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Florida First Amendment Law
 
State of Florida vs Stacey Renee McRae

The parties do not dispute the court’s factual findings leading to McRae’s
arrest for armed robbery. On December 30, 2013, a convenience store was robbed
in Vernon. A surveillance camera captured an image of two women. One woman’s
face was uncovered as she pointed a firearm at the clerk. A surveillance video also
captured images of a vehicle arriving and leaving, indicating the... More...
   $0 (06-21-2016 - FL)

Alden Stephenson vs. The State of Florida

When Stephenson was fourteen years old, he was charged with armed
robbery, aggravated battery, and burglary with a battery (lower court case number
F00-28640B). When Stephenson was fifteen, he accepted a global plea offer to
resolve these charges, as well as seven other pending burglary cases. Per
Stephenson’s plea deal, he was placed on fifteen years of adult probation.
Wh... More...
   $0 (06-21-2016 - FL)

State of Florida v. Raymond Bright

A jury convicted Bright for the first-degree murders of Derrick King and
Randall Brown. Bright v. State, 90 So. 3d 249, 254 (Fla. 2012). The jury
recommended death by a vote of eight to four for the murders of both victims, and
the trial court sentenced Bright to death for both murders. Id. at 256.
On direct appeal, we previously detailed the facts leading to Bright’s death ... More...
   $0 (06-21-2016 - FL)

DAVID S. HUFFMAN v. STATE OF FLORIDA

In circuit court case number 1972-CF-0870-NC, a jury found Mr. Huffman
guilty of rape, at the time a capital felony, and breaking and entering with intent to
commit grand larceny.1 In November 1972, the trial court sentenced him to parole
eligible life sentences for both convictions. This court affirmed both convictions and the
parole-eligible life sentence imposed for the rap... More...
   $0 (06-06-2016 - FL)

Angelo Atwell v. State of Florida

Angelo Atwell was sixteen years old when, in August 1990, he committed
armed robbery and first-degree murder. Under the statute then in effect, Atwell
was sentenced for the first-degree murder to a mandatory term of life
imprisonment, with the possibility of parole after twenty-five years, and was
sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole for the armed <... More...
   $0 (06-01-2016 - FL)

Rodney Squire v. State of Florida*

We grant in part and deny in part appellee’s motion for rehearing, withdraw our previously issued opinion and substitute the following opinion in its place.
Rodney Squire appeals his convictions for attempted felony murder and attempted robbery of one victim, and aggravated battery of another. He contends that the trial court made three evidentiary errors: (1) denying the suppression of h... More...
   $0 (05-28-2016 - FL)

RAMON DAVID SENGER v. STATE OF FLORIDA

Ramon David Senger (“Senger”) appeals his dual convictions under sections
847.0135(3)(b) and 847.0135(4)(b), Florida Statutes (2011)—using a computer to solicit
a person believed to be a parent for sex with a minor (“solicitation”) and traveling after
using a computer to solicit a person believed to be a parent for sex with a minor (“traveling
after solicitation"). Following t... More...
   $0 (05-28-2016 - FL)

Gil Camacho v. State of Florida

The issue presented for our review is whether the victim’s prior sworn testimony from an Arthur hearing is admissible when the victim’s death rendered her “unavailable” for trial. We find that appellant’s direct examination of the victim during the Arthur hearing was the functional equivalent of “significant cross-examination.” Therefore, the trial court did not err in admitting the Arthur heari... More...   $0 (05-18-2016 - FL)

STATE OF FLORIDA v. DAVID VINCENT MALONEY

The State of Florida timely appeals the trial court’s order granting David Maloney’s
motion to suppress certain statements he made to police before he was advised of his
Miranda1 rights. Because we conclude the public safety exception to the Miranda
requirement permits the admission of Maloney’s statements, we reverse.

Maloney was a member of a motorcycle gang known as th... More...
   $0 (05-13-2016 - FL)

State of Florida v. Donna Horwitz

Donna Horwitz was charged with first-degree murder with a firearm for the
2011 death of her ex-husband, Lanny Horwitz, in Jupiter, Florida. The Fourth
District set forth the facts: On the morning of September 30, 2011, Lanny was shot multiple times in the master bathroom of his home and was pronounced dead at the scene. [Horwitz] and Lanny had been divorced twice, but they were living... More...
   $0 (05-05-2016 - FL)

Jermaine C. Jackson v. State of Florida

This case is before the Court for review of the decision of the Fourth District
Court of Appeal in Jackson v. State, 137 So. 3d 470 (Fla. 4th DCA 2014). Because
the district court expressly declared a state statute valid, this Court has jurisdiction
to review the decision. See art. V, § 3(b)(3), Fla. Const.
Appellant, Jermaine Jackson, was convicted of one count of robbery w... More...
   $0 (05-05-2016 - FL)

Vanguard Car Rental USA, LLC vs. Lawrence Suttles, Jr.

In 1991, National Car Rental advised law enforcement that Lawrence
Suttles, Jr. had failed to timely return a rental car. Two years later, National filed
1 Section 768.79, of the Florida Statutes (2014), as pertinent here, provides:
(2) . . . An offer must:
. . . .
(b) Name the party making it and the party to whom it is being made.
2 Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.4... More...
   $0 (05-02-2016 - FL)

Anthony Julian Collins vs State of Florida

Appellant was convicted of carjacking with a firearm (count 1), attempted
second degree murder (count 2), and attempted armed robbery (count 3). He was
originally sentenced to 20 years in prison with a minimum mandatory of 10 years
as to count 1, life in prison with a minimum mandatory of 25 years as to count 2,
and 25 years with a minimum mandatory of 25 years as to count 3. ... More...
   $0 (04-25-2016 - FL)

WESLEY THOMPSON FOLEY, JR. v. STATE OF FLORIDA

Wesley Thompson Foley, Jr., appeals the judgment and sentences for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon and possession of methamphetamine. Foley tendered a nolo contendere plea to these charges, reserving the right to appeal the trial court’s denial of his dispositive motion to suppress evidence
seized during the search of a vehicle in which he was a passenger.1 Foley... More...
   $0 (04-10-2016 - FL)

STATE OF FLORIDA v. WADE F. LILES, STATE OF FLORIDA v. 5D15-405 JOHN NATHAN WILLIS

The State of Florida appeals two orders suppressing the results of warrantless blood draws taken from Wade F. Liles and John Nathan Willis during drunk driving investigations involving separate traffic crash fatalities.1 In both cases, the trial courts found that, pursuant to the United States Supreme Court's holding in Missouri v. McNeely, 133 S. Ct. 1552 (2013), the blood draw results were inad... More...   $0 (04-10-2016 - FL)

The State of Florida vs. British Moss

The State of Florida petitions this Court for a writ of certiorari to review an
order rendered by the trial court which denied, in part, the State’s motion to
compel discovery. We agree that the trial court’s order departs from the essential
requirements of law because the respondent, British Moss, never presented the trial
court a request and a showing for good cause. Accordi... More...
   $0 (04-08-2016 - FL)

Dwaine Merchant vs. The State of Florida

The State indicted Merchant for first-degree murder (Count One) and
attempted first-degree murder (Count Two). The first trial began in August 2013.
The jury venire was comprised of 50 potential jurors, including both Kira Criado
(“Kira”) and Kevin Criado (“Kevin”). At the commencement of the jury selection
process, the trial court introduced the court staff, the attorneys, a... More...
   $0 (04-08-2016 - FL)

Vantavia B. Jackson-Johnson v. State of Florida

The defendant is a former corrections deputy who was convicted of official misconduct, culpable negligence, and accessory after the fact. The convictions arose out of allegations that an inmate was allowed to leave his cell and attack another inmate, and that the defendant and her coworker falsified records in a failed attempt to cover up the incident. A key piece of evidence leading to the defe... More...   $0 (04-08-2016 - FL)

Danson Exantus-Barr v. State of Florida*

Danson Exantus-Barr appeals his convictions of robbery with a firearm while wearing a mask and a weapons possession charge. He contends that he was unlawfully stopped and sought to suppress his own statements, the victim’s identification, and the seized property. The trial court denied his motion to suppress. We affirm, concluding that the totality of the circumstances, which included the locat... More...   $0 (04-08-2016 - FL)

HECTOR JOSUE VAZQUEZ PADILLA v. STATE OF FLORIDA

Hector Josue Vazquez Padilla appeals from his conviction and life sentence for first-degree murder. He argues that the trial court erred when it admitted into evidence an audio recording of a statement made to police by a person who
implicated Padilla in the crime. Because the statement was testimonial and the witness was not available or subject to prior cross-examination, admission of the... More...
   $0 (04-04-2016 - FL)

CHAUNCEY GARDNER v. STATE OF FLORIDA

Tivasha Logan gave birth to Mr. Gardner's child on May 11, 2009. This was their fourth child together. The infant, a girl, was born ten weeks premature. Although the infant initially had some trouble with bottle feeding, she thrived in the hospital neonatal unit and was discharged to the care of her mother at the end of July 2009. Three months later, the infant died of malnutrition. There is... More...   $0 (03-25-2016 - FL)

Kate Calvin, et al. v. Jefferson County Board of Commissioners, et al.

Imagine a fictional Florida county—I’ll call it Marshall County—with a total census population of 12,000. Marshall County is run by a board of commissioners comprised of five peo-ple, each of whom is elected from a single-member district with a total census population of exactly 2,400. The Marshall County School Board, which also has five members, uses the same district lines. Case 4:15-cv-00131-M... More...   $0 (03-24-2016 - FL)

Terry Gene Bollea a/k/a Hulk Hogan v. Gawker Media, L.L.C.

St. Petersburg, FL - Hulk Hogan Wins Big in Florida With $115 Million Verdict

Terry Gene Bollea a/k/a Hulk Hogan, age 62, sued Gawker Media, L.L.C. on negligence and invasion of privacy theories claiming that the release of a video of Hogan having sex with Heather Cole, the wife of Bubba "the Love Sponge Clem was tortious and injured and damaged him, including emotional distress.

... More...
   $140000000 (03-22-2016 - FL)

Noel Plank v. State of Florida

On April 15, 2013, Noel Plank, a prospective juror, appeared for jury duty at
the Leon County Courthouse at 11:30 a.m. and was part of a panel that was seated
in the courtroom at approximately 1:40 p.m. In response to general biographical
questioning, Plank advised the trial judge that he had various issues that would
make it difficult for him to serve on the jury:
I work... More...
   $0 (03-17-2016 - FL)

James Robertson v. State of Florida

In connection with his plea of guilty to the charge of first-degree murder,
Robertson submitted statements admitting that in December 2008, while an inmate
at Charlotte Correctional Institution, he killed his cellmate, Frank Hart, by
strangling him with a garrote he made by tying several socks together. According
to Robertson’s statement, there was no provocation or fight that... More...
   $0 (03-17-2016 - FL)

Lucille Ruth Soffer, etc. v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

Maurice Soffer died in May of 1992 from lung cancer caused by smoking.
After this Court issued its decision in Engle, 945 So. 2d at 1254, requiring class
members to file their own individual actions within a year, Soffer’s widow, Lucille
Soffer, brought a wrongful death action against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company
pursuant to that decision. Her complaint asserted four causes ... More...
   $0 (03-17-2016 - FL)

Dravien Jerrod Jones v. State of Florida

Appellant Dravien Jones appeals the denial of his motion to suppress evidence found in his vehicle during a traffic stop. Consistent with the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Rodriguez v. United States, 135 S. Ct. 1609 (2015), we agree with Appellant that the search occurred during an illegal detention. We therefore reverse his conviction.
Background
An officer of the Sebastian P... More...
   $0 (03-12-2016 - FL)

Raymond C. Gleason v. State of Florida*

Raymond Gleason appeals his convictions of burglary of a dwelling and dealing in stolen property. He raises three issues, two of which we find have no merit. However, we agree with Gleason that his conviction should be reversed based on improper closing argument by the prosecutor.
Evidence at trial showed that, while the victim was at work, someone entered both her home and a shed located... More...
   $0 (03-12-2016 - FL)

State of Florida v. Shavonn Norfleet

Jacksonville, FL - The State of Florida charged Shavonn Norfleet with first-degree murder in conjunction with the death of her four-year-old stepdaughter. The child was killed with a piece of wood in 2015.

Defendant's husband, John Norfleet, was convicted of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter and aggravated child abuse in the girl's death.

He attempted to shield his ... More...
   $0 (03-04-2016 - FL)

Kevin Osorio v. State of Florida*

First, Osorio claims that the trial court erred by ruling that testimony regarding conversations between Osorio and the State’s confidential informant, and among detectives and the informant, was inadmissible hearsay evidence. He argues that because the informant acted as an agent of the State, the informant’s statements were admissible as statements of a party-opponent under section 90.803(18)(d... More...   $0 (03-04-2016 - FL)

Simon Silva vs. The State of Florida

Simon Silva appeals his conviction for second-degree murder and attempted
second-degree murder. The dispositive issue before us is whether the trial judge’s
familiarity with the defendant from prior hearings in the case excused his admitted
failure to conduct an adequate Faretta hearing before permitting the defendant to
represent himself at trial. See Faretta v. California, ... More...
   $0 (03-04-2016 - FL)

Ronald Williams v. State of Florida

On February 12, 2008, four men had just arrived home and were walking
toward their apartment door when they heard Ronald Williams, who was in a
neighbor’s driveway, calling out offensive words regarding their sexuality,
including “faggot,” “punk,” and making other “homosexual gestures.” The men
exchanged words with Williams, then Williams “pulled a gun, pointed it at the
... More...
   $0 (03-04-2016 - FL)

Rodney L. Ragin v. State of Florida

Ragin was arrested and proceeded to trial on charges of possession of cannabis with intent to sell, possession of cocaine, and possession of MDMA.1

1 “MDMA” is the shortened name for methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also associated with the name “ecstasy.” Eliakim v. State, 884 So. 2d 57, 58 (Fla. 4th DCA 2004).

2

At trial, the State presented evidence that two of... More...
   $0 (02-28-2016 - FL)

Rodney Squire v. State of Florida*

The charges against appellant, whom the State and defense both stipulated was “mentally retarded,” arose out of the attempted robbery of one of the victims, Thompson, as he was handing out CDs at night in a
parking lot as part of his employment. Thompson testified that someone pulled out a gun and shot. He did not see the shooter and ran away. He could not identify appellant as the shoote... More...
   $0 (02-28-2016 - FL)

STATE OF FLORIDA v. JOSEPH LLOYD COTTON

Joseph Cotton entered a plea of nolo contendere to a violation of section 796.07(2)(f), solicitation of prostitution. Because this was Cotton's first violation, his crime is a second-degree misdemeanor. See § 796.07(4)(a).1 The trial court withheld adjudication, sentenced him to six months of probation, ordered him to complete twentyfive hours of public service work within five months, and orde... More...   $0 (02-28-2016 - FL)

James Houston Roughton v. State of Florida

James Roughton was convicted of both sexual battery on a person under
twelve years of age1—commonly known as capital sexual battery—and lewd or
lascivious molestation on a person under twelve years of age2 for the single act of
placing his mouth on the seven-year-old victim’s penis. On appeal, Roughton
argued that his dual convictions for sexual battery and lewd or lascivious ... More...
   $0 (02-28-2016 - FL)

Off Lease Only, Inc. vs. LeJeune Auto Wholesale, Inc., etc.

In June 2014, Off Lease filed suit against Car Factory alleging, inter alia,
violations of the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, sections
501.201 et seq., Florida Statutes (2014) (“FDUTPA”), and seeking damages and
injunctive relief. Car Factory filed a motion for summary judgment arguing, in
relevant part, that: 1) Off Lease was not entitled to seek injunctive... More...
   $0 (02-25-2016 - FL)

Adrian Fridman v. Safeco Insurance Company of Illinois

The conflict issue in this case is whether an insured is entitled to a
determination of liability and the full extent of his or her damages by first bringing
an uninsured/underinsured motorist (UM) action before litigating a first-party bad
faith cause of action under section 624.155, Florida Statutes (2007). The related
issues we address are whether that determination of dam... More...
   $0 (02-25-2016 - FL)

James Houston Roughton v. State of Florida

In this case we consider whether dual convictions for capital sexual battery
and lewd or lascivious molestation based on a single act violate the constitutional
prohibition against double jeopardy. Our analysis turns on the rule of construction
in section 775.021(4), Florida Statutes (2008), regarding “separate criminal
offenses” “committed in the course of one criminal episod... More...
   $0 (02-25-2016 - FL)

State of Florida vs Jeffery D. Williams

The charges against Williams arose from a joint investigation between the
United States Postal Service and the Tallahassee Police Department. Local law
enforcement was informed of a suspicious package that arrived overnight from
California at the postal facility. The package listed “T. Lopez” as the sender and
“Key Phillips” as the addressee. Law enforcement learned that no ... More...
   $0 (02-23-2016 - FL)

 
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