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katyk

Well-Known Member
Remember a couple weeks ago when I posted a thread about my great aunt that was murdered 15 years ago? Well, turns out I also went to elementary school with a murderer! I swear, that's it. I think. I mean, I really think I do not know anyone else who has murdered or been murdered.

Ronald Bell, Jr, or as his friends called him, Ron, was 17 years old in 1999. He was a senior at Choctawhatchee High School (my high school's rivals) in Fort Walton Beach, FL -- my hometown. His father was a youth pastor and his family was well liked in the community. Ron was always friendly and often worked with his father's youth groups.

Then he met 16-year-old Kristel Maestas and things seemed to go downhill from there.

Surprisingly, there are very few articles online (that I could find) on this case, even though I know it was a huge deal at the time. Especially because Ron became the youngest person to enter Florida's death row.

Ron has appealed the death row decision several times and I've yet to even find if it was overturned. Either way, the best written document of events I could find is the writ of appeal filed with the Florida Supreme Court.

Here are some of the facts:

Kristel was kicked out of her parents home in early 1999. Ron helped her find an apartment and roommate, a man named Cordell Richards who worked at the local Waffle House.

One evening, Kristel and her sister, Renee, claimed Cordell was propositioning them for sex. They called Ron, who came over to the apartment and began fighting with Cordell. Things got out of hand quickly, and before they knew it, they were wrapping Cordell's unconscious, but alive, body in a rug and stuffing him in the trunk.

Then they went to a secluded cul-de-sac, took the now conscious man into the woods, and tied Cordell to a tree. They continued to beat him, forced him to give up his ATM pin, allwhile he begged for his life. Ron then poured lighter fluid on him and lit him on fire.

That's not all. Oh no. All 3 returned to the scene at least 2 more times to make sure Cordell was dead. He wasn't. They could hear him faintly calling for help. They went to Target to purchase duct tape and a butcher's knife (red flags, anyone?) and went back to finish the job.

I won't get into the gory details, it's pretty bad. But they tortured this poor guy for a while before he died. You can read it all in the court documents if you want.

In the end, they were caught, Renee was given 15 years for manslaughter in exchange for her testimony. Kristel went to trial first and was sentenced to life on charges of first degree murder and kidnapping. Ron was sentenced to death in 2000 on the same charges.

I couldn't find a picture of Cordell or Renee, but here are the latest mugs of Kristel and Ron:





Ok, and just for good measure, I am going to do the unspeakable. I am going to post the nerdiest, worst picture ever taken of me or any other 11-year old. My 5th grade class photo. Ron Bell was in my class and when I heard about this murder, I was shocked. He was, in all honesty, one of the nicest, happiest people I'd ever met. I mean, look at me. I was pretty awkward and he was very kind to me. My best friend, also in this picture but I won't point out, is now a world renowned supermodel. No joke.



Ron is highlighted in the top left corner and I am the other highlighted one. It's ok. Laugh. Laugh away. I had to show this to my boyfriend for him to scan it and he was rolling on the floor. I like the giant glasses and manatee t-shirt I was wearing. Oh God, what did I just do?

In all seriousness, I do think it's sad there's no easily found information on Cordell. His life was worth something and it seems like he's all but forgotten.

I don't know if Ron was successful in overturning the death penalty, I couldn't find that information either. One site did list him as still the youngest man on Florida's death row "currently", but there was no date on the site. Hmph.
 

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Dakota

FORUM BITCH / Beloved Cunt
Bold Member!
At least you were a kid with those giant glasses. Now you are a daring adult to post it AND highlight yourself. No way would I post a picture of me when I had giganto-specs. I was an adult when i had 'em... no excuses and no daring here. :)
 

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katyk

Well-Known Member
At least you were a kid with those giant glasses. Now you are a daring adult to post it AND highlight yourself. No way would I post a picture of me when I had giganto-specs. I was an adult when i had 'em... no excuses and no daring here. :)

hahah! My dad picked them out because they were the cheapest available. After that, I refused to wear them until I was 15 and my history teacher called my mom and told her he was worried that I'd hurt myself because I couldn't see 10 feet in front of me. She got me contacts the next day.
 

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surrealrei

New Member
Pictures of Cordell and Maestas

Hello, I'm Reanna, Cordell's youngest daughter. I would appreciate it if no one attempts to locate a picture of my father and post it online. To date, I've managed to keep any pictures of my father away from the internet. As for the result of the appeal, it was not passed. Bell remains the youngest, to my knowledge, on Florida's death row. As for your summary, it's the least gory but still accurate version of his death that I have stumbled across. When you consider that I've been hearing these stories for almost 12 years, you should consider it an accomplishment.
 

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Nell

Unending melancholy
Bold Member!
Considering this thread is over 2 years old I am sure no one is actively looking for a pic of him anymore. Sorry for the loss of your Dad.
 

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Valasca

Death, horror, torture
Well, now I gotta be contrary and at least look for one. Can't post from my crackberry though.
 

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ewilliams729

New Member
i have pictures... as i went to school with Cordell...he and I were best friends and spoke the night he was kidnapped...Reanna, i dont understand why you try so hard to conceal pictures of your father...he was a wonderful person :) I loved him - still do and I miss everything about him. What happened to him broke my heart beyond repair. If you ever want to know him like I knew him - kind, loving and generous...and an AMAZING fiddle player you can contact me anytime.

Ronald Bells death row conviction was overturned and he is serving life just like Krystal. Renee is due to get out of jail on the 6th of February 2012
 
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China

La Mera Mera
TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Supreme Court on Thursday reversed the death sentence of a killer who was 17 when he chained a man to a tree, beat him, set him on fire and then finished him off with a meat cleaver.

In the 4-3 decision, the court concluded that the trial judge hadn't given enough consideration to Ronald Bell's age at the time of the murder of Cordell Richards over two days in February 1999.

Bell, now 21, was two months shy of his 18th birthday.

The state's highest court ruled three years ago that it violated the state constitutional protection against "cruel or unusual" punishment to execute anyone for a murder he had committed before his 17th birthday.

Until that ruling, the standard, set by the court in 1994, was that the execution of killers who murdered before their 16th birthdays would be unconstitutional.

In Thursday's majority opinion, the justices said that even though a killer becomes eligible for the death penalty, age still remains a consideration in deciding between life in prison or death.

Bell's age "is an extremely significant factor that, together with the other mitigation, renders the death penalty disproportionate," the court wrote.


Anstead and Pariente said they would bar execution of any 18-year-old killer.

Pariente noted that Florida had not executed anyone for a murder committed before the age of 18 for more than a quarter of a century. In that same period, trial judges have sentenced 15 teens to death for murders committed at the age of 17. All but two of those sentences have been overturned.

"Considering the infrequency in which the death penalty has been imposed on minors and upheld in this state, in my view it would constitute cruel or unusual punishment to impose the death penalty on this 17-year-old," Pariente wrote.

[.....]

Richards, 31, was a restaurant waiter who had served in the Air Force during the Persian Gulf war. He was kidnapped from his Fort Walton Beach apartment and taken to a nearby wooded area.

Bell was one of three teens prosecuted in his death. Kimberly Maestas, 16 at the time, was sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder. Renee Lincks, 15 at the time, was sentenced to 15 years for manslaughter.

Bell, then a senior at Choctawhatchee High School, was the grandson of a minister, son of a youth minister and himself active in his church's youth group.

[.....]

Citing that language, the U.S. Supreme Court has said it would be unconstitutional to execute 15-year-old killers.

That issue was not before the state court in Thursday's case.
http://www.sptimes.com/2002/11/08/State/Teen_s_death_sentence.shtml
 

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DLCML

New Member
I periodically think of this case, as I did tonight, and looked it up to see that the perpetrators were still in jail. I found this page concerning this event and wanted to say a few things. I know it's years later, but this event has always stayed with me. I worked with Richard in the AF, not in the same shop and not directly, but we were in the same squadron and would soften see each other around the building. His death was traumatizing and I wanted those who did this, to suffer. From what I can tell, they're still in jail, just as they should be. Richard has some peculiarities about him, but nothing that would warrant anything of the kind that was done to him. Anyway, I think of him and his death periodically and just wanted to chime in on this post. If anyone has an update that needs shared, please do so. And for his daughter.....your dad's death in no way defines who you are. Please live your life in a dignified, purposeful manner with the memory of your dad in your heart. I hope you've regained your footing since this event. Best wishes.
 

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DLCML

New Member
I periodically think of this case, as I did tonight, and looked it up to see that the perpetrators were still in jail. I found this page concerning this event and wanted to say a few things. I know it's years later, but this event has always stayed with me. I worked with Richard in the AF, not in the same shop and not directly, but we were in the same squadron and would soften see each other around the building. His death was traumatizing and I wanted those who did this, to suffer. From what I can tell, they're still in jail, just as they should be. Richard has some peculiarities about him, but nothing that would warrant anything of the kind that was done to him. Anyway, I think of him and his death periodically and just wanted to chime in on this post. If anyone has an update that needs shared, please do so. And for his daughter.....your dad's death in no way defines who you are. Please live your life in a dignified, purposeful manner with the memory of your dad in your heart. I hope you've regained your footing since this event. Best wishes.
[doublepost=1458694068,1458694037][/doublepost][doublepost=1458694936][/doublepost]
Pictures of Cordell and Maestas

Hello, I'm Reanna, Cordell's youngest daughter. I would appreciate it if no one attempts to locate a picture of my father and post it online. To date, I've managed to keep any pictures of my father away from the internet. As for the result of the appeal, it was not passed. Bell remains the youngest, to my knowledge, on Florida's death row. As for your summary, it's the least gory but still accurate version of his death that I have stumbled across. When you consider that I've been hearing these stories for almost 12 years, you should consider it an accomplishment.
 

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Donna Vaughn

New Member
I periodically think of this case, as I did tonight, and looked it up to see that the perpetrators were still in jail. I found this page concerning this event and wanted to say a few things. I know it's years later, but this event has always stayed with me. I worked with Richard in the AF, not in the same shop and not directly, but we were in the same squadron and would soften see each other around the building. His death was traumatizing and I wanted those who did this, to suffer. From what I can tell, they're still in jail, just as they should be. Richard has some peculiarities about him, but nothing that would warrant anything of the kind that was done to him. Anyway, I think of him and his death periodically and just wanted to chime in on this post. If anyone has an update that needs shared, please do so. And for his daughter.....your dad's death in no way defines who you are. Please live your life in a dignified, purposeful manner with the memory of your dad in your heart. I hope you've regained your footing since this event. Best wishes.
I also knew Cordell briefly before he died. I was devastated when I learned of his murder and horrified of what he went through. I was very glad they caught those that did it. I am not sure there is any punishment harsh enough for what they did. He was a good and kind person and I will always miss him.
 

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Forensicwx

Final Roll Call 4153. STLCO 10-42 10/13 @ 1519
Bold Member!
I'm alright with this one.

I would rather have the 17 year old live each and every day behind bars, staring out beyond the fence, remembering what he did that put him there.

Every day. Until he's 67, 74, 86? Who knows. I know that's a lot of days.

Days of never ending monotony.

Being told when he can eat, when he can shower, when he can talk to his family. He'll never again know swimming in a pool. Eating popcorn in a movie theater. Stopping at the 7-11 for an Icee.

Until the day he dies.

These thoughts get me through the daily grind. :D
 

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ChaosKitty

Queen Bitch From Hell

took forever to get the pictures of him and the main bitch, they deserve to rot in jail and have a feeling she is the ones that came up with the idea as it looks premediated and he looks and sounded as dumb as a box of rocks [which is no excuse, in fact would be more reson to put him out of his misery]
[doublepost=1505944007,1505943915][/doublepost]
[doublepost=1458694068,1458694037][/doublepost]
[doublepost=1458694936][/doublepost]
complied for you it's out there message me for link and then you can rewuest a take down from site or google
 

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Sugar Cookie

Veteran Member
Bold Member!
Long years of torment torment for the family of Cordell Richards ended Monday when Ronald Bell and Kristel Maestas were each resentenced to life in prison for his 1999 kidnap and murder.

In issuing his ruling, Circuit Court Judge William Stone notified both defendants that he had considered all the relevant factors in each of their cases, including their youth at the time and “all evidence relating to the offense.”

A former airman, the 31-year-old Richards had been missing for just over a month when, on March 4, 1999, a his badly decomposed body was discovered.

Richards’ remains were found chained to a tree and burned. Assistant State Attorney Bobby Elmore would later tell a jury that just enough of the man’s fingerprints remained to allow for identification. Investigators learned that he had been horribly tortured for a full day before his death.

The resentencing of the pair, who killed Richards when Bell was 17 and Maestas 16, was ordered following a 5-4 U.S. Supreme Court originally published on June 23, 2012. Justices ruled at that time that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles were unconstitutional.

Both Bell and Maestas, who are now in their 30s and have spent more than half of their lives in prison, appeared in court for their sentencing.

Bell showed no emotion as Stone re-sentenced not only to life in prison for one count of first degree murder, but also to a consecutive live sentence for kidnapping with a weapon.

Maestas, however, openly wept during the proceedings. She will serve life in prison for the killing of Richards and 30 years consecutive to that for her role in the kidnapping, Stone said.
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JackBurton

Veteran Member
Bold Member!
Is this with or without parole?

DIsgusting it wasnt death penalty though. The tears do fill my heart with joy though. It's very uplifting to think that this bitch felt some amount of hope as a result of this retrial/resentencing. Having that crushed is so glorious.

I wish they would do that stuff more often. Tell some inmate on death row that there was an aissue with the evidence, youre going free! Build it up for like a year, give me civilian clothes, have em pack up, maybe even have em leave thru the front doors of the prison, and as soon as they get that taste of what they think is freedom, they get their face shoved into the fucking ground as theyre cuffed and dragged back to their cold cell. What a great fucking prank. Hope being crushed is such a beautiful thing.
 
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Concept2complex

Property of SkyMac
Is this with or without parole?

DIsgusting it wasnt death penalty though. The tears do fill my heart with joy though. It's very uplifting to think that this bitch felt some amount of hope as a result of this retrial/resentencing. Having that crushed is so glorious.

I wish they would do that stuff more often. Tell some inmate on death row that there was an aissue with the evidence, youre going free! Build it up for like a year, give me civilian clothes, have em pack up, maybe even have em leave thru the front doors of the prison, and as soon as they get that taste of what they think is freedom, they get their face shoved into the fucking ground as theyre cuffed and dragged back to their cold cell. What a great fucking prank. Hope being crushed is such a beautiful thing.
Soomething like this??

 

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Sugar Cookie

Veteran Member
Bold Member!
Together they beat, tortured and burned Air Force veteran Cordell Richards to within an inch of his life before returning the next day to finish him off with a meat cleaver.

But while Ronald Bell and Kristel Maestas will likely die behind bars for the 'unspeakable' slaying, the third member of their evil trio is enjoying a comfortable middle-class life in a Florida suburb, DailyMail.com can reveal.

Minister's son Bell and former girlfriend Maestas were aged 17 and 16 respectively when they kidnapped and butchered Richards in the Panhandle city of Fort Walton Beach in February 1999.

Accomplice Renee Lincks - tied father-of-two Richards to a tree and took turns in battering him with a baseball bat - at the age of 15.

But while the older teens were convicted of first degree murder and jailed for life, Lincks was able to plead no contest to charges of manslaughter and false imprisonment in return for testifying against them.

The maximum sentence was 15 years and Lincks would ultimately serve just 12 in a medium security prison.

Continue reading at link
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