Day 2 of penalty trial for man convicted of murdering 5 women in Sebring

Reporter: Claire Galt Writer: Carolina Guzman
Published: Updated:

The man convicted of killing five women at a Sebring bank back in 2019 will soon learn if he will spend the rest of his life in prison or be put to death.

Zephan Xaver admitted to killing the women, and on Tuesday, a former bank teller at SunTrust took the stand on day two of Xaver’s penalty trial.

The day began with a very emotional start for the families of those five women now reliving that horrible day, with witnesses recounting the scene and jurors listening to the gruesome details.

Tuesday morning, for the first time, the state played a recording of crisis negotiator, Jamer Carr, pleading with Xaver as he sat inside the Suntrust Bank in Sebring. 

Xaver had just shot and killed five women who were mothers, daughters and wives. 

Unsure if anyone else was still alive inside that bank, Carr had the difficult job of trying to calm Xaver down and get him out and into handcuffs. 

After a two-hour standoff, Carr succeeded, and Xaver was arrested. 

A man named Victor Sparks also took the stand Tuesday morning and broke down in tears. 

He said he went to SunTrust to do his banking that day, realized the door was locked and looked in the window.

Sparks said he quickly rushed to his car and called 911. 

Xaver pled guilty to the murders of the five women in 2023. He’s now in the penalty phase of his trial.

Jurors will recommend if he should spend the rest of his life in prison or be put to death.

The judge has the final say.

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