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A life sentence, a son’s rage

January 29, 2011

The large man in a back row of the courtroom clenched his fist, tapped his foot and stared through wet eyes at the man in the jail uniform. He wanted to stand, but bailiffs had ordered him to sit down.

Even more, he wanted to be alone with the killer.

Michael Mink was here Friday morning because 2,697 days ago, he was supposed to have dinner with his 71-year-old mother, a woman who had just lost her husband, the only man she had loved for more than half a century.

Because it was Michael’s turn, as her only son, to take care of her.

Because on that day, Sept. 11, 2003, Michael heard a scream at the other end of the phone coming from his sister Penny, who had just walked into their mother’s South Tampa apartment through an open door.

Because when Michael rushed to the scene, he saw what Penny had, their mother nude, broken and lifeless, her golden hair so blood-soaked it was completely red.

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