Man accused in Orange County cold case murder asks to get out of jail

·2 min read

A man arrested last year for a 1996 murder is going back to court next week to ask a judge to release him from jail.

Last year, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office used genetic genealogy to arrest Kenneth Stough Jr. He is accused of stabbing 31-year-old Terrance Paquette 73 times inside a convenience store along Clarcona Ocoee Road in 1996.

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A blood sample found on the freezer handle inside the Lil Champ store led to his arrest in 2021. Deputies arrested Stough for the murder after getting his DNA from beer cans in the trash.

Now, Stough thinks he has been locked up long enough.

Read: DNA on beer cans leads to suspect in 1996 death of Florida store clerk stabbed 73 times

The judge denied him bond, because of the brutality of the murder. Stough wrote a letter to the judge asking to be let out so he can help his fiance pay the bills.

His fiance declined to talk to Channel 9, and off camera his neighbors said he should be allowed to come home because he did not kill Paquette.

Read: Sheriff: Discarded beer cans lead to arrest in 1996 cold case murder

Stough’s attorneys have a different reason for asking for his release.

They said they need their client’s help to provide him a defense. Because the crime occurred so long ago, the defense is struggling to find witnesses and records. Stough’s attorneys are asking a judge to fit him with a GPS monitor so he can help.

Read: Discarded beer cans lead to arrest in cold case murder at Orange County convenience store

The sheriff’s office opposes the request and will have its say in court on Monday. In a statement, the sheriff’s office said: “The horrific stabbing murder of Terrence Paquette in 1996 left his family grieving and without closure for 25 years while his murderer walked free. We look forward to the day that Terry Paquette’s family receives justice in this case.”

Because Stough is charged with second degree murder, he is entitled to a bond. It was denied, but the judge will make a decision for the GPS monitor on Monday.

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