Prosecutors to seek death penalty in Cape Coral double murder cold case

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FORT MYERS, Fla. — Florida prosecutors sent a written notice to seek the death penalty for the case involving a man accused of murdering and raping a woman and child in 1990, according to Lee County court documents.

If convicted, Joseph Zieler, 54, faces two counts of sexual battery, two counts of murder and a charge for burglary with assault, according to a Lee County Sheriff’s Office arrest report.

Court documents continued that Zieler has less than 20 days to return a written notice of “intent to president testimony of a mental health professional,” who would verify his mental state.

He entered a “Not Guilty” plea at his Oct. 5 court appearance. Zieler was officially linked to the longest Cape Coral cold case by a DNA test on Sept. 28.

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