The death penalty is off the table in the case against a Georgia man who allegedly murdered his friend, Pensacola journalist Sean Dugas, and buried the body in his father’s Winder, Georgia backyard. This news comes from Dugas’s former employer, the Pensacola News Journal.
Apparently, prosecutors don’t believe they can prove the aggravating circumstances necessary to execute William Cormier if convicted of bludgeoning Dugas with a hammer in the journalist’s Florida home. This may be because their only witness is William’s twin brother Christopher, who after initially implicating his brother and confessing to aiding in the cleanup and burial, has since retracted his statement and refused to further help investigators. The motive is believed to be burglary, particularly of Dugas’s extensive collection of Magic: The Gathering playing cards, valued between $25,000 and $100,000. We detailed the crime, the subsequent investigation, and the friendship between the Cormiers and Dugas in a February feature.
Both Cormiers are currently in Escambia County Jail, awaiting a trial date that has not yet been set. William is charged with murder and robbery with a weapon; Christopher, with accessory and burglary. According to the PNJ, if convicted, William will face a mandatory life sentence.