Death penalty sentence vacated for personal trainer who killed Clearwater couple

Pinellas County Sheriff's Office

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – The Florida Supreme Court has overturned the death sentence for a former personal trainer convicted of killing a Clearwater couple in 2006.

In an 18-page opinion released on Thursday, the court vacated the death sentence of Richard Robards, 50, based on the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Hurst v. Florida, a case in which the Court held that Florida’s capital-sentencing scheme violates the Sixth Amendment, which requires a jury find the aggravating factors necessary for imposing the death penalty.

The court concluded Robards is entitled to a new penalty phase under the decision.

Robards was convicted in 2010 of brutally murdering Linda and Frank Deluca, 59 and 60 in their Clearwater home.

The former bodybuilder was the couple’s personal trainer.

He learned they were hiding thousands of dollars in their safe and stabbed the couple to death with a knife and set their house on fire.

He reportedly never managed to open the safe.

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