Failed jailbreak ends with death sentence

A judge says he saw no remorse from a man convicted in the deaths of a female prison guard and another inmate.

Associated Press
Published April 2, 2006

PUNTA GORDA - A former professional boxer serving life for killing a man outside a Pinellas Park bar was sentenced Friday to death in the slayings of a corrections officer and another inmate during a failed escape.

Circuit Judge William Blackwell said Dwight T. Eaglin never expressed remorse before handing down the death sentence.

Eaglin was convicted in February of the murders of corrections officer Darla Kay Lathrem and prison inmate Charles Fuston. A jury later recommended death.

Eaglin smiled as he entered the courtroom and was smiling as he left.

"The attitude borderlined on arrogance," Blackwell said.

Eaglin was one of three prisoners who attacked Lathrem, beat her and stuffed her body into a mop closet during a botched escape from the Charlotte Correctional Institution in June 2003. Fuston died several days later from injuries suffered in the attack.

Lathrem was on duty alone, armed only with pepper spray and a radio. She was the first female prison officer killed in Florida.

In the late 1990s, Eaglin was known as the Fighting Irishman, someone with a promising future in professional sports.

But in 1998, at age 22, he was charged with the murder of John Frederick Nichols, whose body was found behind a bar.

Detectives concluded that Nichols stumbled on Eaglin trying to remove a stereo from a Geo Tracker that he had stolen from another lounge.