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Friday, May 6, 2016

Archer pleads guilty to murders

Thursday, July 31, 2008

TKirby Archer of Strawberry has pled guilty and given a detailed account of the murders of four Florida residents in a courtroom full of the victim's family and friends, according to a south Florida newspaper.

According to reports, as the boat Archer and his alleged accomplice, Guillermo Zarabozo, chartered neared Bimini Island in the Bahamas, the two began killing the four crew members.

"As the (boat) neared Bimini, Kirby Archer retrieved his loaded semi-automatic pistol and climbed the ladder to the vessel's fly bridge. Taking position, Archer heard a shot ring out on the lower deck. Then, the Arkansas fugitive fired, taking aim first at the charter captain, then at his wife -- watching their bodies tumble over the railing," one south Florida newspaper reported.

The captain of the boat, Jake Branam, 27, his wife, Kelley, 30, his half-brother, Scott Gamble, 36, and crewman, Samuel Kairy, 27, were those murdered, and unfortunately for the family, their bodies have not been found. The murder weapon has also never been found.

Archer claimed that Zarabozo was responsible for two of the four deaths. According to Archer, after he killed the captain and his wife, Zarabozo finished the murders by shooting the last two crew members and then threw all of the victim's bodies overboard.

Now prosecutors will not seek the death penalty for Archer but have guaranteed a life sentence without the possibility of parole at Archer's sentencing hearing Oct. 2.

As for Zarabozo, at the time of the incident he was a teenager and had no prior criminal record. The prosecutors in his trial will not be seeking the death penalty and Zarabozo's lawyers say he will be going to court maintaining his plea of innocent. He has so far passed two lie detector tests saying he did not kill anyone and claims he only threw the bodies overboard due to fear for his life.

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