Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Green card marriage leads to murder of wife, life without parole for husband

A Jamaican national who married a Florida woman to gain residency easier was sentenced to life without parole Wednesday, March 2, 2011. Orane Ferguson, 31 and a resident of Land O Lakes, FL, was convicted by a Pasco County jury of 1st degree murder for stabbing his wife, Lenora Michelle Ferguson, 50 times in the bathroom of their home. Ferguson was also convicted of aggravated battery for stabbing the murder victim's minor son, Gabriel Neal. Since prosecutors did not seek the death penalty,  Circuit Judge Michael Andrews could only sentence the defendant to life without parole.

The Kingston, Jamaica native testified that he was in Florida for a four month visa to attend his brother's funeral when he met the victim, who went by her middle name. The woman suggested that she would help Ferguson obtain permanent residency in the United States by marrying him, while he supported her and her son. According to defense attorney Assistant Public Defender Willie Pura, Ferguson was met with increasing demands by his wife, including sex and impregnation, and threatened to withdraw her immigration help if he did not comply. Things boiled over on July 20, 2008.

The Fergusons argued that Sunday morning before heading to church in Lakeland. A second argument broke out after they returned home that afternoon. This time it turned violent. Orane Ferguson grabbed knives and so did Neal, who heard his mother screaming and ran downstairs to help her.

Eventually, Michelle Ferguson ran into a bathroom. Her husband forced his way in and began stabbing her. Neal ran to the door with a knife and began trying to attack his stepfather. Orane Ferguson stabbed him in the mouth, chest and thumb. The boy collapsed but managed to run outside and get help. Orane Ferguson testified that he doesn't remember stabbing his wife.

In closing arguments, Pura said that the events of 2008 should be considered manslaughter, since"There is simply no evidence of premeditation." Assistant State Attorney Mike Halkitis "How long does it take to get some knives, chase her into the bathroom, knock down this door and stab her 50 times? Is that enough time for reflection? I submit that's more than enough time for reflection."

The victim's sister Lakeisha Robinson, said that she remembers Michelle as a loving and caring mother. "The only thing she did wrong was marry the wrong man."


Anonymous said...

selfish & gay.Y ou dont killed someone because you dont want sex. there are millions of us citizen he could married

Carrie Mckie said...

i grew up with Orane in Jamaica and i have know him to be well mannered and very quite, always smiling, there is only so much one person can take before they snap, when he left school he went straight into a job and he left that job to go to america, he was always working he is from a quite background and i don't think he got a fair trail