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Cop killer could have the chance to get off death row

Panama City Beach Police officer Kevin Kight was shot during a traffic stop. Now his killer, Robert Bailey, might have the chance to get off death row. (WJHG/WECP)
Panama City Beach Police officer Kevin Kight was shot during a traffic stop. Now his killer, Robert Bailey, might have the chance to get off death row. (WJHG/WECP)(WJHG)
Published: Dec. 9, 2019 at 6:30 PM CST
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Christina Kight-McVay suffered immeasurable loss in March 2005, when her husband, Panama City Beach Police Officer Kevin Kight, was shot to death while making a traffic stop.

His killer, Robert Bailey, was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death. But now, that sentence could be overturned.

"Here I thought everything was done and tucked away and dealt with," said Christina.

Christina found out her husband's killer may escape his punishment due to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in 2016. This ruling determined that in order for the death penalty be be upheld, the vote had to be unanimous.

In Kight's case, the jury voted 11-to-1.

"It was crushing. It was hard to take," said Christina.

That frustration is also felt by State Attorney Glen Hess.

"We will certainly re-try Mr. Bailey. We don't think we should have to, it was 11-1 for death, that speaks very strongly," said Hess.

But that new trial may not have to happen. It was supposed to start this week, but is now delayed while the Florida Supreme Court considers another case that may determine if death penalties sentenced before 2016 can be upheld.

"The cases that are of interest right now are those cases that were on appeal between 2002 and 2016," said Hess.

For Christina and her family, it's been a long time waiting for justice and now they'll have to wait longer to see if her husband's killer will be put to death or spend life in prison.

"Either outcome, he is not coming out of prison alive," said Christina.

Christina tells us if they do have to go through with re-sentencing, Bailey's appeals for death row will start all over again, but if he is sentenced to life in prison, all the appeals drop.

Copyright 2019 WJHG. All rights reserved.

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