[SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
Oral Argument Press Summaries
August 21, 26-30, 2002

The following summaries are drawn from briefs and lower court judgments. They are meant to provide a general idea of facts and issues presented in cases, and should not be considered official court documents. Facts and issues presented in these summaries should be checked for accuracy against records and briefs, available from the Court, which provide more specific information.

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[ETCHING: SUPREME COURT OF FLORIDA]
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Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.
Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
Linroy Bottoson v. Michael W. Moore

SC02-1455

View briefs in Acrobat format by clicking the case number(s) here

9:00 Bottoson was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the December 29, 1979, murder of Catherine Willie Alexander. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. The Governor issued a warrant for his execution earlier this year. The execution was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court pending its resolution of an Arizona case in an opinion issued a few months later. Bottoson now argues that the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion has undermined the validity of Florida's death penalty statute, while the State contends it has not. Orange County
Amos Lee King v. Michael W. Moore

SC02-1457

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Approx. 9:40 King was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the March 18, 1977, murder of Natalie Brady. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. The Governor issued a warrant for his execution earlier this year. The execution was stayed by the U.S. Supreme Court pending its resolution of an Arizona case in an opinion issued a few months later. Bottoson now argues that the U.S. Supreme Court's opinion has undermined the validity of Florida's death penalty statute, while the State contends it has not. Pinellas County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Monday, August 26, 2002
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
Anthony Spann v. State of Florida

SC00-1498

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9:00 Spann was arrested and charged with the November 1997 murder of Kazue Perron. A jury convicted him, and Spann waived his right to present evidence to a jury in a penalty phase. The judge sentenced him to death, and he appeals. Marion County
PNR, Inc. v. Beacon Property Management

SC01-1507

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Approx. 10:00 In 1994 PNR purchased Goodfellas Restaurant in Boca Raton. Beacon managed the property in which the restaurant was located. Because of alleged failure to maintain the building, its north wall collapsed in 1995, causing the city to order it shut for several months. Goodfellas went out of business. PNR sued and won a jury verdict of more than $2 million. The Fourth District Court reversed.  Palm Beach County
Chester R. Morrisey, Jr. v. Thomas M. Owen

SC01-2430

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Approx. 10:40 Morrisey suffered back injuries in a traffic accident on I-95 in November 1993. He sued, and the jury awarded more than $1.8 million in damages. On appeal, the Fourth District reversed in part. Palm Beach County
Jason Dirk Walton v. Michael W. Moore

SC76,695 | SC78,070

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Approx. 11:10 Walton was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the June 1982 murders of three men. His sentences were affirmed on appeal. He now challenges their validity. Pinellas County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Tuesday, August 27, 2002
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
Omar Wilson v. State of Florida

SC01-2083 | SC01-2333

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9:00 These cases involve judges who made plea offers that the defendants rejected. Both defendants ultimately received more severe sentences than the original offer and appealed arguing their respective sentences were vindictive. The Fifth District reversed in one of the cases, but the Fourth District affirmed the other case. Broward County

Orange County

Fred Anderson, Jr. v. State of Florida

SC01-336

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Approx. 9:40 Anderson was arrested and charged with the March 2000 murder of Heather Young during a bank robbery. A jury convicted him and recommended the death penalty 12-to-0. The trial court imposed it, and Anderson appeals. Lake County
William Gregory Thomas v. State of Florida

SC01-1439

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Approx. 10:40 Thomas was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the September 1991 murder of his wife Rachel. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Duval County
Caribbean Conservation Corp. v. Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission

SC01-1885

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Approx. 11:20 In 1998 voters amended the state Constitution to create the Florida Fish & Wildlife Commission. In 1999 a statute was approved that allegedly restricted the Commission's ability to regulate practices affecting endangered and threatened species. Conservation groups sued, and the trial court found the statute unconstitutional. On appeal, the First District Court reversed. Leon County

Statewide impact

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Wednesday, August 28, 2002
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
Willie Seth Crain, Jr. v. State of Florida

SC00-661

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9:00 Crain was arrested, tried, and convicted for the September 1998 murder of Amanda Victoria Brown. The jury recommended the death penalty 12-to-0, and the trial court imposed it. Crain appeals. Hillsborough County
State of Florida v. Jose Abreu

SC01-2596

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Approx. 10:00 Abreu was charged with the February 1998 burglary of a dwelling. At his first trial, the state's main eyewitness was Jeffrey Eckman, who had left Florida and moved to Philadelphia. The first trial ended in a hung jury. At the second trial, Eckman would not return to testify, so the trial judge permitted his earlier testimony to be read to the jury under an exception to the hearsay rule. On appeal, the Fourth District reversed on grounds that exception to the rule applied only if the witness was genuinely unavailable. Broward County
George James Trepal v. State of Florida

SC89,710 | SC01-2267

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Approx. 10:40 Trepal was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the March 1989 murder of Peggy Carr, whom he allegedly poisoned some months before her death. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Polk County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Thursday, August 29, 2002
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
Richard Lynch v. State of Florida

SC01-795

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9:00 Lynch was arrested and charged with the March 1999 murders of Rose Morgan and her 13-year-old daughter Leah. He pled guilty and waived his right to a penalty phase jury. The trial court sentenced him to death. He appeals. Seminole County
State of Florida v. Paul Vanbebber

SC01-2558

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Approx. 10:00 Vanbebber pled no contest to DUI-related offenses that included a manslaughter and a serious bodily injury count. The judge imposed a suspended sentence of 200 months on the manslaughter and serious bodily injury charges together with 15 years' probation, and three years in jail on the other offenses. This was a more lenient sentence than suggested by the sentencing guidelines, and the trial court justified it on grounds of Vanbebber's remorse and other evidence. On appeal, the Second District Court affirmed. Collier County
State of Florida v. Johnny Diaz

SC01-2779

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Approx. 10:40 Diaz was stopped while driving a car because an officer could not read the expiration date on the vehicle's temporary license tag. Diaz had no driver's license because his had been suspended, and he was charged with driving while his license was revoked. He argued that the traffic stop itself was improper and the evidence against him should be suppressed. The trial judge disagreed and sentenced him to 24 months incarceration. On appeal, the Second District Court reversed.  Hillsborough County
Chadwick D. Banks

SC01-1153 | SC02-63

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Approx. 11:20 Banks was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the September 1992 murder of Sandra Banks. His sentence was affirmed on appeal. He now challenges its validity. Gadsden County

Florida Supreme Court Oral Arguments
Friday, August 30, 2002
Arrive early. Times & order of appearance are tentative and subject to change with no notice. Cases may be postponed due to exigent circumstances.

Case Time Facts & Issues Place of Origin
Jim Smith v. Coalition to Reduce Class Size

SC02-1624

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8:30 The Coalition has proposed a constitutional amendment on maximum class sizes in Florida that will appear on the ballot this fall. Earlier this year, the legislature approved a new law that will require that a fiscal impact note also appear on the ballot stating an approximate cost of implementing the amendment. The Coalition sued and the trial court granted a temporary injunction, and the First District Court certified the case to the Supreme Court. Leon County

Statewide impact



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