Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Kidnapping - Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: April 22, 1991
Date of birth: March 19, 1964
Victim profile: Gino Mayhew, 17 (drug dealer)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Duval County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on December 17, 1993

Florida Supreme Court

opinion 83076

DC#  092900
DOB:  03/19/64

Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County Case # 91-8142
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable R. Hudson Olliff
Attorney, Trial: Richard D. Nichols – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Teresa J. Sopp – Private
Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Frank Tassone, Jr. – Registry

Date of Offense: 04/22/91

Date of Sentence: 12/17/93

Circumstances of Offense:

A witness testified that on 04/22/91, Ronnie Ferrell and two co-defendants (Kenneth Hartley and Sylvester Johnson) approached the victim, Gino Mayhew, who was selling crack outside of his Chevrolet Blazer. 

The witness saw Hartley place a gun to Mayhew’s head and force him into the driver’s seat.  Hartley sat in the back seat, behind Mayhew, and Ferrell climbed into the front passenger seat.  The Blazer left at a high rate of speed, with Johnson following in a truck.

On 04/23/91, police found Mayhew slumped in the driver’s seat with five gunshot wounds – one shot to the forehead, three shots to the back of his head, and one shot to the shoulder.

Codefendant Information:

Ronnie Ferrell and two codefendants, Hartley and Johnson, were each charged and tried separately for the First-Degree Murder, robbery, and kidnapping of seventeen-year-old Gino Mayhew.  Hartley was convicted and sentenced to death for the First-Degree Murder charge, and Johnson was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:

Ferrell had an extensive criminal record at the time of the offense. 

Trial Summary:

07/25/91          Indicted as follows:

Count I            First-Degree Murder

Count II           Armed Robbery

Count III          Armed Kidnapping

03/12/92          Jury returned guilty verdict on all counts of the indictment

03/20/92          Jury recommended a death sentence by a vote of 7-5

12/17/93          Sentenced as follows:

Count I             First-Degree Murder – Death

Count II            Armed Robbery – 30 years (habitual felony offender)

Count III           Armed Kidnapping – Life imprisonment (habitual felony offender)

Case Information:

Ferrell filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 01/24/94, citing the following errors:  improper comments by trial judge on the biblical origins of the commandment “thou shalt not kill;” admitting evidence that the victim was robbed two days before the murder; admitting statements by the victim before the murder; insufficient evidence to support First Degree Murder conviction; insufficient evidence to support armed robbery conviction; sentencing Ferrell as a habitual felony offender; erroneous instruction on the cold, calculated, and premeditated (CCP) aggravating circumstance; finding that the murder was CCP, for financial gain, and heinous, atrocious, or cruel; improper doubling of the aggravating factors of kidnapping and pecuniary gain; and denying a request for a special verdict. 

The FSC affirmed the convictions and death sentence on 09/19/96.

On 02/11/97, Ferrell filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court that was denied on 04/14/97.

Ferrell filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court on 04/13/98 and amended on 09/01/04.  On 12/05/05 and 04/17/06, Evidentiary Hearings were held.  The motion is pending.



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