Jacob Cash

In 1997, Jacob Cash picked up a hitchhiker in the Ybor city neighborhood of Tampa, Florida.  The hitchhiker then attempted to carjack him, and Cash fired a gun at him to defend himself as he climbed out the driver’s side window.  The hitchhiker was shot and killed.  Cash was charged with second-degree murder.  Police found spent cartridges on the street, rather than in the car, which the prosecution used to argue that Cash had not fired in self-defense as he claimed, but rather while he was out of the car, on the street.  In 1998, a jury convicted Cash of second-degree murder and he was sentenced to 50 years.  Cash challenged his conviction and sentence and the Appellate Court, while finding no merit in Cash’s claims regarding his conviction, found that his sentence improperly exceeded the guidelines for second-degree murder and remanded the case for new sentencing.  Because the sentence exceeded the guidelines, but was not a life sentence, the trial court was required to give written reasons justifying the departure. The trial court failed to provide written reasons, and Cash’s sentence was reversed on second-degree murder and remanded.  In June 2008, a jury acquitted him of all charges based on Cash’s assertion that because he was left-handed, the cartridges found outside the car were consistent with his claim of self-defense. 

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012

 

State:Florida
County:Hillsborough
Most Serious Crime:Murder
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1997
Convicted:1998
Exonerated:2008
Sentence:50 years
Race:Caucasian
Sex:Male
Age:23
Contributing Factors:
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No