Man faces fate for murder of five women in Sebring

Reporter: Claire Galt
Published: Updated:

The fate of a killer lies in the hands of a judge.

Zephan Xaver confessed to killing five women at the Suntrust bank in Sebring back in 2019.

Opening statements in his penalty trial started Monday morning.

The prosecutor called the murders heinous, cruel and systematic and said that is why Xaver deserves to die.

Not only did he kill those five women back in January 2019, but he also took them from their family members and friends, and he also wanted to do it.

The prosecutor, Bronde Johnson, said Xaver himself admits that in his 911 call to the police.

He made the call right after he walked into the SunTrust bank in Sebring, ordered the women to lay face down, shot and killed them.

The prosecutor said Xaver’s lust to kill started years before and only escalated in the weeks- leading up to the murders when he joined an online chat group called “murderous thoughts.”

15 minutes before he entered the bank, he texted an old girlfriend, saying, “I’m taking a few people with me because I’ve always wanted to kill people. Watch for me on the news in Sebring.”

Xaver is already a five-time-convicted killer. His attorney must now convince jurors to save his life and prove to them that the appropriate recommendation is life in prison, not death.

The judge has the final say.

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