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Andrea Hicks JACKSON






A.K.A.: "Felice"
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: To avoid arrest
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: May 16, 1983
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: February 26, 1958
Victim profile: Gary Bevel, 29 (Jacksonville police officer)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Jacksonville, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death in 1984, 1992, 1996 and 1998 -- all overturned by the Supreme Court. Resentenced to life in prison on June 16, 2000
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Supreme Court of Florida


Andrea Hicks Jackson vs. State of Florida

opinion 64973 opinion 73982 opinion 79509

Andrea Hicks Jackson, Florida

Andrea Hicks Jackson (aka Felice), Black, born Feb 26, 1958, sentenced to death on Feb 10, 1984 for the murder of a black male police officer (age 28) in Jacksonville on May 16, 1983.

The death sentence was reversed in July 1989 and she was resentenced on Feb 21, 1992, again reversed in 1994, resentenced on Dec 13, 1995, and reversed in 1997 - currently not on Death Row.


Andrea Hicks Jackson: Justice was not served in murder case

June 30, 2000

Andrea Hicks Jackson, the murderer of Jacksonville police officer Gary Bevel, smiled as she left Chief Circuit Judge Donald Moran's courtroom. She beat the system.

In a surprise decision, Moran determined that Jackson's sentence should be commuted to life.

Lady Justice has battled to maintain her dignity, and with the help of Harry Shorstein, the State Attorney's Office and four different juries she held her head high. The people spoke; Jackson deserved to die for her brutal murder of Bevel.

That all changed with the recent ruling. Now, Jackson will be eligible for parole in nine years.

Jackson had numerous opportunities to prove her case in court, and each time the jury recommended the death penalty. On one occasion, the case was overturned because of improper comments made by former Sheriff Dale Carson. Was it improper for Carson to tell a jury that the murderer of one of his officers deserves the ultimate penalty?

In another trip to court, the case was overturned because the trial judge told the jury that the murder was cold, calculated and premeditated. Wasn't it?

The murder of a police officer is the ultimate disrespect for society and its laws. Justice was not served in this case. In an inexplicable decision, Moran reversed stream and commuted Jackson's sentence to life.

Apparently, Moran is frustrated with an inept Florida Supreme Court that has continuously remanded this case back to the tribunals of Duval County.

Lady Justice is indeed staggering from the pummeling she is having to endure. I guess it is fitting that she is blindfolded so that she does not have to see the real identity of her attackers.

When a judge sentences a person to death, it is not uncommon for him to pronounce, "May God have mercy on your soul." With the direction our courts have taken, they may be better suited to address that proclamation to the citizens of Jacksonville.



Fraternal Order of Police, Jacksonville.


Death sentence switched to life

Killer of police officer could go free in 9 years

By Vivan Wakefield - Times-Union staff writer

June 17, 2000

Four times Andrea Hicks Jackson was sentenced to death for murdering a Jacksonville police officer in 1983. Four times the Florida Supreme Court sent the case back to the trial judge for resentencing.

Yesterday, Chief Circuit Judge Donald R. Moran -- who maintained for more than 15 years that Jackson should die for killing Officer Gary Bevel -- stunned a Jacksonville courtroom when he changed his sentence and ordered that she instead spend the rest of her life in prison.

And despite Moran's pronouncement that her sentence is "without parole," Jackson -- who came within five days of being executed in 1989 -- could be eligible for release in nine years because of laws on the books at the time of the murder.

Jackson, who has heard three different juries recommend that she die for the murder, broke down in tears and hugged her attorney when Moran announced the sentence.

"She was pretty shaken up," said defense attorney Stephen Weinbaum. "She was somewhat in shock."

Saying he was uncomfortable with the Florida Supreme Court sending the case back to him, Moran indicated he wanted some finality to the case.

"Justice requires punishment," Moran said during the sentencing.

Jackson could be released from prison by 2009 because the law in 1984, when Jackson was sentenced, said killers sentenced to life are eligible for parole in 25 years. Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda said it would be up to Jackson's lawyers to decide if they want to make sure that law is applied.

State Attorney Harry Shorstein said he can understand Moran's frustration with the fact that the case continues to get sent back by the state Supreme Court.

"With all respect for Judge Moran, he's been dealing with this case for 17 years, and I think that he felt that there had to be an end to it," Shorstein said. "I understand that he could conclude that it was appropriate to bring it to an end."

The shooting occurred in May 1983 at Boulevard and 26th streets as Bevel, 29, attempted to arrest Jackson, then 24, on a charge of filing a false police report about vandalism to her car.

The shooting took place as Bevel struggled to get Jackson into a police car.

After dropping her keys to catch Bevel off guard, Jackson fired six shots, striking Bevel four times in the head and two times in the shoulder, de la Rionda said yesterday during the sentencing hearing.

"She didn't want to go back to jail," he said.

A jury convicted Jackson of first-degree murder and recommended she get the death penalty. Moran sentenced Jackson to death in 1984.

She was scheduled to die on May 9, 1989, but was granted an indefinite stay of execution on May 4,1989, by the Florida Supreme Court.

That same year, the court ruled that testimony by former Sheriff Dale Carson during Jackson's trial was inappropriate and ordered that Jackson be resentenced.

In late 1991, a jury again recommended that she get death, which Moran sentenced her to in 1992.

But in 1994, the state Supreme Court overturned the death sentence again, saying the judge erred when he described the murder as cold, calculated and premeditated in instructions to the jury.

In 1995, a third jury decided Jackson should get the death penalty. Moran agreed in 1996 but the state's highest court overturned the sentence again, saying Moran didn't provide a detailed analysis of his reasoning.

In 1998, Moran sentenced Jackson to death for the fourth time, but the state Supreme Court overturned the sentence in January, saying Jackson's rights were violated when she wasn't allowed to attend a hearing in Jacksonville two years ago.

During yesterday's sentencing hearing, Moran asked Jackson several times if she wanted to make any statements to the court. She repeatedly said she wasn't prepared to make statements. During the hearing, her attorney asked to withdraw from the case, saying he hadn't had time to prepare for it because of other commitments.

Moran declined Weinbaum's motion to withdraw and proceeded with the hearing. Though he stated early in the hearing that he intended to sentence Jackson on July 13, Moran shocked the courtroom by announcing her sentence at the end of the proceeding.

Weinbaum said he always thought that ultimately a life sentence would be handed down for Jackson, now 42 and one of only four women on Florida's Death Row. He just didn't expect the decision yesterday.

The decision also shocked and angered Jacksonville police. Sheriff Nat Glover, who recruited Bevel, said he was disappointed Jackson won't pay with her life for killing the young officer.

Shorstein said the Jackson case is a clear example of the frustration that prosecutors and trial judges have because of the mixed messages they receive from the state Supreme Court regarding the death penalty.

"It's gotten to the point where it's very difficult for us to know when they'll affirm a death penalty and when they won't," Shorstein said. "I think there's been a definite inconsistency over the years and the rulings that are applicable to the sentence of death, not the conviction but the sentence of death."

Prosecutors felt that the death penalty was appropriate in the case. They cannot appeal yesterday's decision, de la Rionda said.

"That's what we were seeking all along," de la Rionda said. "We respectfully disagree with the court's ruling but we're bound by it. The judge made a decision."

Times-Union staff writer Veronica Chapin contributed to this story.


Killer's fourth death sentence lifted

Justices rule rights violated at hearing

By Jim Saunders - Times-Union staff writer

January 28, 2000

TALLAHASSEE -- For the fourth time, the Florida Supreme Court yesterday threw out the death sentence of Jacksonville cop killer Andrea Hicks Jackson and ordered a new sentencing hearing.

This time, the justices said Jackson's rights were violated because she wasn't allowed to attend a hearing in Duval County two years ago.

Jackson was first sentenced to death in February 1984 after being convicted of murdering Officer Gary Bevel, who was shot six times when he tried to arrest her.

She was also given the death penalty in 1992, 1996 and 1998 -- all overturned by the Supreme Court.

While the court's latest action once again puts Jackson's execution in jeopardy, it doesn't affect her murder conviction.

The decision miffed Chief Circuit Judge Donald Moran, who sentenced Jackson, and angered police and prosecutors.

Assistant State Attorney Bernie de la Rionda of Jacksonville called the latest ruling a "further example of justice delayed."

"Three juries have recommended that the death penalty be imposed, and the last time was by a 12-0 vote," de la Rionda said.

But Jackson's longtime attorney, Stephen Weinbaum, said Jackson doesn't deserve to be executed because she didn't plan to kill Bevel.

"This was simply not a premeditated murder," Weinbaum said.

Jackson, now 41, was convicted of shooting Bevel in May 1983 when he tried to arrest her for filing a false police report about damage to her car. Witnesses said Jackson shot the officer as he struggled to get her into a police car at 26th Street and Boulevard.

The Supreme Court overturned Jackson's original death sentence in 1989 because of improper testimony by former Sheriff Dale Carson. She was sentenced again to death in 1992, but that sentence was overturned in 1994 because of improper jury instructions.

In 1996, Jackson was sentenced to death a third time, though it was overturned a year later because Moran didn't provide a detailed analysis of his reasoning. That led to the fourth death sentence in 1998.

Moran sentenced Jackson after receiving written arguments but not holding a hearing. The Supreme Court said yesterday Moran should have held a hearing that would have allowed Jackson to attend.

"Indeed, one of a criminal defendant's most basic constitutional rights is the right to be present in the courtroom at every critical stage in the proceedings," the court's majority wrote in the 5-2 decision.

Justices, however, said Moran shouldn't be blamed for the error because of confusion stemming from other Supreme Court rulings. After Jackson's sentencing, the court issued a ruling in a separate case that clarified how judges should handle such cases.

The dissenting justices in yesterday's ruling, Chief Justice Major B. Harding and Charles Wells, said Moran acted properly and that Jackson was able to present her arguments in the written documents.

Harding wrote that the "judge did what we told him to do. And now, we reverse him."

Moran, who has handled the case since the original trial, said the ruling was "amazing to me." But he said he would follow the court's instructions and hold another sentencing hearing.

"I'm going to do whatever they tell me," he said. "It's not my place to disagree with them."

The ruling came less than three weeks after state lawmakers passed a plan to try to limit appeals in death penalty cases. De la Rionda said the Jackson case shows why Gov. Jeb Bush, lawmakers and the public have become frustrated by an appeals process that sometimes leaves inmates on Death Row for decades.

"This is a perfect example of why the governor and others are attempting to change the system as it exists," de la Rionda said.

John Pialorsi, business agent for the Fraternal Order of Police in Jacksonville, also said he was frustrated. He said Jackson has received "every, every, every piece of due course of law."

"You never bury the memory of Gary Bevel, because you can't [with the case still pending]," Pialorsi said.



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