'My entire soul was crushed': Children speak in resentencing of man convicted of killing Tampa couple
TAMPA, Fla. - The grown children of the defendant and the victims clashed in Tampa courtroom Wednesday, hoping for two different outcomes.
William Deparvine was convicted 18 years ago in the murder of Tampa couple Richard and Karla Van Dusen and sentenced to death. He is getting a do-over in his murder sentence after a US Supreme Court decision ruled all death penalty verdicts must be unanimous. Deparvine's wasn't.
James Myers, the son of murder victim Karla Van Dusen is asking for the ultimate punishment. He had written a statement and read it to the court from the witness stand.
"When she was taken from me and the world that was better with her in it, my entire soul was crushed beyond repair," read Myers.
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Prosecutors said the murder was all a ruse to steal the couples vintage Chevy pickup truck. Their bodies were discovered off Old Memorial Highway in November 2003. Deparvine has been sitting on death row since his conviction.
But his daughter, Kelly Cousineau, told the jury she and her sister visit their father in prison. She described him as a good dad growing up, and the fun parent.
"I love my father," she acknowledged.
She cried and wiped away tears as she urged the jury to allow the prison visits with her dad to continue.
"There's still is a relationship there. There's still a father-daughter relationship there, and I still benefit from having a dad," explained Cousineau.
Deparvine's oldest daughter, Tina Holtus testified too. She told the jury her dad has been her rock through tough times.
"His presence would mean a lot to me," she said.
Closing arguments will begin on Monday and the jury is expected to start deliberating soon after.