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Robbery Turned Murder: Robert Trease Case

Robberies are very common, but robbery turned murder is even more common. Here how Robert Trease ended up on Florida’s death row because of his greed. Robert Trease is a known American Murderer in Sarasota County, Florida who was born on January 21, 1953. Robert Trease was tried and convicted of the 1985 murder of Paul Edeson. Robert Trease would be given the death penalty on January 22, 1997. 

Summary 

Robert Trease along with his accomplice Hope Siegel both conspired with one another to rob Paul Edeson. However, this robbery would turn into a murder when Trease would kill Edeson with stabbing him with his knife. 

Siegel and Trease would plan for her to set up a date with Edeson, so that she could learn more about where Edeson kept his safe hidden. 

The pair then would plan to return later to recover all the money that Edeson may have stashed away in said safe. Siegel would go to the Edeson’s home after spending some much-planned quality time with him. This is when Siegel would find out that Edeson did not own a safe like they have thought in the past. 

This is when Siegel would meet back up with Trease to let Trease know that Edeson did not even own a safe like they once thought. 

Trease would then follow Siegel back to Edeson’s home where he was not only surprised by this visit, but ultimately attacked to hopefully gain the vital piece of information on where he kept his safe. 

Edeson would keep on insisting that he did not own a safe or even remotely have a safe in his home. This is when Trease would order Siegel to go get a gun, which then he would put this said gun to Edeson’s head as he continued with his line of questioning. 

Edeson would still in Trease’s eyes remain uncooperative, so this is when Trease decided it was time to shoot just one bullet into Edeson’s head. This gunshot was not the reason for Edeson’s death though. 

Trease would then ask Siegel to get the knife. When Siegel gave Trease the knife, Trease would then cut Edeson’s throat, which is what ultimately killed him. 

At the time of their arrest, Trease would tell the local authorities that he was not involved and did not have any knowledge of the crime at hand, while Siegel on the other hand, gave a very detailed summary that implemented them both in the crime at hand. 

Trease would receive the death sentence on January 22, 1997, in Sarasota County, Florida. 

Circumstances of the Crime

Robert Trease along with his accomplice Hope Siegel both conspired with one another to rob Paul Edeson. However, this robbery would turn into a murder when Trease would kill Edeson with stabbing him with his knife. 

Trease would have Siegel plan to set up a date with Paul Edeson, so that they can get the inside scoop on where Edeson kept his safe hidden. Then the pair would return to Edeson’s home later to recover any valuables and money that Edeson had left in his safe. 

When Siegel would arrive at Edeson’s home after spending some organized quality time with one another, this is when Edeson stated that he did not have a safe. 

After leaving Edeson’s home, Siegel would then go and meet up with Trease. This is when Siegel would tell Trease that Edeson stated that he did not have a safe in his home or anywhere for that matter. 

Trease would then follow Siegel back to Edeson’s home, where they surprised attacked him in the hopes that he would tell them where he hides his safe. However, Edeson continued to tell the pair that he did not have a safe in the house or anywhere for that matter. 

Trease would order Siegel to go get a gun, which then he would put this said gun to Edeson’s head as he continued with his line of questioning. 

Edeson would still in Trease’s eyes remain uncooperative, so this is when Trease decided it was time to shoot just one bullet into Edeson’s head. This gunshot was not the reason for Edeson’s death though. 

Trease would then ask Siegel to get the knife. When Siegel gave Trease the knife, Trease would then cut Edeson’s throat, which is what ultimately killed him. 

Codefendant Status

On December 30, 1996, Hope Siegel would be convicted of second-degree murder and get a sentence of 20 years in a state prison. 

Then on February 19, 1997, Hope Siegel would also get another sentence for her burglary charge. She received a one-year sentence. 

Keep in mind that both crimes happened on the same day. 

Case Information

On February 28, 1997, Trease would start filing his Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme court. 

You should note that Trease’s original appeal would contain many claims including: 

  • Trial court abused its power by not appointing co-counsel to help further assist with the sentencing portion of the case
  • The court wrong for granting the Florida State pre-trial motion
  • Court didn’t really care about the non-statutory mitigating factors of the case
  • Death penalty was disproportionate for the crime at hand

The Florida Supreme Court would confirm and stand behind their convictions and the death sentence that was given on August 17, 2000. 

However, a CCRC would be filed in January of 2001. Then on March 18, 2001, Trease would file yet another motion to dismiss his counsel. 

Then on May 23, 2001, on Trease’s behalf, a 3.850 motion would be filed. Then on May 24, 2001, a competency hearing happened. 

Just a week later May 31, 2001, the trial court entered an order, which would determine if the defendant was competent enough to proceed. The defendant denied the 3.850 motion, which would grant Trease’s motion to dismiss his counsel. 

Then on September 27, 2002, that 3.850 motion was again reinstated. But a few years later March 27, 2006, this motion would be amended. 

Governor Jeb Bush would officially sign Robert Trease’s death warrant on November 19, 2001. Robert Trease’s execution date was set for February 7, 2002, but Bush, Florida’s Governor would grant a stay of execution just a day before the execution would have taken place on February 6, 2002. 

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