Man gets life in prison for killing 2 victims with a hammer near Florida Panhandle trail


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TALLAHASSEE, Florida — An Alabama man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing two people near a scenic Florida Panhandle trail.

A Leon County judge sentenced 32-year-old Joseph Oakes on Wednesday after he pleaded no contest to the murders. Prosecutors had previously wanted the death penalty.

Tallahassee police say the victims — 29-year-old Jason Coshatt and 21-year-old Lynette L. Lee — were homeless and camping with Oakes and his girlfriend — 43-year-old Jennifer Ellis — near St. Marks Trail last May. Authorities say Coshatt tried to touch Ellis in a sexual way, prompting Oakes to hit the two victims with a hammer.

The Tallahassee Democrat ( ) reports that a tip led police to Oakes, who was covered in blood when he was arrested.

Ellis faces two counts of being an accessory after the fact of capital felony for helping to clean the crime scene.

Information from: Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat,

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