AKA: Omar Curro
Circuit, Broward County, Case #82-453
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Stanton S. Kaplan
Attorney, Trial & Direct Appeal: Michael D. Gelety, Esq. - Private
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Ira Still, Esq. - Registry
Date of Offense:
Date of Sentence:
The defendant, Omar
Blanco, murdered the victim, John Ryan, by shooting him death in the
The victimís 14-year-old
niece, Thalia Vezos, testified that at approximately 11 p.m. on January
14, 1982, she was in bed in her Ft. Lauderdale home when she saw a man
standing in hallway holding a gun and carrying a brown wallet-type
object under his arm.
He indicated that Vezos
was to keep quiet. He then cut the wires to her telephone and left
the room. Ryan appeared in the hall and tried to take the gun from
the intruder. Ryan was shot in the scuffle and landed on top of
Vezos. The intruder shot six more times, then fled.
A short while later
police responding to a BOLO stopped Blanco, who was riding a bicycle,
and arrested him. A manís purse containing Blancoís ID papers and
a watch belonging to Vezos was found near the door to Vezosí bedroom.
On the day following the murder, Vezos identified Blanco in a lineup as
was found guilty of First-Degree Murder and Armed Burglary.
advisory sentencing, the jury, by a vote of 8 to 4, recommended that the
defendant be sentenced to death for the murder conviction.
was sentenced to death for the murder. He also received 75 years
imprisonment for the burglary conviction.
advisory sentencing, the jury, by a vote of 10 to 2, recommended
the defendant be sentenced to death for the murder conviction.
was sentenced to death.
Blanco in 1982 appealed
the murder conviction and sentence to the Florida Supreme Court.
He appealed the armed burglary conviction and sentence to the Fourth
District Court of Appeals the same year. The DCA transferred the
case to the Supreme Court, which consolidated it with the murder appeal.
The court affirmed the convictions and sentences in 1984. The U.S.
Supreme Court denied certiorari in 1985.
Governor Graham signed a
death warrant in January 1986. That same month, the defendant
filed a 3.850 motion with the trial court and asked the court for a stay
of execution. The trial court in February 1986 stayed the
execution, but denied postconviction relief two months later.
The defendant petitioned
the Florida Supreme Court for a writ of habeas corpus in February 1986
and appealed the denial of the 3.850 Motion to the court in May of that
year. In a consolidated opinion, the court in 1987 denied the
habeas petition and affirmed the trial courtís denial of the 3.850
Governor Martinez signed
a second death warrant in August 1987. Blanco petitioned U.S.
District Court, Southern District, for a writ of habeas corpus.
The court granted a stay of execution and in 1988 remanded the case for
a new sentencing hearing.
The State appealed the
decision to the U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeals and Blanco
filed a cross-appeal. The court affirmed the district courtís
decision in 1991. The State and Blanco then petitioned the U.S.
Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari. Both petitions were denied
Blanco filed his second
3.850 Motion with the trial court in 1989, which the court denied in
1994. In his appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, Blanco presented
two claims: that the trial court erred in denying the motion, and
that the trial court erred in denying the motion to recuse the judge.
The appeal was held in abeyance pending the outcome of Blancoís
resentencing. Following the resentencing in 1995, the Supreme
Court in 1997 rejected both claims and affirmed the trial courtís
The defendant filed his
second direct appeal with the Florida Supreme Court in 1995. The
court affirmed the sentence in 1997. The U.S. Supreme Court denied
certiorari in 1998.
Blanco filed his
third 3.850 Motion in 1999 that was denied on 07/01/03. Blanco
filed an appeal of that decision in the Florida Supreme Court on