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Date of Issue: November 01, 2007

Palma Sola murder trial to begin

The trial of a woman accused of killing her boyfriend in his Palma Sola home two years ago was set to begin this week at the Manatee County Courthouse.

Merle Zeigler is charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Frank Ray Reposh. Her son, Joshua Zeigler, also was arrested in the killing. He was sentenced earlier this year to life in prison after refusing to comply with an agreement that would have sent him to prison for 40 years but required him to testify against his mother.

Reposh, 41, was killed in October 2005, but his body was not found until June 2006, when a witness led authorities to the remains in a wooded area on Palma Sola Boulevard.

The crime allegedly took place over many hours following an argument that began when Reposh mishandled Joshua Zeigler’s baby, according to court records.

In a deposition filed in August, Joshua Zeigler confessed to punching and stabbing Reposh and said that his mother then shot the man after robbing him to buy drugs and a gun.

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

Still, court records contain numerous depositions from potential witnesses in the case, including forensic experts and law enforcement officers.