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Lancelot ARMSTRONG

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: February 17, 1990
Date of arrest: 10 days after
Date of birth: July 29, 1963
Victim profile: John Greeney (deputy sheriff)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Broward County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on June 20, 1991
 
 
 
 
 

Florida Supreme Court

 

Lancelot Armstrong, Appellant, vs. State of Florida, Appellee. 642 So. 2d 730

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

DC #693504
DOB: 07/29/63

Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Case #90-5417-CF
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Thomas M. Coker
Trial Attorney: Edward Malavenda, Esq. – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Jeffery Anderson – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Terri Backhus – CCRC-S

Date of Offense: 02/17/90

Date of Sentence: 06/20/91

Circumstances of Offense:

In the early morning hours of 02/17/90, Lancelot Armstrong, the defendant, and Michael Coleman entered Church’s Fried Chicken restaurant under the pretense of visiting Kay Allen.  Allen was the assistant manager of Church’s and the former girlfriend of the defendant.  Initially, Allen refused to meet with Armstrong, but eventually accompanied him to his car outside, while Coleman stayed in the restaurant.

According to testimony, the defendant told Allen he was going to rob the restaurant and that, if she did not cooperate, he might have to kill her.  All the other employees had gone home, so Armstrong, Allen and Coleman were alone.  When getting the money out of the safe, Allen managed to pull the silent alarm.

Deputy Sheriffs Robert Sallustio and John Greeney arrived at the scene to find Armstrong in the car and Coleman still in the restaurant.  Shots fired from inside the restaurant distracted the officers, enabling Armstrong to reach for his gun and to open fire on the officers as well.  Sallustio was struck three times and Greeney was killed instantly. 

Armstrong and Coleman fled the state and were apprehended in Maryland.  Investigators determined that bullets from Armstrong’s gun killed Greeney because he suffered from shots fired at close-range.

Codefendant Information:

Michael Coleman, the codefendant, received life in prison for his role in the robbery and shooting.

Trial Summary:

02/27/90          The Defendant was arrested.

03/07/90          The Defendant was indicted on the following counts:

Count I:           Murder in the First-Degree

Count II:          Attempted Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer

Count III:         Robbery with a Firear

04/17/91          The jury returned a verdict of guilty on all counts.

05/09/91          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 9 to 3 majority, voted for the death penalty.

06/20/91          The Defendant was sentenced as followed:

Count I:           Murder in the First-Degree – Death

Count II:          Attempted Murder – Life

Count III:         Robbery with a Firearm – Life

Case Information:

Lancelot Armstrong filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 06/26/91.  Among the 24 issues raised in that appeal, four points were particularly noteworthy.  First, Armstrong believed a new trial was needed because Allen lied about material facts at trial.  Secondly, Armstrong contends that the State submitted inadmissible evidence in order to refresh the memory of a witness. 

In the penalty phase, the defendant claimed that the judge arrived at a sentencing decision prior to Armstrong being given the opportunity to speak on his behalf.  Lastly, Armstrong believes that some of the aggravating factors applied to his case were duplicative.  The Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and sentence of death on 08/11/94.

Armstrong filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on 02/24/95.  That petition was denied on 04/24/95.

The defendant filed a 3.850 Motion in the Circuit Court on 03/18/97, which was denied on 05/25/01.  Armstrong filed an appeal of his 3.850 Motion in the Florida Supreme Court on 08/27/01. 

On 10/30/03, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the denial of Armstrong’s 3.850 Motion in part, vacated his death sentence and remanded for a new penalty phase.  In lieu of one of Armstrong’s prior felony convictions being vacated, which was used as an aggravating circumstance during his original penalty phase, the Florida Supreme Court remanded the case for resentencing.

Armstrong filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Florida Supreme Court that was denied on 10/30/03.

Armstrong filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court on 02/18/04 that was denied on 05/17/04.

Floridacapitalcases.state.fl.us

 

 

 
 
 
 
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