Third Judicial Circuit, Hamilton
County Case # 94-150
(Venue changed to Clay County)
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable
E. Vernon Douglas
Attorney, Trial: Jimmy E. Hunt &
David M. Valin – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal: David
A. Davis – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals:
George W. Blow, III – Registry
Date of Offense:
Date of Sentence:
Circumstances of Offense:
Richard Hamilton and Anthony
Wainwright escaped from a North Carolina prison, stole guns and a
Cadillac, and traveled to Florida.
When the car overheated on 04/27/94
in Lake City, FL, they kidnapped Carmen Gayheart at gunpoint from a
Winn-Dixie parking lot and stole her Ford Bronco.
The two raped,
strangled, and shot Gayheart twice in the back of the head.
Wainwright was also convicted of the charges and sentenced to death.
Indicted on the following counts:
I First-Degree Murder
II Armed robbery
III Armed kidnapping
IV Armed sexual battery
Entered not guilty plea
Jury returned guilty verdict on all counts
By a vote of 10-2, jury recommended death sentence
Sentenced as follows:
I First-Degree Murder – Death
II-IV Life Imprisonment
07/10/95, Hamilton filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court,
citing the following nine errors: denying a mistrial, allowing the State
to impeach its own witnesses, allowing the State to elicit testimony
indicating Hamilton lied to the police, refusing to instruct the jury
that Hamilton withdrew from the plan to commit murder, overruling
defense objections to prosecutorial statements, admitting testimony
concerning the victim’s children, admitting several statements obtained
in violation of his right to cut off police questioning, admitting
evidence which the State had failed to prove, giving unconstitutional
jury instruction on an aggravating circumstance (CCP).
The FSC affirmed
the conviction and sentence of Hamilton on 10/23/97.
04/07/98, Hamilton filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S.
Supreme Court that was denied on 06/26/98
11/08/99, Hamilton filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court and
amended the Motion on 06/30/00. The Motion was denied on 05/29/02.
06/28/02, Hamilton filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme
Court, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. On 06/03/04, the FSC
affirmed the denial of the 3.850 Motion.
11/12/02, Hamilton filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the
Florida Supreme Court. On 11/27/02, he amended the Petition, alleging
ineffective assistance of counsel and Ring issues. On 06/03/04, the FSC
denied the Petition.
On 08/26/05, Hamilton filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas
Corpus with the U.S. District Court, Middle District that is pending.