A Who’s Who…*
Juan Ramos (photo) – A Cuban refugee who arrived in Florida during the Mariel boatlift, Ramos was living in Cocoa when he was arrested and convicted of murder. He was sent to death row when he was 25 years old. He was acquitted after a second trial.
Wilton Dedge – Was a 20-year-old high school dropout from Port St. John in 1981. He lived with his parents in Port St. John and worked on car transmissions at a shop in New Smyrna Beach. He spent 22 years in prison for a rape he did not commit.
William Dillon – Was an out-of-work 22-year-old living with his parents in Satellite Beach in 1981 when he was arrested, tried and convicted of a murder he did not commit. He spent nearly 28 years in prison before being exonerated.
Gary Bennett – Was an out-of-work 26-year-old who has spent the last 33 years in prison for the murder of his neighbor Helen Nardi in 1983.
Gerald Stano – Regarded by many to be both a serial killer and a serial confessor, Stano was executed for the Brevard County murder of Kathy Lee Scharf. He was already serving several life sentences in Florida when he was convicted in Brevard.
Dean Moxley – Now a retired judge, Moxley was the chief prosecutor for the State Attorney’s Office in Brevard County. He personally prosecuted Dedge, Ramos, Bennett and Stano and was the supervising attorney for the Dillon trial.
Clarence Zacke – The owner of a West Melbourne junkyard, Zacke dabbled in the stolen car business before starting to smuggle marijuana from the islands on his own plane. Arrested on drug charges, Zacke then worked to eliminate the witnesses against him. He ordered the murder Richard Lee Hunt, the brother of prosecutor Michael Hunt. He also tried to have State Attorney Doug Cheshire and Judge William Woodson executed. He raped his adopted daughter for years. He became a star witness for the state in several high profile cases.
John Preston – A former Pennsylvania State Trooper, Preston used tracking dogs to become an expert witness testifying around the country in criminal cases. He was discredited and proven to be a fraud. His testimony helped send Wilton Dedge, Juan Ramos and William Dillon to prison.
*Written by John A. Torres, Florida Today, March 19, 2017 — original article at this link)