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Floyd William DAMREN





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1 +
Date of murder: May 1, 1994
Date of birth: May 27, 1951
Victim profile: Don Miller
Method of murder: Beating with a steel pipe
Location: Clay County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on June 2, 1995

Supreme Court of Florida


opinion 86003

opinion SC01-1469


DC#  061360
DOB:  05/27/51

Fourth Judicial Circuit, Clay County Case # 94-537
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Robert Foster
Attorney, Trial: Alan Chipperfield – Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Teresa Sopp – Private
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Jefferson Morrow – Registry

Date of Offense:           05/01/94

Date of Sentence:         06/02/95

Circumstances of Offense:

Floyd Damren entered the grounds of R.G.C. Mineral Sands and stole equipment, telling a friend that “There [is] … some more good stuff down there I’d like to get.” 

Several weeks later, on 05/01/94, after drinking beer with friends, Damren returned with an accomplice, Jeff Chittam, to steal more equipment.  The two burglarized the electrical shop in the maintenance barn. 

Chittam was discovered by an employee, Don Miller, but Damren sneaked up behind Miller and struck him with a steel pipe.  Miller and Chittam both pleaded for Damren to spare Miller’s life, but after pacing the floor, Damren bludgeoned Miller to death with the steel pipe, striking him seven times on the head and four times on the body. 

As Damren was dragging Miller’s body across the floor, Michael Knight, the shift supervisor, entered the building and yelled at Damren.  Knight was acquainted with Damren due to the fact that he had lived in Knight’s neighborhood since childhood.  Damren threatened Knight with the pipe, and Knight ran yelling from the building.

Knight identified Damren to the police and Damren was arrested. Further evidence linking Damren to the crime included testimony from several witnesses that Damren made incriminating statements to them about the murder.  Also, blood stains on Damren’s pants matched Miller’s blood. 

At the time of the murder, Damren had an extensive criminal record. 

Codefendant Information:

Chittam was not charged and did not testify at trial. He was the victim of a separate homicide, for which Damren was also charged, convicted, and sentenced to a term of life imprisonment (Case# 95-1305). 

Trial Summary:

05/10/94          Indicted on the following charges:

Count I            First-Degree Murder

Count II           Armed Burglary

Count III          Aggravated Assault

05/17/95          Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

05/18/95          Jury recommended a death sentence by a vote of 12-0

05/25/95          Sentenced as follows:

Count I            First-Degree Murder – Death

Count II           Armed Burglary – Life imprisonment

Count III          Aggravated Assault – 10 years

Case Information:

Damren filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 05/17/96, citing the following trial court errors:  admission of similar-fact evidence; failure to give adequate jury instruction; overruling Damren’s objection to prosecutor comments; admission of victim impact evidence; admission of Chittam’s hearsay statements; finding that the murder was heinous, atrocious, or cruel and cold, calculated, and premeditated; failure to find certain mitigation; and imposing a sentence that is disproportionate compared to other crimes.   The FSC affirmed Damren’s convictions and sentences on 05/08/97.

Damren filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on 10/06/97 that was denied on 01/12/98.

Damren filed a 3.851 Motion with the Circuit Court on 11/18/98 that was denied on 06/20/01.

Damren filed a 3.851 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 07/05/01, citing ineffective assistance of counsel.  The FSC affirmed the denial of the 3.851 Motion on 01/23/03. 

Damren filed a Petition Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Florida Supreme Court on 12/19/01, citing issues of ineffective assistance of counsel; improper admission of hearsay statements; and vagueness of the heinous, atrocious, or cruel aggravating circumstance.  The FSC denied the Habeas Petition on 01/23/03.

Damren filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the U.S. District Court, Middle District, on 04/20/04 that is pending before the court.



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