Source AP ©

Former librarian convicted in Germany for a hammer slaying sentenced to death in Florida

A former librarian, who was convicted in Germany nearly 30 years ago for a hammer slaying, has been sentenced to death in Florida.

Circuit Judge Alfred Horowitz condemned William Coday, 50, on Wednesday after reading his handwritten 25-page confession detailing how he had planned for a month to kill Gloria Gomez in 1997.

Coday wrote that he clubbed Gomez to the floor with a hammer as she went through a closet, then repeatedly stabbed her. She was struck 57 times with a hammer and suffered 87 stab wounds.

"I am writing this letter to disclose the truth about the murder, and why I believe I should have been sentenced to death," he wrote.

He also wrote, "At no time did I ever have a psychotic break from reality."

Coday was originally convicted and sentenced to death in 2002, but the Florida Supreme Court overturned the sentence in October. The court faulted Horowitz, the trial judge, for rejecting testimony from six psychiatric experts, who said Coday's psychosis was triggered by rejection.

Horowitz reconsidered that testimony, but found it was outweighed by the cruel nature of the crime.

Coday served as his own attorney Wednesday, but was assisted by two public defenders. He smiled as he left the courtroom.

In 1978, Coday was convicted in Germany of fatally beating another woman with a hammer. He was released after serving less than half of a three-year sentence, a reduced penalty due to his psychiatric problems.

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