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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: August 6, 1995
Date of birth: January 31, 1975
Victim profile: Earl Gallipeau, 84
Method of murder: Strangulation with a belt
Location: Seminole County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on February 11, 2000

Supreme Court of Florida

opinion SC00-547 opinion SC06-275

DC#  992634
DOB:  01/31/75

Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, Seminole County, Case #95-2932
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Kenneth R. Lester 
Attorney, Criminal Trial: Timothy Caudill – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal: James R. Wulchak – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Robert Strain & Carol Rodriguez – CCRC-M

Date of Offense: 08/06/95

Date of Sentence: 02/11/00

Circumstances of Offense:

Arthur Barnhill was convicted and sentenced to death for the 08/06/95 murder of 84-year-old Earl Gallipeau.

Arthur Barnhill was raised by his grandparents; however, at the age of 20, Barnhill was asked to move out because he refused to follow their rules.  Barnhill then took up residence with his friend, M. Jackson.  After Barnhill was asked to leave the Jackson residence, he decided he would go to New York, where his girlfriend lived.  Barnhill planned to steal money and a car from 84-year-old Earl Gallipeau, who was a lawn service customer of Barnhill’s grandfather. 

On 08/06/95, Barnhill and M. Jackson went to Gallipeau’s home to steal his car.  They entered the house through the garage and waited in the kitchen for two hours as Gallipeau watched television in another room.  While in the kitchen, Barnhill revealed to Jackson that he planned to kill Gallipeau.  Upon hearing this, Jackson left and at least one witness reported seeing Jackson walking alone, away from Gallipeau’s home.

Barnhill attacked Gallipeau as he entered the kitchen from the television room.  Barnhill attempted to strangle him with his hands, but failed.  Barnhill then tried to strangle Gallipeau by wrapping a towel around his neck as a ligature.  When that attempt failed, Barnhill took off Gallipeau’s belt and wrapped it around his neck several times, strangling and killing Gallipeau.  Barnhill dragged his body to the back room and left it there.

After stealing Gallipeau’s car and money, Barnhill met up with Jelani Jackson.  The two drove to New York, where Barnhill met up with his girlfriend.  New York police quickly located Gallipeau’s car and subsequently arrested Barnhill on an old warrant.

Trial Summary:

11/06/95          Defendant indicted on the following charges:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder

Count II:          Armed Burglar

Count III:         Armed Robbery

Count IV:         Grand Theft Auto

10/16/98          The defendant entered a plea of “no contest” and was adjudicated guilty on all counts charged in the indictment.

09/20/99          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 9 to 3 majority, recommended the death penalty.

02/11/00          The defendant was sentenced as followed:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder - Death

Count II:          Armed Burglary - Life

Count III:         Armed Robbery - Life

Count IV:         Grand Theft Auto – 5 years

Case Information:

On 03/15/00, Arthur Barnhill filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court.  In that appeal, he argued that the trial court erred in denying his motion for disqualification and in refusing to strike two jurors for cause.  Barnhill also raised issues concerning voir dire and the trial court’s failure to grant his motion for a continuance. 

Barnhill claimed that the trial court erred in adjudicating him guilty for both robbery and grand theft, which he claimed to be the same principle crime.  Lastly, Barnhill contended that the trial court erred in its consideration and application of aggravating and mitigating circumstances. 

Specifically, Barnhill claimed that the trial court improperly found that the murder was committed for pecuniary gain and committed during the course of a felony.  The Florida Supreme Court agreed, noting that the trial court relied on the same aspects of the crime to find both aggravating factors, which constituted improper doubling. 

For the purposes of reviewing Barnhill’s appeal, the Florida Supreme Court noted that the pecuniary gain aggravating factor should be stricken.  The Florida Supreme Court affirmed Barnhill’s convictions and sentence of death on 10/10/02.

On 03/27/03, Barnhill filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court, which was denied on 06/09/03.

Barnhill filed a 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court on 12/01/03, and an Evidentiary Hearing was held on 05/19/05.  The motion was denied on 12/30/05.

Barnhill filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 02/13/06 that is pending. 

Barnhill filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Florida Supreme Court on 09/11/06 that is pending.



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