Death row inmate's lawyers: New evidence points to innocence

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Lawyers for a man facing execution in Florida for the 1985 slaying of a 14-year-old girl filed an appeal Friday claiming a co-defendant in the case is ready to testify he acted alone.

The appeal on behalf of James Dailey comes three days before a stay of execution expires. Dailey was originally scheduled to be executed Nov. 7, but a federal court gave defense lawyers more time to make their case.

Friday's filing in a Pinellas County circuit court included a signed statement from Jack Pearcy saying he is solely responsible for the death of Shelly Boggio, whose body was found in the water off Indian Rocks Beach. She had been stabbed and drowned. Pearcy, now 64, and Daily, now 73, were convicted of first degree murder in separate trials. Pearcy is serving a life sentence.

Pearcy signed a similar statement in 2017 but then refused to testify at an evidentiary hearing and Dailey's conviction was upheld.

“He is ready to come into court and come clean,” said Joshua Dubin, one of Dailey's lawyers.

Pearcy originally told investigators that Dailey stabbed Boggio and held her down in the water.

Dailey's lawyers maintain he is innocent and say he was convicted on circumstantial evidence and jailhouse informants. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the death warrant in September and has maintained since then that Dailey is guilty.

“We're praying at some point someone is going to listen," Dubin said. “The filing that we made just corroborates what we've been saying for so long.”