May 6, 2021 - Jury Finds Thomas GARNER Guilty in the 1984 Premeditated Murder of Pamela Cahanes

Today (May 6), a Seminole County Jury found Thomas Lewis GARNER, (61) guilty of First Degree Premeditated Murder in connection with the 1984 death of Naval Cadet Pamela Cahanes (25). After a four (4) day trial and just two (2) hours of deliberation, the jury returned with a guilty verdict, followed immediately by Judge Marlene Alva delivering GARNER a sentence of life in prison. 
Assistant State Attorneys Gino Feliciani and Anna Valentini prosecuted the case, and in comments to the media after the verdict thanked law enforcement including the FDLE, Army Criminal Investigative Lab, Naval Criminal Investigative Services, and the Seminole County Sheriff's Office investigators for their tireless efforts in solving this case. Both credited the advances in DNA science for helping to solve not only this case, but numerous other cold cases across the county. 
In a statement ASA Valentini said "Pamela Cahanes enlisted in the Navy to fight for her county. Instead she had to fight Thomas GARNER for more than 8 minutes, only to lose her life." Valentini added, "We're grateful we were able to win this fight for Pamela and her family. I hope they can rest easier knowing that tomorrow, and every day after, Thomas GARNER is going to wake up in a jail cell knowing exactly why he's there."
Cahanes’ body was discovered Aug. 5, 1984, outside an abandoned home on West 1st Street in Sanford. Investigators established she had been beaten and strangled to death, however were unable to identify her killer. Samples were recovered from beneath Cahanes' fingernails and from her underwear. Those samples later produced DNA evidence that was matched to GARNER after a years long and extensive investigation by the Seminole County Sheriff's Office. GARNER was arrested at his home in Jacksonville on March 13, 2019, and indicted by a Grand Jury on April 16, 2019.
GARNER will be transfered on a future unannounced date, to the Florida Department of Corrections to begin serving his sentence.
Todd Brown
Media Information &
(321) 617-7310
Office of the State Attorney
18th Judicial Circuit
2725 Judge Fran Jamieson
Way Building D
Viera, Fl. 32940

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