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Could convicted 'Cash Feenz' killer get life-sentence reduced?

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Could convicted 'Cash Feenz' killer get life-sentence reduced?

By Matt Grant. CREATED May 2, 2013

CAPE CORAL - A convicted killer involved in the infamous "Cash Feenz" murders could have her life sentence reconsidered.

Ashley Toye is serving a life sentence, without parole, for her role in the 2006 killings. Because she was 17 at the time of the killings her sentenced could be reduced depending on what the Florida Supreme Court decides.

The victim's families want to make sure she never gets out. 

"This is a pain that I know will never go away," said Linda Sosa.

Sosa lost her uncle and younger brother. Alex Sosa, 18, and Jeffrey Sosa, 14, were tortured and shot to death by a group of teens calling themselves the "Cash Feenz." Toye didn't pull the trigger but did carve symbols into the Sosa's backs.

"I don't remember doing it," said Toye, in a jailhouse interview. "I was in a state of shock."
 
Toye has been fighting to have her sentence reduced since last June, when the US Supreme Court ruled automatically sentencing a minor to life in prison without parole is unconstitutional. The court ruled judges must consider the suspect's age and surrounding circumstances - like whether they were influenced - at sentencing.

"These factors, the Supreme Court said, you have to consider," said Toye's attorney Stuart Pepper, "when you sentence a minor to life without parole."
 
Pepper says age was not factored into Toye's sentencing because her conviction came before the court's ruling and the the judge was required to sentence her to life.

"Right now in Florida any conviction before June 2012 of a minor cannot be given a special hearing," said Pepper. "But all those after that day will be given one."

The Supreme Court did not rule whether the hearings should apply retroactively. This week, an appeals court asked the Florida Supreme Court to rule on that.

"This could lead to her life sentence being reduced?," asked Grant.

"Exactly," said Pepper. "That's what we're hoping to happen."

Pepper doesn't know when the state supreme court will make a decision. A decision that could decide Toye's fate.

"Not that she'll be free, we're not asking that she be released from prison," said Pepper. "That won't happen. We only want to give her a chance to die outside of prison."

Toye was sentenced to live in prison without the possibility of parole for murder. She was also sentenced to 25 years for aggravated kidnapping. Even if she is granted a special hearing, Toye will still have to serve a minimum of 25 years.

Matt Grant
mgrant@fox4now.com

Twitter @MattGrantFox4