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  • This Day in Crime History

    July 11: 2000: Sandra Tester, 25, was strangled to death and then her mobile home set on fire in Charlotte, NC. Her husband, Jimmy Tester, pled guilty and was sentenced to 12-15 years in prison. He was released on parole 6/8/2013 and ended parole on 3/5/2014.

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Judge Eugene Berry murder 1/16/1982 LaBelle, FL *Bonnie Kelly wanted her husband out of prison, so she killed the Judge; Sentenced to LWOP

In Memory of Judge Eugene Berry
Mrs. Berry Testifies In Murder Trial
Slain Prosecutor’s Wife Testifies At Murder Trial
Co-Conspirator Gives Testimony In Murder Trial
A man released from prison in June was ordered…
Fla. Prosecutor’s Killer Dies in Prison
Death Row Prisoner Dies of Natural Causes
Vance found guilty of helping to plan Fla. murder
US v Henry Vance 1989 (conviction and sentence affirmed)
Samuel Andrew Pettit v State of Florida 1992

Defendants
Stephen Vance Taylor – pled guilty, sentenced to 99 years in prison
Bonnie Kelly – convicted, sentenced to LWOP
Samuel Pettit – convicted,sentenced to LWOP (died on death row)
Henry Vance Jr. – convicted, sentenced to LWOP

INMATE INFORMATION

DC Number: 092012
Name: TAYLOR, STEPHEN V
Race: WHITE
Sex: MALE
Hair Color: BROWN
Eye Color: BLUE
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 185 lbs.
Birth Date: 06/10/1952
Initial Receipt Date: 11/28/1983
Current Facility: HOLMES C.I.
Current Custody: MEDIUM
Current Release Date: 08/25/2022

INMATE INFORMATION

DC Number: 151239
Name: KELLY, BONNIE
Race: WHITE
Sex: FEMALE
Hair Color: BLONDE OR STRAWBERRY
Eye Color: HAZEL
Height: 5’06”
Weight: 143 lbs.
Birth Date: 09/15/1952
Initial Receipt Date: 05/26/1983
Current Facility: LOWELL RECEPT CENTER
Current Custody: CLOSE
Current Release Date: SENTENCED TO LIFE

Aliases:
BONNIE LYNN GEE
BONNIE KELLY
BONNIE LYNN KELLY
VIRGINIA DORIS BURNS

Current Prison Sentence History:
Offense Date 01/16/1982
Offense 1ST DG MUR/PREMED. OR ATT.
Sentence Date 05/24/1983
County CHARLOTTE
Case No. 8200082
Prison Sentence Length SENTENCED TO LIFE

Note: The offense descriptions are truncated and do not necessarily reflect the crime of conviction. Please refer to the court documents or the Florida Statutes for further information or definition.

Incarceration History:
Date In-Custody 05/26/1983
Date Out-of-Custody Currently Incarcerated

INMATE INFORMATION

DC Number: 082167
Name: PETTIT, SAMUEL A
Race: WHITE
Sex: MALE
Hair Color: BROWN
Eye Color: BROWN
Height: 5’09”
Weight: 145 lbs.
Birth Date: 01/26/1962
Custody: MAXIMUM
Current Release Date: DECEASED

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8 Responses

  1. I found that Henry Vance was convicted in federal court of weapons crimes and sentenced to 15 years in federal prison.He was released from federal prison on 3/28/97. No record of him being released or a current Florida State prison inmate. Where does it show he was sentenced to life?

  2. Mr. Pettit was involved in an unrelated murder of a prosecutor, which really had nothing to do with the murder of the prosecutor, Mr. Berry.. However, those who were involved got the right sentences. None of them will ever get out alive.

    • There were two prosecutors murdered and a judge?
      Not sure if you were answering my question, which is about,Henry Vance. He appears to have been released from federal prison 20 years ago.

  3. Stan, I don’t know what happened to Henry Vance. However, there were 2 prosecutors murdered, written about in 2 separate articles, but no judge, and they were murdered in different instances that had nothing to do with one another.. The original headline mentioned a murdered judge, but he was really a prosecutor. One of the murders was a kidnapping of 2 prosecutors, one of whom was killed by a Mr. Pettit, who was convicted and died in prison. The other prosecutor was Mr. Berry, who was shot to death by Mrs. Kelly.

    • Where did you see that Vance was sentenced to LWOP? He definitely released from federal prison in 1997.

      • If you look at the pictures of the defendants, above the picture of Stephen Vance Taylor, it has the title “defendants”, and it shows the sentence of Henry Vance, Jr. to be LWOP. Maybe it’s an error, but that’s where I got it from.

        • OK I did that and will also check on where I got that from. I started the post a while ago and just finished it and posted. I did not double check.

          • Thanks for checking. Makes no sense that he would get of with a little,more than 10 years in federal prison for his role in a double,murder.

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