Judge Paul, then a circuit judge, over-ruled the jury's recommendation after allegedly telling the prosecutor he would "Fry the son-of-a-bitch."
Burgin, who was editor from 1981 ti 1985 was very critical of the Sentinel's role in wrongly convicting Zeigler. Even today, the Sentinel is afraid to print the truth of this case.
Author Phil Finch traveled to Winter Garden in the early 90's at the request of Dave Burgin to study the facts of the case. After many weeks of study, he wrote Fatal Flaw: A True Story of Malice and Murder in a Small Southern Town. He was so convinced of Zeigler's innocence he made the book available on line at no charge.
Tommy Zeigler has been on death row in Florida since 1976. He was a politically active and successful owner of a Winter Garden furniture store who was shot through the abdomen and his wife, her parents, and another man were killed on Christmas Eve 1975. He was charged with the murders while still in the hospital, wrongfully convicted six months later, and condemned to death by a judge with a grudge against him. He is innocent of the murders.
Over the years new evidence and evidence intentionally withheld from the jury have established his innocence to hundreds of people (including at least two of the jurors) who have taken the time to review the facts. Unfortunately, once a person is convicted, the criminal justice system is not concerned with whether that person is guilty or not. This site presents many of the petitions and transcripts which have been submitted and rejected by the courts. The list of petitions and rulings below are the most recent which the courts and the Florida Attorney General have ignored. Click on any red underlined words to go to the text of the petitions. There are numerous videos on YouTube which will convince the viewer that justice in this case is blind to the truth. The original prosecutor, Robert Eagan, and his investigator, Don Frye, may or may not have a dark secret that has successfully been hidden for so many years, or perhaps they are just too arrogant to admit their mistake. Mr. Eagan may no longer be officially in charge, but his influence over judges and subsequent prosecutors is still being felt.
Below are links to videos that expand on many facits of the case.
Link One:Tampa TV Channel 8 did a report on the case on March 31, 2013. The Youtube link to the video is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IQc3J4ocgsM
Link Two: A professional investigative report was done several years ago, which can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AityymRK1jI
Link Three: The current state attorney, Jeff Ashton, used a vicious lie in 2004 to convince Judge Whitehead to ignore DNA evidence that conclusively showed that Tommy was a victim (with a gunshot throught the abdomen) of the crime for which he was convicted. See the evidence of malicious prosecution at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgz6BIz2d_k
Link Four: A good review of the lies told by the prosecution at the original trial and later after DNA proved Tommy was innocent is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fBjIxdQ0QM
Link Five: This video presents two alternative theories of the crime which the prosecutor never considered. This video discusses these two theories and pleads for an investigation. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTCipeujv28
Link Six: Finally, see the video affidavit of an ederly woman who states that her now deceased son was tried and acquitted for a murder he didn't commit because he refused to falsely testify that he was Tommy Zeigler's homosexual lover at Tommy's trial in 1976. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PQN3eNCAZLM
Recent Petitions and Rulings