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Florida First Amendment Law
 

SHARON MYERS vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

On June 16, 2008, Gary Kenney, Myers’ husband,3 was found murdered in
his family’s home in Merritt Island, Florida. He had been shot several times and
had several lacerations to his wrist and neck. Shortly after the victim’s body was
found, Myers’ son, Darryl Kenney, and his friend, Rubin Nero, were apprehended
near the scene and confessed to the murder. Both Darryl and Rubi... More...
   $0 (02-24-2017 - FL)

QUENTIN MARCUS TRUEHILL vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

Quentin Truehill, who was twenty-two years old at the time, was charged
with the kidnapping and murder of Vincent Binder, who was twenty-nine years
old. Truehill’s crime spree began on the evening of March 30, 2010, at the
Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office in Mansura, Louisiana, when Truehill and two
other cellmates, Kentrell F. Johnson1 and Peter Hughes,2 held the holding-cel... More...
   $0 (02-24-2017 - FL)

Bobby Wayne Stone v. State of South Carolina

Stone began the day of February 26, 1996, by purchasing beer and two firearms—a .410 bore shotgun and a competition-grade .22 caliber semi-automatic pistol. He spent the remainder of the day roaming through the woods, drinking the beer and shooting the guns. Later that afternoon, Stone wandered into the backyard of Ruth Griffith. In Stone's statement to the police, he said he and Griffith were "o... More...   $0 (02-13-2017 - FL)

United States of America v. William Kostopoulos

Miami, FL - Miami-Dade Police Detective Convicted Of Civil Rights Offenses For Stealing Property From Motorists And Obstructing Justice

A federal jury convicted former Miami-Dade Police Detective William Kostopoulos, 49, with using his law enforcement authority to violate the civil rights of two motorists as well as obstructing justice.

According to evidence presented during the... More...
   $0 (02-03-2017 - FL)

Caleb Caleb Corrothers a/k/a Caleb Carrothers a/k/a Calbe Carother a/k/a Caleb L. Carrothers a/k/a Caleb Corothers a/k/a Calab Carothers v. State of Mississippi a/k/a Caleb Carrothers a/k/a Calbe Carother a/k/a Caleb L. Carrothers a/k/a Caleb Corothers a/k/a Calab Carothers v. State of Mississippi

Taylor Clark was known to sell marijuana occasionally. On the night of July 11,
2009, Taylor went to the home of his dealer’s girlfriend, Karen Hickinbottom, to return the
dealer’s cell phone. While Taylor was there, a man showed up and asked to talk to Taylor.
Taylor went outside with him. When Taylor came back inside, he said the man had wanted
to buy drugs. The man came to ... More...
   $0 (02-04-2017 - FL)

Michael Joseph Nilio vs State of Florida

Michael Joseph Nilio challenges his amended judgments and sentences and
the summary denial of his motion for postconviction relief. Nilio asserts that the
trial court failed to resolve his postconviction claim that he attempted to submit
restitution and other costs associated with his probation, but the court refused to
accept payment. However, because Nilio did not raise the... More...
   $0 (02-04-2017 - FL)

Paul Durousseau v. State of Florida

We discussed the facts of this case in our opinion on direct appeal. See
Durousseau v. State, 55 So. 3d 543, 548-50 (Fla. 2010). Paul Durousseau was
sentenced to death for the murder of Tyresa Mack. In 1999, Mack’s sister and
stepfather found Mack’s body in her apartment. She was naked from the waist
down, and a white cord was wrapped around her neck. Durousseau’s DNA was ... More...
   $0 (02-03-2017 - FL)

State of Florida v. Christopher Markus

The factual events of the incident began in the early evening of Saturday,
April 17, 2010, at the home of Justin McCumbers, Brandon Junk, and Eric Blair.
At the time, Christopher Markus had an agreement under which he would live in
the home for two to four nights per week in a spare bedroom and pay $400 rent per
month. McCumbers testified that Markus was staying overnight on ... More...
   $0 (02-03-2017 - FL)

RICHARD KNIGHT vs. STATE OF FLORIDA, RICHARD KNIGHT vs. JULIE L. JONES, etc.

On April 26, 2006, a jury found Richard Knight guilty of two counts of first
degree murder for the deaths of Odessia Stephens and her four-year-old child,
Hanessia Mullings. The jury unanimously recommended a death sentence for each
murder. Knight v. State, 76 So. 3d 879, 884 (Fla. 2011).
A. Trial & Direct Appeal Proceedings
On direct appeal, we set forth the following r... More...
   $0 (02-03-2017 - FL)

Leo Louis Kaczmar, III v. State of Florida

We previously set forth the relevant facts in Kaczmar v. State, 104 So. 3d
990, 995-98 (Fla. 2012). Kaczmar was convicted for first-degree murder,
attempted sexual battery, and arson. During Kaczmar’s first penalty phase, the
parties stipulated that Kaczmar had been previously convicted of a robbery. Id. at
997. The State presented a victim impact statement from Ruiz’s brot... More...
   $0 (02-03-2017 - FL)

MICHAEL L. KING vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

King was sentenced to death for the 2008 murder of Denise Amber Lee.
King v. State, 89 So. 3d 209, 212 (Fla. 2012). This Court detailed the facts of the
murder and subsequent trial in King’s initial appeal:
[O]n January 17, 2008, at approximately 3:30 p.m., Nathan Lee returned to his home on Latour Avenue in North Port, Florida, to find his wife, Denise Amber Lee, missing. The do... More...
   $0 (01-27-2017 - FL)

TAVARES DAVID CALLOWAY vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

On January 21, 1997, eighteen-year-old Anthony Strachan was at home in
his family’s apartment on 580 Northwest 64th Street in Miami, cutting a friend’s
hair. Strachan went into the kitchen and, through the kitchen window, saw one of
his neighbors, “Shorty,” standing outside on 64th Street with two unknown men.
One man, who wore a skull cap and a heavy brown coat that resemble... More...
   $0 (01-27-2017 - FL)

DONALD OTIS WILLIAMS vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

The victim, Janet Patrick, was last seen alive on October 18, 2010, after
shopping for groceries at Publix near her home in Lake County, Florida. The
defendant, Donald Otis Williams, through both security video and eyewitness
testimony, was identified as accompanying her at Publix and getting into the
passenger seat of her vehicle, a white Chevrolet Impala. Multiple witnesses... More...
   $0 (01-21-2017 - FL)

TERRENCE SAUNDER v. STATE OF FLORIDA

Terrence Saunders appeals his conviction and sentence for one count of battery and one count of lewd or lascivious conduct. On appeal, Appellant raises a jury selection issue and challenges two evidentiary rulings below. We affirm the trial court’s rulings on the jury selection issue and on a defense objection to law enforcement officer testimony during cross examination without further comment.... More...   $0 (01-17-2017 - FL)

Gary Lynn Sprouse vs State of Florida

Sex Offender

First, Sprouse’s boilerplate motion for judgment of acquittal was insufficient
to preserve the issue for appeal. See Stephens v. State, 787 So. 2d 747, 753 (Fla.
2001). Regardless, the State presented sufficient evidence to withstand a motion for
judgment of acquittal. Among other things, the State presented the victim’s
statements and DNA evidence showing Sprouse’s semen in ... More...
   $0 (12-16-2016 - FL)

MARY ANN LEAKE v. STATE OF FLORIDA

Shortly before Leake's scheduled trial date, the public defender became aware that two of the named victims in the case had previously signed letters of support indicating that they would contribute financially to and sponsor a fundraiser for Public Defender Howard L. Dimmig's campaign for reelection. The public defender informed Leake of the conflict, and Leake requested that counsel file a moti... More...   $0 (12-04-2016 - FL)

Cordero Neely vs. The State of Florida

Cordero Neely appeals his life sentence without parole. We reverse Neely’s
non-homicide and first-degree murder sentences and remand for resentencing
because a life sentence for juvenile offenders is impermissible without a
meaningful opportunity for release as provided for in section 775.082(1)(b)(1),
Florida Statutes (2014), and section 921.1402, Florida Statutes (2015). We... More...
   $0 (12-03-2016 - FL)

Leronnie Lee Walton v. State of Florida

On September 10, 2008, Kristina Salas and her sister, Karine Nalbandyan,
placed their children into a parked car. As Salas leaned into the car, a man
ambushed her, held a gun to her head, and demanded that she give him her purse or
be killed. The two struggled over the purse until the gun fell to the ground. Then
the man picked up his gun, went to the other side of the car, ... More...
   $0 (12-03-2016 - FL)

Dante Martin v. State Of Florida  

Dante Martin (the defendant) appeals his judgment and sentences, which were
entered by the trial court after a jury found him guilty of committing the crimes of
manslaughter,1 felony hazing resulting in death,2 and two counts of misdemeanor hazing.3
We affirm.
The defendant was a member of the percussion section of the Florida A&M
University's marching band, the "Marchin... More...
   $0 (11-22-2016 - FL)

William Thompson v. State of Florida

Thompson pled guilty to the March 30, 1976, brutal beating death of the victim, Sally Ivester. Thompson v. State, 389 So. 2d 197, 198 (Fla. 1980). In Thompson, this Court described the crimes, which occurred when William Lee Thompson was 24 years old:

The appellant Thompson, Rocco Surace, Barbara Savage, and the victim Sally Ivester were staying in a motel room. The girls were instruc... More...
   $0 (11-21-2016 - FL)

Leon Davis, Jr. v. State of Florida

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The Events at Headley Insurance
The evidence introduced at Davis’s trial revealed the following. Around
3 p.m. on December 13, 2007, Davis entered the Lake Wales location of the
Headley Insurance Agency (Headley) with the intent to commit robbery. Davis
was armed with a loaded .357 magnum revolver and equipped with duct tape, a <... More...
   $0 (11-21-2016 - FL)

Robert Pernell McCloud v. State of Florida

Robert McCloud appeals his convictions and sentences for the first-degree
murders of Dustin Freeman and Tamiqua Taylor. During the afternoon of October
3, 2009, McCloud and Andre Brown were driving around the Malibu
neighborhood of Orlando, Florida, when they ran into Joshua Bryson. The three


- 2 -
visited Major Griffin at his house, where a series of discuss... More...
   $0 (11-21-2016 - FL)

Terrance Tyrone Phillips v. State of Florida

The evidence introduced at trial revealed that on the afternoon of December
24, 2009, in Jacksonville, Barbara “Cookie” Anders, Shanise Bing, and Tanequa
“Kiwi” Dwight walked from the Lighthouse Bay Apartments where Anders lived
to a nearby convenience store. Around the same time, three men, Aurelio Salgado,
Manuel Ton, and Mateo Hernandez-Perez drove to the same store to buy ... More...
   $0 (11-21-2016 - FL)

STATE OF FLORIDA vs. JACOB JOHN DOUGAN, JR.

After a lengthy evidentiary hearing, the postconviction court, in a detailed,
239-page order, concluded that the murder conviction and sentence of death should
be vacated and a new trial granted on multiple grounds. A key finding was that the
State not only failed to disclose the full extent of its plea deal with William Hearn,
the State’s only eyewitness to the murder, but al... More...
   $0 (10-21-2016 - FL)

Larry Darnell Perry v. State of Florida

In State v. Perry, the Fifth District Court of Appeal addressed two cases
involving defendants awaiting trial for charges of first-degree murder, in which the
State filed notices of intent to seek the death penalty prior to the United States
Supreme Court issuing its decision in Hurst v. Florida on January 12, 2016. Perry,

5. Th... More...
   $0 (10-17-2016 - FL)

TIMOTHY LEE HURST v. STATE OF FLORIDA

The background and facts of this case were reiterated in our decision in
Hurst v. State in pertinent part as follows:
Hurst was convicted for the May 2, 1998, first-degree murder of Cynthia Harrison in a robbery at the Popeye’s restaurant where Hurst was employed in Escambia County, Florida. The victim, also an employee, had been bound and gagged and repeatedly cut and stabbed with a we... More...
   $0 (10-17-2016 - FL)

Kenneth Alfred Bicking, III vs State of Florida

Appellant, Kenneth Alfred Bicking, III, appeals his departure sentences and
seeks the correction of scrivener’s errors in his judgment and sentence. We affirm
Appellant’s departure sentences without discussion, but remand for entry of a
corrected judgment and sentence for the following reasons.
Appellant was charged with (Count 1) armed sexual battery, in violation of
sec... More...
   $0 (10-08-2016 - FL)

JOSEPH BRIAN VALCARCEL vs STATE OF FLORIDA

The issue presented for our review is whether the trial court conducted a sufficient inquiry in the motion to continue a sentencing hearing where the continuance was critical to appellant retaining counsel of his choice. We find that the trial court summarily denied the motion to continue, which resulted in the summary denial of appellant’s counsel of choice. The denial was made without sufficie... More...   $0 (10-07-2016 - FL)

ROBERT LEE DAVIS, JR. vs STATE OF FLORIDA

In 1991, Appellant entered a plea to attempted first degree murder with a firearm, attempted second degree murder with a firearm, and aggravated assault with a firearm. Appellant committed the offenses on February 4, 1991, when he was 16 years old. The trial court sentenced Appellant to consecutive terms of 40 years for the attempted first degree murder, 30 years for the attempted second degree ... More...   $0 (09-20-2016 - FL)

DERRICK K. RANDOLPH v. STATE OF FLORIDA

Derrick Randolph ("Appellant") appeals the trial court's denial of his Florida Rule
of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a) motion to correct his illegal sentence. We reverse and
remand for resentencing consistent with this opinion.
In 2001, Appellant was convicted of second-degree murder for an offense
committed when he was 17 years old. The trial court sentenced Appellant to 100 years... More...
   $0 (09-20-2016 - FL)

Willie Crockett vs State of Florida

The State filed a nine-count information against appellant on August 1,
2005, alleging charges that included burglary while armed with a firearm and home
invasion robbery in Alachua County, Florida. Appellant, who had been on parole
in Georgia, was arrested in Georgia on August 10, 2005, for violating his parole by
committing these new law violations in Florida as well as new l... More...
   $0 (09-06-2016 - FL)

LORENZO SANCHEZ v. STATE OF FLORIDA

On the morning of July 30, 2008, there was a robbery at AMIGO Food Store in Pompano Beach, Florida. During the robbery, gunshots were fired and the store owner was killed. Several 911 calls prompted law enforcement to broadcast BOLOs about the suspects. Appellant was a passenger in a car that was stopped pursuant to one of these BOLOs, leading to appellant’s arrest. Appellant moved to suppres... More...   $0 (09-05-2016 - FL)

STANLEY TARRAND v. STATE OF FLORIDA

We grant Stanley Tarrand’s motion for rehearing, withdraw our earlier opinion and
substitute the following in its place. We deny Tarrand’s motion for rehearing en banc and
certification.
Tarrand appeals an order denying his motion for postconviction relief filed pursuant
to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850. He entered a negotiated plea to second
2
degree mur... More...
   $0 (09-05-2016 - FL)

MARTICE SPEARS v. STATE OF FLORIDA

In this appeal, Martice Spears appeals his criminal convictions and sentences in two unrelated cases, CF13-3400 (possession of a firearm by a convicted felon) and CF14-0275 (grand theft). The trial court sentenced Spears to twelve years' imprisonment for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon in CF13-3400, to run consecutively with the already imposed five-year sentence in CF14-0275. We va... More...   $0 (08-29-2016 - FL)

OWEN GRANGE v. STATE OF FLORIDA

We deny appellant’s motion for rehearing and certification, but grant his motion for written opinion. We affirm the denial of his post-conviction motion and address solely his Sixth Amendment claim.
Appellant was convicted of armed burglary of a structure with actual possession of a firearm, robbery with a firearm and aggravated battery with great bodily harm. The convictions followed a ... More...
   $0 (08-28-2016 - FL)

Lawrence William Patterson v. State of Florida

Patterson’s jury convicted him of multiple crimes stemming from the alleged
arsons of his truck and residence. As the First District explained,
[t]he arsons for which Patterson was tried and convicted completely destroyed his house and truck (which was parked in the garage at the time). It was alleged that Patterson used the truck to start one of the two arson fires in the house. [Not... More...
   $0 (08-28-2016 - FL)

Edward Lewis Gibson v. State of Florida*

Edward Lewis Gibson appeals his conviction and sentence for first degree murder with a firearm. He argues that the trial judge erred in depriving him of his constitutional right to testify and in overruling his hearsay objection to the admission of a text message sent from his cell phone. We find no error in admission of the text message, but we reverse and remand for a new trial because the tri... More...   $0 (08-22-2016 - FL)

Rolando Granados v. State of Florida

Convicted of multiple counts of sexual battery by a person eighteen years of age upon a person less than twelve years of age, namely his daughter, appellant appeals, raising three issues. First, he contends that the court erred in considering corroborating evidence in determining whether to admit the child’s out-of-court statement. The child also testified at trial. We find that the court did n... More...   $0 (08-22-2016 - FL)

Barrington Deferrell v. State of Florida*

In 2011, Deferrell was placed on probation for four years for attempted burglary of a dwelling and preventing or obstructing the extinguishment of a fire charges. In May 2012, Deferrell was arrested and formally charged with three crimes. The new law charges also served as the basis for a violation of probation (“VOP”) proceeding.
1 Faretta v. California, 422 U.S. 806 (1975).
2 More...
   $0 (08-22-2016 - FL)

Karaka Andreau Campbell vs. The State of Florida

The State charged Campbell with two counts of burglary of an occupied
dwelling stemming from an August 11, 2012, incident where he attempted to enter
automobiles parked on private property. On June 24, 2013, Campbell filed a
motion for a Nelson hearing, seeking to discharge his assistant public defender,
Akivia Bassaragh (“Bassaragh”), and have new counsel appointed. The moti... More...
   $0 (07-14-2016 - FL)

 
 
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