Murderpedia



 

Juan Ignacio Blanco††

  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

 

 

 

Freddie Lee HALL

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape - Robbery - To avoid arrest
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: February 21, 1978
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: July 21, 1945
Victims profile: Karol Hurst, 21 (seven months pregnant) / Lonnie Coburn (deputy sheriff)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Sumter County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on June 27, 1978
 
 
 
 
 

Florida Supreme Court

 

opinion 71284

opinion 73029

 

opinion 77563

opinion 92008

 

opinion SC00-1599

 
 
 
 
 
 

DC#  022762
DOB:  07/21/45

Fifth Judicial Circuit, Sumter County Case # 78-52
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable John W. Booth
Trial Attorney: Morton D. Aulls & H.D. Robuck, Jr. Ė Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal:
(1981): Morton D. Aulls & H.D. Robuck, Jr. Ė Private (1993): Larry B.Henderson Ė Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Eric Pinkard & James Driscoll Ė CCRC-M

Date of Offense: 02/21/78

Date of Sentence: 06/27/78

Date of Resentence: 02/21/91

Circumstances of Offense:

On 02/21/78, Karol Hurst, who was twenty-one years old and seven months pregnant at the time, was leaving the Pantry Pride grocery store in Leesburg, Florida at approximately 3:00 p.m., when Hall approached her.

Hall and an accomplice, Ruffin, were looking for a car to use in a robbery, when Hall approached Hurst and forced her into their car.  Hall drove the car away, with Hurst and Ruffin following in another car.  Hurst was driven to a wooded area, beaten, raped, and shot, then the body was dragged further into the woods.

On the evening of 02/21/78, Hall and Ruffin walked into a convenience store in Hernando County, Florida.  The conduct of the pair aroused the suspicions of the store clerk, who called the sheriff substation located across the street from the store. 

Deputy Lonnie Coburn responded to the call and met Hall and Ruffin in the storeís parking lot, where witnesses saw Deputy Coburn approach Hall and Ruffin. 

Although conflicting evidence existed, at some point in the confrontation between Hall, Ruffin, and Deputy Coburn, Deputy Coburn was disarmed and shot and killed with his own gun.  Hall and Ruffin fled the scene. 

The pair were spotted and pursued by another deputy, during which gunfire was exchanged between the pair and the deputy.  Eventually, Hall and Ruffin abandoned their car and were later apprehended.  Deputy Coburnís gun was found in the abandoned car.

Hall and Ruffin were both present and principals in the murder of Deputy Coburn and the assault and murder of Hurst.  Both Hall and Ruffin aided and abetted each other in the commission of the crimes. 

Trial Summary:

03/07/78          Indicted on one count of First-Degree Murder

06/08/78          Trial venue changed from Sumter County to Putnam County

06/23/78          Jury returned guilty verdict

06/26/78          Jury recommended death penalty by a majority vote

06/27/78          Sentenced to death

03/09/89          FSC vacated death sentence

02/21/91          Jury recommended a death sentence by a vote of 8-4.  Resentenced to death.

Codefendant Information:

Ruffin and Hall were tried separately murder of Hurst.  Ruffin was convicted and was originally sentenced to death; however, he was later resentenced to life imprisonment.  Ruffin and Hall were tried together for the murder of Deputy Coburn.  Ruffin was sentenced to life imprisonment.

Additional Information:

Hall and Ruffin were indicted on 03/09/78 for the First-Degree Murder of Deputy Coburn (Hernando County Case# 78-39).  On 05/31/78, the sentencing jury recommended the death penalty for Hall by a majority vote, and on 06/01/78, he was sentenced to death.  Hall filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 06/20/78 (FSC Case# 54,423), alleging that the conviction must be overturned because the evidence of guilt was circumstantial, does not preclude all hypotheses of innocence,  and no evidence exists of premeditation. 

On 07/16/81, the FSC vacated Hallís conviction and sentence and remanded to the trial court with instructions to enter a judgment and sentence of Second-Degree Murder. 

Case Information:

Hall filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 07/06/78, challenging his conviction for First-Degree Murder and the resulting death sentence.  Hall raised a number of issues on appeal: the state failed to prove its case in the trial, inflammatory remarks by the prosecutor and commenting on Hallís refusal to testify, and collateral crime evidence admitted in the trial.  The FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence of death on 07/16/81.

A death warrant for Hall was signed by the Governor on 09/09/82, and the execution was set for 10/06/82.

Hall filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court on 09/28/82, which was denied on 10/01/82.

A 3.850 Motion Appeal, Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus and a Stay of Execution were filed with the Florida Supreme Court on 10/02/82.  Hall cited the following issues in the appeal: the court improperly denied the motion to vacate, ineffective assistance of counsel, Hall was not present at some stages of the jury selection, and sentencing errors.  The FSC affirmed the denial of the 3.850 Motion, denied the Petition for Habeas relief and the Stay of Execution on 10/05/82.

A Stay of Execution was issued by the U.S. District Court, Middle District, on 10/05/82 and expired on 06/03/83.

Hall filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the U.S. District Court, Middle District on 9/30/82 that was denied on 05/18/83.

On appeal, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in part and reversed in part the decision of the USDC.  The case was remanded for an evidentiary hearing on 05/16/84. 

The State filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on 01/29/85 that was denied on 05/13/85.

Hall filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on 02/28/85 that was denied on 05/13/85.

On 01/08/86, the USDC denied relief, and the USCA affirmed this decision on 11/17/86.

Hall filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on 07/06/87 that was denied on 10/13/87.

Hall filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Florida Supreme Court on 10/14/87, arguing that the court did not consider non-statutory mitigating circumstances in the sentencing phase of the trial.  Prior to this appeal, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Hitchcock v. Dugger (1987) that courts must consider non-statutory, as well as statutory mitigating circumstances, in the sentencing phases of capital trials.  The FSC denied the Petition on 05/12/88.

On 08/11/88, a second death warrant was signed by the Governor, scheduling the execution for 09/20/88.

Hall filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court on 08/23/88, which was denied on 09/09/88.

Hall filed a 3.850 Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 09/12/88, citing that the court erred in not weighing non-statutory mitigating circumstances in the sentencing phase of the trial.  Previously, the FSC denied a Habeas Petition that argued those exact points, yet the FSC decided to address these points in the present 3.850 Motion Appeal, instead of the Habeas Petition. 

During the deliberation in this appeal, the FSC issued a Stay of Execution on 09/14/88.  On 03/09/89, the FSC vacated Hallís death sentence and remanded it for resentencing with a new jury.  In addition to this ruling, the court ordered that all future Hitchcock claims be raised in 3.850 motions, not Habeas petitions.

Hall filed a pro se Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Florida Supreme Court on 01/23/91 that was denied, without comment, by the FSC on 02/26/91.

Hall was resentenced to death on 02/21/91.  The jury recommended a death sentence by a vote of 8-4.

Hall filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 03/08/91, citing numerous issues: juror selection bias; exclusion of sympathetic juror instructions; exclusion of co-defendantís conviction; exclusion of sympathetic witness testimony; improper consideration of jury recommendation by the judge; the re-sentencing court improperly found additional aggravating factors; the state did not prove two aggravating factors Ė avoid or prevent arrest and cold, calculated, and premeditated murder; unconstitutional vagueness of the heinous, atrocious, or cruel aggravating factor; findings of mitigating evidence; and death sentence not proportionate with his codefendantís sentence.  The FSC affirmed the resentence on 01/14/93.

Hall filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on 05/17/93 that was denied on 10/04/93.

Hall filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court on 02/14/97, which was denied on 10/30/97.

Hall filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 12/15/97, citing five issues: the unconstitutionality of Floridaís capital sentencing statute in that it allows for the execution of a mentally retarded inmate, Hall is not competent to be resentenced, electrocution is cruel and unusual punishment, trial courtís summary denial of all but one of Hallís thirty-three claims violated due process guarantees, and fundamental error that aggravators outweighed mitigating circumstances in the resentencing.  The FSC affirmed the lower courtís denial of the 3.850 Motion on 07/01/99.

Hall filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Florida Supreme Court on 08/02/00, citing ineffective assistance of trial counsel.  The FSC denied the Petition on 05/10/01.

Hall filed a federal Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the U.S. District Court, Middle District on 08/07/00.  On 01/29/01, the USDC administratively closed the case pending resolution of the state-level Habeas Petition.  On 07/26/01, the USDC administratively reopened the case, which is currently pending before the court.  On 03/20/03, the USDC stayed proceedings in the case pending the resolution of the 3.850 Motion.  On 07/12/04, the USDC administratively closed the case pending resolution of state-level proceedings.

Hall filed a 3.850 Motion in the Circuit Court on 08/10/01, citing mental retardation issues.  The motion is pending before the court.

Hall filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on 10/12/01 that was denied on 02/19/02.

Hall filed a 3.851 Motion with the Circuit Court on 11/30/04, citing claims of mental retardation.  The motion is pending before the court.

FloridaCapitalCases.state.fl.us

 

 

 
 
 
 
home last updates contact