Jury considers punishment for Leon Davis, Jr.

5:47 PM, Feb 17, 2011   |    comments
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BARTOW, Florida -- After lawyers offered closing statements on Thursday, the same jury that convicted Leon Davis Jr. is now deliberating his punishment.

The 34-year-old was convicted this week of robbing binding and burning two women to death at a Lake Wales insurance office in December 2007.

Twenty-six year-old Yvonne Bustamante, 23-year-old Juanita Luciano, and Luciano's prematurely delivered son - all died from their injuries.

The same jury that convicted Davis must now decide whether he should spend the rest of his life behind bars or die for his crimes.

Jurors heard statements from family members, including Bustamante's mother Ebilia Rodriguez, who described the impact of the loss of her daughter on their family.

"We feel like a bomb exploded. Everything is gone," she said.

"My life has changed completely. It hurts so bad. When she died, a part of me died."

Bustamante's 11-year-old son Damon also addressed jurors with a written statement, telling them what he misses most about his mom.

"Her hugs, her kisses. Cooking and playing with us," he said, "and just being our mom. My dad is not the same now. He is our dad and mom. We will never forget my mom."

Jurors walked from the jury box for a break at that point, several wiping away tears.

Earlier, they had heard from Davis' probation officer and a medical examiner, who testified that the women unfortunately suffered before their deaths.

After hearing from the victim's family, Davis' defense lawyers called Dawn Henry, the mother of one of Davis' sons to the stand.

Henry described Davis as a "great father" who had always been there for her.

Davis' mother, Linda, also took the stand, and dropped a pair of bombshells about her son's childhood.

When Davis was about 8 years old, Linda Davis says Leon was sexually assaulted by a neighborhood bully. 

And with a few years of that incident, she says her son was physically abused by a woman whom they had brought into their home.

After those incidents, Linda Davis says she brought her son to family counseling for two or three months and thought he was OK.

"I thought he was over it," she said.

Davis later joined the military, and spoke with him and one point for "four to six hours" after he expressed thoughts of suicide, she said.

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Eric Glasser, 10 News

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