( 📸: Ricardo Rolon/USA TODAY NETWORK-FLORIDA / USA TODAY NETWORK )
Cousins! A Florida man convicted for the 1990s killing of a young girl and her babysitter made sure he went out with a bang just today, just hours before he received a death sentence!
Within a video captured by WBBH, 61-year-old Joseph Zieler can be seen asking to speak with his attorney Kevin Shirley. As the lawyer moved in closer to speak with him, Joseph jumped up and elbowed Kevin directly in the face. Bailiffs within the courtroom immediately tackled the inmate down to the ground. Kevin can be heard assuring that he was okay and also saying, “I used to box. I’ve taken a lot better shots than that one.”
Kevin tells NBC that he is not sure why his client had attacked him and that before the incident the two had a good working relationship. “He had to know how the bailiffs would react,” Kevin wrote in an email on Tuesday. “We had a very good working relationship. It was probably his last effort to put on a public display and I was the only civilian that he was able to lure within arms reach.”
Joseph is said to have returned to the courtroom ten minutes later where he was sentenced to death on two first-degree murder counts for the death of Robin Cornell, 11, and her babysitter, Lisa Story, 32. For nearly twenty-six years there hadn’t been anyone in custody for the gruesome crime until 2016 when he was arrested for an unrelated crime.
According to court documents Robin’s mother Jan Cornell, discovered both her daughter and friend Lisa dead in their Cape Coral home on May 10, 1990. Reports read that she testified that she lived at the home with her daughter and a friend and had left the night before to visit her boyfriend.
Jan says upon returneed home, she found the back sliding glass doors open with he inside id her home being completely trashed. She says she soon discovered the lifeless bodies of her daughter and her friend upstairs in bedrooms. It was been stated that DNA was collected at the scene, but unfortunately the case went cold. That is until 2016, when Zieler was arrested, his DNA was entered into the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System.
Reports read that he unexpectedly matched DNA samples from the 1990 crime scene with a second sample taken from Joseph which proved to be a match.
Jan says she does not know the then 28 year old murder. Despite his denial, prosecutors say the tragic incident was “cold, calculated and premeditated.”