John Couey and The Backsliders (Texas band)

John Evander Couey (September 19, 1958 – September 30, 2009) was an American sex offender convicted of kidnapping, sexually battering, and murdering nine-year old Jessica Lunsford in February 2005, in Florida. Lunsford's disappearance and Couey's subsequent confession and trial received extensive media coverage. Due to Couey's actions, Jessica's Law was enacted in Florida, and the U.S. Congress created the Jessica Lunsford Act. A jury recommended that Couey receive the death penalty, and on August 24, 2007, he was sentenced to death. Couey died on September 30, 2009, of anal cancer before his sentence could be carried out.

Contents 1 Past charges and convictions 2 Abduction, rape, and murder of Lunsford 3 Criminal proceedings 4 Sentence 5 Death 6 References 7 External links

§Past charges and convictions

Couey had an extensive criminal record that included 24 arrests for burglary, carrying a concealed weapon without a permit, and indecent exposure. During a house burglary in 1978, Couey was accused of grabbing a girl in her bedroom, placing his hand over her mouth, and kissing her. Couey was sentenced to 10 years in prison but was paroled in 1980. In 1991, he was arrested in Kissimmee on a charge of fondling a five-year-old child. Because of more lenient laws at that time, Couey was released early. §Abduction, rape, and murder of Lunsford

On February 24, 2005, the family of Jessica Lunsford discovered that she was missing from the home she shared with her father and grandparents. Couey later was accused of entering her house through an unlocked door at about 3 a.m. He awoke her, told her "Don't yell or nothing" and told her to follow him out of the house.

In a videotaped and recorded deposition which later was thrown out by his Florida trial court (see below), he admitted to sexually battering Lunsford in his bedroom. The admission stated that she was kept in his bed that evening, where he raped her again in the morning. It further stated that Couey put her in his closet and ordered her to remain there, which she did as he reported for work at "Billy's Truck Lot". Lastly, the admission recounted that three days after he abducted her, Couey bound the child's wrists together with speaker wire, placed her in a garbage bag, placed the bag containing her inside another garbage bag and buried her alive in a shallow grave, where she suffocated to death. Because Couey had asked for an attorney before being interrogated but was not given one, his trial court threw out this statement as being obtained in violation of Couey's Sixth Amendment right to counsel and right to due process under the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment.

On March 18, 2005, police found Lunsford's body at Couey's residence located on West Snowbird Court, under the front porch and buried in a hole approximately 2½ ft deep by 2 ft in diameter (0.8 m deep by 0.6 m dia.), covered with leaves. The body was removed from the ground and transported to the coroner's office. Her body had undergone "moderate" to "severe" decomposition and, according to the publicly released autopsy reports, was skeletonized on two fingers that Lunsford had poked through the bags before suffocating to death. The coroner ruled that death would have happened even in best circumstances within three or five minutes from lack of oxygen. §Criminal proceedings

The trial was moved to Miami after officials were unable to seat an impartial jury in Citrus County where the trial was first scheduled to be held.

On March 7, 2007, Couey was found guilty of all charges in relation to Lunsford's death, including first degree murder, kidnapping, burglary with assault or battery upon any person, and capital sexual battery. The jury deliberated for four hours, tasked with recommending either life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty, the only two possible sentences available under Florida law.

A week later, after about one hour and 15 minutes of deliberation, a jury recommended Couey be put to death.

On August 11, 2007, a jury overseeing the Lunsford case voted 10-2 that Couey be eligible for the death sentence. Defense for Couey argued that he had suffered from a lifetime of emotional abuse and had a below normal IQ, which would enable him to avoid a death sentence under a 2002 Supreme Court ruling prohibiting the execution of mentally handicapped people. However, the most credible intelligence test rated Couey's IQ at 78, above the standard accepted level of mental retardation, which is 70. §Sentence

On August 24, 2007, Couey was sentenced by Circuit Judge Richard Howard to death, as well as three consecutive life terms for his crimes. In accordance with Florida State Law, the death sentence was automatically appealed. His Florida Department of Corrections number was 063425. §Death

On September 30, 2009 at 11:15 a.m. EST, Couey died at Jacksonville Memorial Hospital after complications from anal cancer, before the sentence of the court could be carried out. §

The Backsliders (Texas band) and John Couey

For the 1990s alt-country band, see The Backsliders.

The Backsliders (often capitalised as THe BAcksliders) is a rock and roll band from Dallas, Texas.

Formed in late 2005, The Backsliders released a self-titled full-length album in March 2006, a 7" released December 2006, a DVD "Live at The Double Wide" in May 2007, and the album "You're Welcome" on June 3, 2008. The 7", DVD and the record "You're Welcome" feature Kim Bonner (then Pendleton) on Vocals, Chris Bonner guitar, Nolan Theis (Deep Blue Something, Five Times August) on bass and Taylor Young (Young Heart Attack, Polyphonic Spree) on drums. The self-titled full length is the same line up but with Nathan Adamson on drums. "You're Welcome" was produced by Jeff Halbert (St. Vincent, The Lemurs).

The Backsliders won "best blues" award from the Dallas Observer in 2007. Kim Bonner (née Pendleton) (formerly of Polygram recording artist Vibrolux) and husband Chris Bonner (Sons of Sound) form the core of the group, with other notable Dallas musicians as regular members. Brother R. Jason Bonner became the bass player in February 2008. On July 22, 2008 THe BAcksliders won "Best Hard Rock" award in the 20th annual Dallas Observer Music Awards. They performed with, amongst others, The Toadies at the first annual Dia De Los Toadies on August 31, 2008. THe BAcksliders released the album "Thank You" as a free download via www.thebacksliders.com in July 2009. The studio album "...from Dallas, Texas," will be released on April 19, 2011. "...from Dallas, Texas" was produced by Chris Bonner and Nathan Adamson, and includes Earl Darling on drums, and Nathan Adamson on drums and keyboards.

Contents 1 Members 1.1 Current members 1.2 Former members 2 Discography 2.1 Albums 2.2 EPs 2.3 DVDs 2.4 Other 3 References

Members Current members Kim Bonner (née Pendleton) – Vocals Chris Bonner – Guitar Jason Bonner – Bass Taylor Young – Drums Nathan Adamson – Keyboards Former members Nolan Theis – Bass Discography Albums "THe BAcksliders" (2006) "You're Welcome" (2008) "Thank You" (2009) "...from Dallas, Texas" (2011) EPs "Cry/I Got Mine"(7") (2006) DVDs

"Live at The Double Wide" Other "XO For the Holidays vol 2" – various artists – track No. 3 – "Christmas (Doesn't Have To Be So bad)" (2009)
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