
examiner observed ligature marks around the Joel Good’s neck and
a deep cut on the his right hand. She concluded that the victim
was strangled to death.
Sherry Sexton, however,
gave a different account of the events surrounding Joel Good’s
death. She testified that Pixie helped William kill Joel Good.
Sherry also reported that Eddie Sexton was upset with William
for killing Joel and that Pixie said she was glad Joel was dead.
The FBI tracked the
Sexton family to the Little Manatee River Campground. The FBI
were investigating the Sexton family due to the charges of
Sexual Misconduct of the Sexton parents against their children
and the charges of Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution in
Eddie Sexton made a phone call to his brother-in-law in
Indiana and charged the call to his previous number in Ohio.
The FBI determined that the call was placed from a pay phone in
the Little Manatee River State Park. The FBI also determined
that the Sexton family was probably driving a gray 1993 Nissan Sentra that Eddie Sexton had bought from his brother-in-law but
had not made the payments; therefore, Sexton’s brother-in-law
reported the automobile as stolen. The FBI in Ohio contacted
the FBI in Tampa and gave them the information about the
location of the Sexton family and their automobile.
01/14/94, the FBI located the Sexton family at the Little
Manatee River State Park. The FBI maintained surveillance on
the Sexton family and arrested Eddie and Estella Sexton when
they left the campsite in the automobile.
The Stark County
Sheriff’s Department questioned Charles Sexton, a son of Eddie
and Estella Sexton, after Joel Good’s aunt reported Joel Good
missing. Charles Sexton told them that Joel Good and Skipper
Good were both dead. He showed officials the burial locations
for both Joel and Skipper Good.
Circuit Court # 94-7915
Eddie Sexton conspired
with family members, specifically his son Willie Sexton, to
murder a campground resident, Raymond Hesser. Eddie Sexton
wanted to assume the identity of Hesser due to Sexton’s fugitive
status. The Sexton family also planned to take Hesser’s camper
and truck after he was dead. After killing Hesser, the Sextons
would dispose of his body in the Little Manatee River State
Park. The FBI arrested members of the Sexton family, including
Eddie and Willie Sexton, which prevented the completion of the
Hesser murder. Eddie Sexton was sentenced to 30 years for
Conspiracy to Commit First-Degree Murder on 11/02/94.
Codefendant Status: William Sexton
(Hillsborough County Circuit Court #94-1299)
William Sexton was
convicted of Second-Degree Murder for the murder of Joel Good on
11/17/93. William Sexton was sentenced to 25 years on 11/10/93.
Sexton was arrested for the murder of Joel Good.
Sexton was indicted on the following counts:
Sexton was found guilty of Count I of the indictment during the
Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 7 to 5 majority, voted
for the death penalty.
Sexton was sentenced as follows:
First-Degree Murder – Death
On remand from the Florida Supreme Court for a new trial, a jury
found Sexton guilty for Count I of the indictment during the
Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by an 8 to 4 majority, voted
for the death penalty.
Sexton was sentenced as follows:
First-Degree Murder – Death
Sexton filed his
first Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 07/20/95.
The issues addressed included that the court mishandled
aggravating factors and that capital punishment was not
proportionate to the crime committed, nor was it
constitutional. Sexton further argued that the trial court
erred in allowing testimony that Sexton allegedly physically and
sexually abused his children, practiced Satanism, threatened his
children if they discussed family issues outside of the family,
and trained his children to kill government agents, specifically
FBI agents. The Florida Supreme Court determined that allowing
the testimony of the children to these acts outside of the
murder of Joel Good might have inflamed the jury; therefore, the
Florida Supreme Court reversed the sentence and conviction and
remanded for a new trial on 07/17/97. A Mandate was issued on
On remand from the
Florida Supreme Court for a new trial, Sexton was found guilty
of First-Degree Murder on 09/03/98. Upon jury advisory
sentencing, the jury, by an 8 to 4 majority, voted for the death
penalty on 09/04/98. Sexton was sentenced to death on 11/18/98.
Sexton filed his
second Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 12/10/98.
The issues addressed included that the trial court erred in
admitting evidence about Skipper Lee Good’s death, in not
granting Sexton new counsel, in admitting victim impact
testimony, and in mishandling aggravating factors. Furthermore,
Sexton argued that the sentence of death was disproportionate
and unconstitutional. The Florida Supreme Court did not find
errors that warranted reversing the conviction or sentence and
affirmed the conviction and sentence on 10/12/00. Rehearing was
denied on 12/21/00. A Mandate was issued on 01/22/01.
Sexton filed a
3.850 Motion with the Hillsborough County Circuit Court on
01/18/02. Sexton filed Amended 3.850 Motions on 03/21/02. The
motion was denied in part and granted in part (for an
evidentiary hearing) on 03/11/03.
Eddie Lee Sexton sentenced to death
The judge says the father dominated his son, forcing
the son to kill his brother-in-law
By Sue Carlton - St. Petersburg Times
November 19, 1998
Eddie Lee Sexton was even more responsible for
the murder of a relative than the "simple-minded" son Sexton used
as his "weapon of choice" to do the job, a judge wrote in an order
With that, Circuit Judge J. Rogers Padgett
followed the recommendation of a jury and sentenced the Ohio
family patriarch to die in the electric chair for the 1993 murder
of Sexton's son-in-law in a Florida park.
The 56-year-old father of 12, who authorities
say controlled his children with years of incest and horrific
abuse, sat passively in a wheelchair in the courtroom, nodding his
head when the judge delivered the sentence. Two months earlier,
when the jury that convicted him then recommended the death
penalty by a vote of 8-4, Sexton merely shrugged.
"That's life," he told his attorney then.
It was, after all, Sexton's second time around.
In 1994, he was convicted and sentenced to death in the murder of
his daughter's husband, Joel Good, but won a new trial after the
Florida Supreme Court ruled the jury should not have heard certain
lurid details of the bizarre Sexton household.
The Sexton children told authorities their
father persuaded them he had Satanic powers and repeatedly raped
and beat them. Sexton, his wife and several children were on the
run from child abuse charges in Ohio when they camped out at the
Hillsborough River State Park five years ago. Sexton's daughter
smothered her infant son after her father ordered her to quiet the
child, and the boy's body was buried in the park.
Good began talking of taking his son's body
back to Ohio, so Sexton taught his son, Willie, then 22, how to
strangle a man using a rope twisted tight with sticks. Good's body,
too, was buried in a park.
Willie Sexton, who was sexually abused
throughout his childhood and who spent more than a year in a state
mental hospital after his arrest, testified against his father and
was sentenced to 25 years in prison on a second-degree murder
"The evidence clearly showed the dominance of
the defendant over his simple-minded son achieved by a lifetime of
cruel, insidious and humiliating physical, emotional and sexual
abuse," Padgett wrote in his order.
Sexton's attorney, Robert Fraser, said he
believes certain testimony, including mitigating evidence about
Sexton's own mental condition, could be factors in an appeal.
"I don't think the evidence supports the idea
that Willie is a robot," Fraser said.
SEX: M RACE: W TYPE: T MOTIVE:
MO: Abusive/incestuous father
who commanded his children to kill; daughter smothered her infant child
on his orders; son strangled the child's father (Sexton's son-in-law)
DISPOSITION: Condemned + 15
years for conspiracy, 1995; death sentence overturned with new trial ordered, 1997.