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Florida First Amendment Law
 

CLYDE EDWARD JOHNSON vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

Clyde Edward Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of armed burglary of a
dwelling, three counts of armed kidnapping, one count of attempted first-degree
murder, and one count of sexual battery using force or a weapon. He was
sentenced to six concurrent life sentences. After the United States Supreme Court
issued its decision in Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010), Johnson fi... More...
   $0 (04-22-2017 - FL)

Alex Barron m vs. The State of Florida

In 2005, Alex Barron was civilly committed following a jury trial upon a
petition for involuntary civil commitment of sexually violent predators, pursuant to
sections 394.910-.930, Florida Statutes (2015).1
In 2015, Barron filed a petition for release from civil commitment, which
required the trial court to follow the threshold procedures established in section
394.918(3)... More...
   $0 (04-14-2017 - FL)

CALVIN WEATHERSPOON vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

Weatherspoon, along with four codefendants, was charged with the
November 2008 robbery of a Dunkin’ Donuts in Delray Beach, Florida. During
the course of the robbery, one of the codefendants shot two people in the store and
one in the parking lot. All four codefendants were charged pursuant to a single
information containing multiple counts, including attempted first-degree m... More...
   $0 (04-08-2017 - FL)

RICHARD TODD ROBARDS vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

Robards was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder for the 2006
deaths of Frank and Linda Deluca. Robards, the couple’s personal trainer,
murdered them during the course of a robbery in which he stole personal
belongings of the Delucas, including a safe containing more than $88,000. The
Delucas died of multiple sharp force wounds, and their home was set on fire aft... More...
   $0 (04-08-2017 - FL)

JUSTIN CURTIS HEYNE vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

Heyne was convicted for the 2006 murders of Sarah Buckoski, Benjamin
Hamilton, and five-year-old Ivory Hamilton. Heyne v. State, 88 So. 3d 113, 117
(Fla. 2012). He was sentenced to death for Ivory’s murder. Id. When affirming
the convictions and death sentence on direct appeal, this Court described the
background as follows:
On March 30, 2006, Sarah Buckoski returned t... More...
   $0 (04-07-2017 - FL)

VICTOR GUZMAN vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

On December 9, 2000, Severina Fernandez was found stabbed to death in
her Miami apartment. The case went cold until 2004, when DNA from blood left
at the crime scene was determined to match Victor Guzman’s DNA. As a result,
Guzman was indicted for first-degree murder, stood trial, and was convicted. The
jury recommended a sentence of death by a vote of seven to five, and the... More...
   $0 (04-07-2017 - FL)

TERENCE TOBIAS OLIVER vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

Oliver and Pinson had been dating since approximately December 2006.
Although Oliver described his relationship with Pinson as a “side” relationship, the
two lived together off and on during the span of their relationship. Sometime
between late May and July 22, 2009, Oliver called Leander Watkins, his mechanic
and a mutual friend of the couple, trying to get in touch with Pin... More...
   $0 (04-07-2017 - FL)

HENRY MARTIN DAVIS v. STATE OF FLORIDA

Henry Martin Davis appeals the order denying his motion filed under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.800(a) seeking relief under Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48, 82 (2010) (holding that the Eighth Amendment forbids a life sentence without parole for a juvenile offender who committed a nonhomicide offense), and Atwell v. State, 197 So. 3d 1040 (Fla. 2016). We reverse and remand for resentencing... More...   $0 (04-02-2017 - FL)

MORGAN AMANDA LEPPERT v. STATE OF FLORIDA

Morgan Amanda Leppert appeals her judgment and sentence for first-degree murder, burglary with assault or battery, and robbery with a deadly weapon. Leppert raises four issues: 1) her lengthy sentence violates the Eighth Amendment prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment laid out in Graham v. Florida, 560 U.S. 48 (2010); 2) the trial court erred in not having a jury determine whether she... More...   $0 (04-01-2017 - FL)

STATE OF FLORIDA v. ISAAC L. ANDERSON, JR


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The State of Florida appeals an... More...
   $0 (04-01-2017 - FL)

GANGAPERSAD RAMROOP vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

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The conflict issue in this case is whether section 782.065, Florida Statutes
(2013),1 creates a su... More...
   $0 (04-01-2017 - FL)

CORNELIUS O. BAKER vs. STATE OF FLORIDA & CORNELIUS O. BAKER vs. JULIE L. JONES, etc

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Baker was convicted by a jury and sentenced to death for the January 2007
robbery, kidnapping, and murder of Elizabeth Uptagrafft. This Court summarized
the case... More...   $0 (03-27-2017 - FL)

KENNETH R. JACKSON vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

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At approximately 6:30 a.m. on September 13, 2007, an individual who lived
at Bullfrog Court in Gibsonton initially heard noises t... More...
   $0 (03-27-2017 - FL)

WILLIE JAMES HODGES vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

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Hodges was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. On
appeal, we a... More...
   $0 (03-18-2017 - FL)

TAVARES J. WRIGHT vs. STATE OF FLORIDA

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On November 13, 2004, a jury found Wright guilty of two counts of first
degree murder, two counts of kidnapping, two counts of robbery, and one count of
carjacking. See Wright v. State, 19 So. 3d 277, 2... More...   $0 (03-18-2017 - FL)

CHARLES HOWARD vs State of Florida

Appellant was convicted by a jury of selling, manufacturing, or delivering
cocaine, a controlled substance, within 1,000 feet of a physical place of worship.
He challenges various aspects of his judgment and sentence, but we find only two
of the issues he raised have merit, both regarding discretionary fees and costs
imposed upon him. While we affirm the judgment and sentence i... More...
   $0 (03-14-2017 - FL)

Freddy Brown vs. The State of Florida

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Appellant Freddy Brown pled guilty to second degree murder for a murder
he committed in 1980,... More...
   $0 (03-13-2017 - FL)

SCOTT K. TOBIASSEN vs STATE OF FLORIDA

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On August 13, 2013, Tobiassen called his friend and told her that he needed to see her. When the friend arrived, Tobiassen showe... More...
   $0 (03-13-2017 - FL)

Reginald Wilkinson vs. The State of Florida

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In 1994, Wilkinson was convicted of first-degree murder with a firearm for a
crime he committed when sixteen years old. He was sentenced to life in prison
with eligibility for parole after twenty-five ... More...   $0 (03-06-2017 - FL)

Dale Lee Norman v. State of Florida

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On February 19, 2012, Dale Lee Norman received by mail a license issued
by the Florida Department ... More...
   $0 (03-06-2017 - FL)

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)

 
 
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