26 May 2024

Renaldo Devon McGirth, an Ocala man facing the death penalty for a crime committed over a decade ago, has encountered another legal delay. His resentencing hearing was postponed because the Florida Supreme Court needs to decide if a unanimous jury vote or an 8-4 split is required for the death penalty under a recent state law.

In 2008, McGirth was convicted for his role in a woman’s shooting in The Villages. The jury’s recommendation for the death penalty, by a vote of 11-1, landed him on death row. However, the law changed in 2016, requiring unanimous jury decisions for death penalty cases. McGirth’s resentencing got repeatedly delayed, and Florida later shifted to an 8-4 jury recommendation.

The case has faced numerous postponements since 2018, partly due to the pandemic. Prosecutors argue that there were opportunities to move it forward. The crime involved the 2006 shooting death of Diana Miller and the injury of her husband, James, during a suspected robbery.

Now 35, McGirth has spent 15 years on death row. He’s one of seven Marion County inmates facing the death penalty. Typically, executions happen around age 45, with offenses committed at around 27 years old. The longest-serving Marion County death row inmate, Ian Lightborun, has been there for 42 years.

Earlier this year, Michael Wayne Jones received the death penalty for killing his wife and four children.