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Date of Issue: October 04, 2007

Zeigler re-sentenced in Palma Sola slaying

A man who failed to comply with a plea agreement requiring him to testify against his mother in a Palma Sola murder case will now serve life in prison.

Joshua Zeigler, 27, was resentenced last week for breaking the plea agreement. He had been sentenced to 40 years in prison in connection with the October 2005 death of Frank Ray Reposh, 41. His new sentence, handed down at the Manatee County courthouse last week, is life in prison.

Reposh died at his Palma Sola home, a duplex at 7818 40th Ave. Drive W., on Oct. 10, 2005. His body was not found until June 2006. The remains were discovered in a shallow grave near his home in a wooded area on Palma Sola Boulevard.

Joshua Zeigler pleaded no contest to second-degree murder with a firearm in Reposh’s death and was initially sentenced to 40 years in prison. As part of his plea agreement, he was required to testify against his mother, Merle Zeigler, who is charged with second-degree murder with a firearm in Reposh’s death. She is scheduled to stand trial this month.

Josh Zeigler will now not testify. He said he was not aware the prosecutors planned to seek a life sentence if his mother is convicted.

In a deposition filed in August, Joshua Zeigler told his account of the slaying, confessing to stabbing a man he said had beat him and his mother. He also said his mother shot Reposh.

But Zeigler later sent a letter to the court saying he didn’t tell the truth and that he didn’t want to testify during his mother’s trial.