‘He don’t deserve to live’: Witness stares down convicted killer Zephen Xaver, gets reprimanded by judge

SEBRING, Fla. (WFLA) — A Highlands County Judge stopped court as emotions boiled over in the sentencing trial for Zephen Xaver, the man accused or killing five women in a Suntrust Bank in 2019.

From the moment the state’s witness walked into the courtroom, Marshall Blackmon stared down the shooter, Xaver.

On the stand Blackmon continued to stare at Xaver, visibly emotional and shaking his head, until the judge stopped the trial, removed the jury and then reprimanded the witness.

“You were staring someone down and you do not have the right to do that. You need to stop that. The jury does not need to see any witness doing that kind of behavior,” Judge Angela Cowden said to Blackmon.

Xaver has already pleaded guilty for the killing of five women inside a Suntrust bank, a customer and four employees.

Blackmon was a former employee at Boom Booms Guns & Ammo in Sebring, where Xaver bought the gun used in the murders. Blackmon was the salesman who unknowlingly sold Xaver the gun.

“If anything I don’t want to be here,” Blackmon told the judge in court.

Outside the courthouse, Blackmon spoke with News Channel 8 about what happened.

“Ruined my life. He took five lives five lives away from five people, five families, five women. Coward,” said Blackmon.

Blackmon says if Xaver had acted unusual in any way, he would have stopped the sale.

“He came into the gun store, didn’t exhibit any behavior that would allow me to exercise my protocol and stop the sale. I felt swindled, man. You’re going to look at me and I’m going to stare you down and you’re going to know.”

He said he wants the families of the victims to know how he feels.

“He don’t deserve to live, plain and simple. He don’t deserve to live. He don’t deserve to be here right now, and I wanted to stare him down. He don’t deserve to be here,” Blackmon said.

After the incident the defense asked for a mistrial, however the judge denied the request.

Immediately after court ended for the day, two hours early.

The trial will resume tomorrow.

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