After decades on the run, Florida man sentenced to 50 years for murder

Donald Santini, 65, received 50 years in prison.
Donald Santini, 65, received 50 years in prison.
Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 3:32 PM EST
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TAMPA, Fla. (WWSB) - A man who spent four decades on the run for a 1984 murder has pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 50 years.

Donald Santini pleaded guilty to the murder of Cynthia Wood.

Santini was the last person seen with 33-year-old Wood. The single mother’s body was found in a ditch in Riverview and his fingerprints were found on her body. Her cause of death was strangulation.

Santini had been living under the name Wellman Simmonds in Texas and California. Santini was featured on America’s Most Wanted several times throughout his decades on the run. He was discovered only after he submitted his fingerprints when he applied for a passport.

Santini was sentenced to 50 years in Florida State Prison followed by 15 years of probation as part of a plea deal with the State Attorney’s Office.