State to seek death for man accused in Orlando homicide

Last Updated: Wednesday, December 06, 2017, 6:15 PM EST

The State Attorney will seek the death penalty in the trial of the man accused of an Orlando homicide and thought to be connected to another on the same street.

The Death Penalty Review Panel unanimously recommended pursuing death in the case of Jimmy Gary Merritt, who faces a first-degree murder charge in the slaying of 64-year-old Benny Clyde Hallmark.

Firefighters found Hallmark's body Oct. 20 in a recliner in his home on the 3000 block of Lauressa Lane in Orlando. He had been shot to death.

While investigating that case, homicide detectives found a badly decomposed body wrapped in plastic and blankets under a pile of items in the garage across the street from the home Hallmark was found in.

Orlando Police identified that person as 60-year-old Billy Wayne Deaton.