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Robin Lee ARCHER





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: January 26, 1991
Date of birth: October 12, 1964
Victim profile: Billy Coker (auto parts store clerk)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Escambia County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on September 20, 1991

Florida Supreme Court


Robin Lee Archer, Appellant, vs. State of Florida, Appellee. 613 So. 2d 446

opinion initial brief of appellant
answer brief of appellee reply brief of appellant

Florida Supreme Court

opinion SC04-451 & SC05-696

DC#  216728
DOB:  10/12/64

First Judicial Circuit, Escambia County, Case #91-0606
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Lacey Collier
Resentencing Judge: The Honorable T. Michael Jones
Trial Attorney: E. Brian Lang, Esq. – Private
Attorney, Retrial: Spiro Kypreos, Esq. – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal: David A. Davis – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal, Resentencing: David A. Davis – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Michael Reiter – Registry

Date of Offense: 01/26/91

Date of Sentence: 09/20/91

Date of Resentence: 01/19/94

Circumstances of Offense:

On January 26, 1991, Robin Lee Archer, through the acts of his cousin and three accomplices, murdered the victim, Billy Coker.  The victim was shot to death.

Archer was fired from his job at an auto parts store in March 1990.  The following January, he convinced his 17-year-old cousin, James Patrick Bonifay, to kill the clerk he blamed for his having been fired. 

Bonifay testified that Archer told him to rob the store to conceal the motive for the killing and also told him the location of the store’s cash box and emergency exit.  Bonifay asked a friend to borrow a gun.  Bonifay was not home when his friend brought the gun, so he gave it to Archer who, in turn, gave it to Bonifay. 

Bonifay talked two friends into helping him, and the trio went to the parts store on the night of January 25, 1990.  Bonifay, however, could not go through with the plan, and they left.  The following morning Archer chastised Bonifay for not killing the clerk and the three went back to the store that night. 

Bonifay and Clifford Barth each shot the clerk from outside the store.  They then crawled into the store through the parts window.  After opening the cash boxes, Bonifay shot the clerk twice in the head execution-style as he lay on the floor begging for his life.  Archer later refused to pay Bonifay because he had killed the wrong clerk.

Bonifay confessed to several people, one of who informed the authorities.  Archer, Bonifay and Bonifay’s two friends were arrested.  The defendants were tried separately.  Archer’s jury convicted him of First-Degree Murder.  He was sentenced to death.

Codefendant Information:

James Patrick Bonifay, in a separate trial, also was convicted of First-Degree Murder and sentenced to death in 1991.  His appeals history resembles Archer’s.  The Florida Supreme Court in 1993 affirmed his conviction, but remanded the sentence.  A new jury resentenced Bonifay to death in 1994.  The Supreme Court affirmed the sentence in 1996. 

Clifford Barth in 1991 received a life sentence for his role in the murder.

Trial Summary:

07/18/91          Defendant found guilty of one count of Felony Murder, one count of Robbery and one count of Grand Theft as charged in the indictment.

07/19/91          Upon advisory sentencing, the trial jury recommended the death penalty by a 7 to 5 vote.

09/20/91          Defendant was sentenced to death.

Resentencing Summary:

10/27/93          New jury recommended the death penalty by a 7 to 5 vote.

01/19/94          Defendant was resentenced to death.

Case Information:

Archer filed a direct appeal with the Florida Supreme Court in 1991.  The defendant argued that the jury should not have been instructed on the heinous, atrocious or cruel aggravator because that aggravator did not apply to him.  The Supreme Court agreed and in 1993 affirmed the murder conviction, but remanded the sentence.  The defendant’s request for a rehearing was denied that same year.

The trial court resentenced Archer to death in 1994.  The Supreme Court affirmed the decision in 1996, and denied a request for a rehearing that same year.

The defendant then petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in 1996, which the court denied in the same year.

The defendant filed a shell 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court in 1997 and an amended motion in March 2000.  The motion was denied 02/25/04. 

Archer filed an appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 03/19/04, citing the following issues: newly discovered evidence, as well as Giglio and Brady claims.  On 06/29/06, the FSC affirmed the denial of the motion. 

Archer filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Florida Supreme Court on

04/22/05, citing ineffective assistance of counsel claims.  On 06/29/06, the FSC denied the petition.


Robin Lee Archer



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