Seminole county judge to decide if death row inmate freed

Clemente Aguirre convicted of murders in 2006

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Clemente Aguirre.

SANFORD, Fla. - A Seminole County judge now has 30 days to consider whether a man convicted of a double murder in 2006 should be set free.

Clemente "Shorty" Aguirre was convicted for the murders of Cheryl A. Williams and her wheelchair-bound mother, Carol Bareis, at their Altamonte Springs home in 2004.  Williams had been stabbed 129 times and Bareis suffered a stab wound to the heart.

Aguirre's clothes were found bloodied from the victims, which he said came from his efforts to revive them when he found them.

New evidence presented by his defense team shows blood at the crime scene did not match Aguirre but did match one of the victims' daughter.

Samantha Williams told the court she has been sent to psychiatric hospitals against her will so many times that she cannot count.

In testimony, she told the court that she and her mother got into a fight the night before she was killed.  She also admitted having violent fights with her, which included pulling each other's hair.

She failed to recall a night in 2007 when she was picked up by police visibly intoxicated.  Inside the police car, she was seen on video telling the arresting officer, "My mother and grandmother died from me."

"It's a compelling case of innocence," said Aguirre's defense attorney Marie-Louis Samuels Palmer.  "We just have to have confidence that the system will work this time for Mr. Aguirre, and we are confident the system will work this time around."

Aguirre returned to death row on Tuesday while he awaits the judge's ruling.

Samuels Palmer said even though the judge could order a new trial, that doesn't mean Aguirre will be set free.  She said the state can appeal the judge's ruling, which would keep Aguirre in custody for a process which could take four or five years more.

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