Cocoa family waiting for murder trial 2 years after losing grandma, aunt

Marty Connell facing possible death sentence if convicted

COCOA, Fla. – Two years after investigators said a Cocoa man killed his own grandmother and aunt, his family is still waiting for him to go on trial.

On April 7, 2017, Marty Connell was arrested by Brevard County Sheriff's deputies after they said he confessed to killing Maxine Mills, 84, and Holly Crossman, 61.

Detectives said he used a hammer to beat both women to death, and now the Office of the State Attorney is pursuing the death penalty against him.

Connell's half-brother, Matthew, said he's frustrated Marty hasn't gone to trial yet.

"It feels like it's never going to end," he said.

Court records show Connell's trial has been delayed seven times over the last two years at the request of his public defender.

News 6 asked both the Office of the Public Defender and the state attorney why it is taking more than two years to try the case.

The public defender's office said the attorney handling Connell's case was representing another client, and he was unavailable.

The state attorney's office said two years for a death penalty case is not unusual, but they share the family's frustration.

"Ultimately, having a lawful verdict that can withstand the scrutiny of any subsequent appeal benefits both the victim's family and defendant," said spokesman Todd Brown.

"He has a right to a fair trial," Matthew Connell said.

Marty Connell's next court date is set for April 10.

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