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Florida prosecutors to seek death penalty for former Marine accused of killing four

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 9/26/2021 KATE FELDMAN

The former Marine accused of fatally shooting four family members at their Florida home and torturing an 11-year-old girl will face the death penalty if convicted, according to prosecutors.

State Attorney Brian Haas announced Friday that he will seek the death penalty for 33-year-old Bryan Riley, citing that the alleged crime was “especially heinous, atrocious or cruel” and the murders were “committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner without moral or legal justification.”

Riley, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan before returning home, was indicted last week on 22 charges for the brutal slaying of 40-year-old Justice Gleason, 33-year-old Theresa Lanham, their baby boy, Jody, who was born in May, and Lanham’s mother, 62-year-old Catherine Delgado.

He’s also accused of repeatedly shooting their 11-year-old daughter, who survived by playing dead.


Video: Former Marine accused of killing four in Florida (Associated Press)

Florida Marine thought shooting victims were ‘sex traffickers,’ tortured 11-year-old girl for information: sheriff

Bryan Riley © Provided by New York Daily News Bryan Riley

Bryan Riley

According to police, Riley believed that sex traffickers lived at the Lakeland home and that God had told him to rescue a girl named Amber. No one named Amber lived there and officials have found no evidence of any criminal activity before Riley showed up on Sept. 5.

“This is all fiction. All made up by him,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said at a press conference earlier this month. “There was no victim of sex crimes in that house.”

Riley was also charged with attempted murder of the pre-teen and the police officers he shot at, kidnapping, arson, burglary and animal cruelty for killing the family dog.

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