Today Joseph Zieler was sentenced to death for the 1990 murders of 11-year-old Robin Cornell and 32-year-old Lisa Story. He received two death sentences, one for each
Assistant State Attorneys Dan Feinberg, Stephanie Russell, and Abe Thornburg, prosecuted this case. The case was investigated by the Cape Coral Police Department, who never gave up on this investigation and dedicated years of hard work towards today’s conclusion. New advances in DNA science led to identifying the killer 26 years after the crimes happened.
“I hope that today’s sentence allows a new direction of healing for the family and friends of the victims who can rest easier, knowing that this evil monster will never again walk free and will pay the ultimate price for his atrocious crimes. I also want to express my immense respect and admiration for Jan Cornell, Robin’s mother. She has been beside law enforcement every step of the way for over three decades, representing her daughter. Over the years, she has shown incredible bravery, strength, and drive to help find her daughter’s killer,” said State Attorney Amira Fox.
“No length of time will stop justice from being served in Southwest Florida. The actions of this defendant were cold, calculated, and premeditated, committed in a heinous, atrocious, and cruel manner. The death penalty is the right sentence for these horrendous, unthinkable, crimes and for this despicable monster, who once again showed his true nature of violence and evil in the courtroom today, when he attacked his own defense attorney,” said State Attorney Fox.
The State Attorney’s Office would like to thank the jury for their diligence and focus throughout both the criminal and penalty phase of this first-degree murder case.
Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office