WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — A Florida judge says a man accused of killing a witness can’t face execution because prosecutors missed a deadline to notify the court they would be seeking the death penalty.
News outlets report Palm Beach County Circuit Judge John Kastrenakes ruled earlier this month that the state attorney’s office had failed to meet a 45-day deadline included in Florida’s new death penalty law.
Court records show that 28-year-old Tashane Chantiloupe pleaded not guilty Aug. 18 to first-degree murder, and prosecutors missed the Oct. 2 deadline by 14 days. Kastrenakes acknowledged that other states have exceptions for missing the deadline, but Florida doesn’t. He said higher courts and lawmakers would need to address the issue.
Authorities say Chantiloupe fatally shot 34-year-old Augustus Byam in May. Byam had identified Chantiloupe in another shooting.