Wo­man, 71, gets 32 years in ex’s death

She had re­ceived life term in pre­vi­ous mur­der trial

Sun Sentinel Broward Edition - - LOCAL - By Erika Pe­santes Staff writer

A Jupiter wo­man was sen­tenced Thurs­day to 32 years in prison for the fa­tal shoot­ing of her ex-hus­band as he took a shower.

The sen­tence is tech­ni­cally less harsh — but es­sen­tially has the same ef­fect — as the life term 71-year-old Donna Hor­witz re­ceived af­ter be­ing con­victed of first-de­gree mur­der in 2013. In June, the jury in Hor­witz’s re­trial con­victed her of sec­ond­de­gree mur­der.

“Un­less she lives an ex­traor­di­nar­ily long life, it’s re­ally like a life sen­tence, any­way,” said de­fense at­tor­ney Grey Tesh. “So we lost the bat­tle, but hope­fully not the war.”

Hor­witz suc­cess­fully ap­pealed her 2013 first-de­gree mur­der con­vic­tion up to the Flor­ida Supreme Court. She plans to ap­peal again, ac­cord­ing to Tesh.

When the sen­tence was an­nounced Thurs­day, the shack­led Hor­witz had no vis­i­ble re­ac­tion. She stared out blankly and slipped off the lis­ten­ing de­vice she wore to am­plify sound in the court­room.

Cir­cuit Judge Krista Marx said that she could not be moved by Hor­witz’s age, or ac­counts that she had been a “sweet and lov­ing” per­son through­out her life.

“I sat through the trial and I don’t know what snapped in you that day,” Marx said. “There’s no ex­plain­ing how you took a gun

and shot him that many times while he was in the shower.”

Lanny Hor­witz, 66, was shot nine times as he show­ered in the house the di­vorced cou­ple shared. He took one bul­let in his mouth af­ter he col­lapsed on the bath­room floor, the shower still run­ning.

Marcia Van Crev­eld, one of Lanny Hor­witz’s sis­ters, had hoped for an­other life sen­tence for her for­mer sis­ter-in-law. She re­mains heart­bro­ken, she says.

“Nat­u­rally, I was dis­ap­pointed,” Van Crev­eld said. “This was my brother who was bru­tally am­bushed, mur­dered, left ex­posed on the bath­room floor.”

Donna Hor­witz’s at­tor­neys had tried to raise doubt in the minds of ju­rors by sug­gest­ing that her adult son, Radley Hor­witz, had a strong fi­nan­cial mo­tive to kill his fa­ther. He was an­gry with his dad and wanted to cash in on his $500,000 life in­sur­ance pol­icy, the at­tor­neys ar­gued. He lived in the home and was a firearms ex­pert.

But pros­e­cu­tors con­vinced a jury that Donna

Hor­witz gunned down her ex-hus­band in a rage. Hor­witz “doesn’t de­serve less than life in prison,” pros­e­cu­tor Aleathea McRoberts told the judge.

“This de­fen­dant not only has been found guilty a sec­ond time, she killed the love of her life — there’s no­body that would dis­agree with that,” she said. “She blamed her only child, who is her last liv­ing rel­a­tive, for all in­tents and pur­poses.”

Most of the pros­e­cu­tion’s case was built around Hor­witz’s jour­nal, in­clud­ing en­tries about her de­spair.

“I call him Mr. Meanie,” Hor­witz wrote about her ex-hus­band. “My heart is bro­ken.”

Lanny Hor­witz was killed on a day he was sup­posed to have trav­eled to North Carolina with his fe­male busi­ness part­ner. Donna Hor­witz was said to have been jeal­ous be­cause she sus­pected the two were ro­man­ti­cally in­volved.

Radley Hor­witz said he felt for his mother, but he was done be­ing picked on and wants to move on with his life. He said he stopped see­ing her about two years ago af­ter she be­came nasty

with him and ridiculed him for see­ing a ther­a­pist.

Af­ter her 2013 con­vic­tion, he said he was OK with his mom us­ing a de­fense strat­egy that blamed him for the killing. But he had grown weary of it by her sec­ond con­vic­tion, say­ing he was tired of hav­ing his rep­u­ta­tion at­tacked.

Still, he sym­pa­thizes with his mom.

“I still think if there is ever a case for a psy­cho­log­i­cal abuse, bat­tered­spouse syn­drome sort of thing, that this would have been it,” he said Thurs­day.

LANNIS WA­TERS/PALM BEACH POST POOL PHOTO

Donna Hor­witz stands with de­fense at­tor­ney Grey Tesh as Cir­cuit Judge Krista Marx en­ters court for Hor­witz’s sen­tenc­ing hear­ing Thurs­day morn­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.