Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Paul Durousseau, the Jacksonville Serial Killer

Building a Case

Duval County Court House
Duval County Court House

First Coast News reported on August 26, 2003 that Paul Durousseau had been arrested in the 1999 murder of Tyresa Mack, a mother of three. The DNA at the scene of the crime matched with samples of Durousseau's. Prosecutors felt that they had a very strong case against Durousseau to take to court.

On August 11, prosecutors confirmed that they would seek the death penalty in the trial of Durousseau. The court set his pretrial hearing for mid September 2003.

Several days following his arrest, a grand jury indicted Durousseau on five counts of first-degree murder and two counts of child abuse. News4Jax stated that the indictment was essential if the state were to seek the death penalty. State Attorney Harry Shorstein prosecuting the case against Durousseau was said to have welcomed the indictment, which would facilitate the granting of his request for the death penalty at Durousseau's upcoming trial.

Although Shorstein planned to seek the death penalty, he stated that he would not pursue the matter of fetal rights. According to an article by Paul Pinkham, it is believed that charging Durousseau with the deaths of the unborn children would likely cause more complications in the case. Shorstein states in the article that pursuing the matter, "would have a tendency to interject an ancillary issue that could have a negative impact on the legal process down the road."

Gator City Taxi
Gator City Taxi

The Business Journal in Jacksonville reported that the parents of three of the victims have filed suit against Gator City Taxi. The suit contends that their daughters were murdered because the cab company failed to perform an adequate background check when hiring accused serial killer Paul Durousseau as a cab driver.

Durousseau was convicted of the murder of Tyresa Mack and in December 2007 was sentenced to death. No execution date was set, and as of March 1, 2010, Durousseau was still on death row at Florida's Union Correctional Institution.

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