Resentence hearing for 1997 murder comes to an end

Local News

BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The second and final day of a re-sentencing hearing for Rebecca Falcon is now complete.

Falcon was previously found guilty for shooting and killing 25-year-old Richard Phillips in November of 1997.

She, along with co-defendant Cliffton Gilchrist, was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

A 2012 U.S. Supreme Court ruling is giving Falcon a re-sentencing. Gilchrist is not getting the same chance since he was 18 at the time of the murder.

On Tuesday, her lawyers only had one more witness to call to the stand. A former warden and colonel of two facilities Falcon has served time in, Loretta Sink.

Sink shared her interactions with Falcon over the years, starting in the early 2000s.

A stack of certificates of achievements and a GED Falcon had obtained over the years was also submitted into evidence.

Sink says all the programs Falcon completed were voluntary programs inmates have the option to do but must qualify for.

Falcon’s disciplinary report was also discussed. The document outlined every infraction Falcon has had since being in prison in 1999. Sink says all but one of Falcon’s reports took place in the first five years of her incarceration. The last DR ever have been recorded was in 2008.

While it’s never a complete guarantee, Sink says she believes Falcon deserves some kind of chance at a new life and would be the same person she is now if released.

“I really do feel like that she has taken ownership of everything she’s ever done. Regardless of what her long term situation is and that she’s not going to stop being the person she is today. She has come along way,” she said.

Sink was also asked many questions about Falcon’s mental health and counseling she may have received while in prison. Sink says she did not review the medical records before coming in to testify but also wouldn’t have access to some files due to HIPAA laws.

The counsels will now have until May 4 to submit a written final argument to Judge Brantley Clark. Both counsels will have an oral argument day on May 22 and the final sentencing will take place in July.

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