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Billy Leon KEARSE

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery - To avoid arrest
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: January 18, 1991
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: October 26, 1972
Victim profile: Danny Parrish (Fort Pierce police officer)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: St. Lucie County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on November 8, 1991
 
 

 
 

Florida Supreme Court

 

Docket #79037 - Billy Leon Kearse, Appellant, vs. State of Florida, Appellee.
662 So. 2d 677; June 22, 1995.

 
opinion initial brief of appellant
 
answer brief of appellee reply brief of appellant
 
 

Docket #SC90310 - Billy Leon Kearse, Appellant, vs. State of Florida, Appellee.
770 So. 2d 1119; June 29, 2000.

 
opinion initial brief of appellant
 
answer brief of appellee reply brief of appellant
 
 

 
 

DC# 138315
DOB: 10/26/72

Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, St. Lucie County Case# 91-136CF
Sentencing Judge:  The Honorable Marc A. Cianca
Attorney, Trial:  Robert G. Udell – Private
Attorney, Trial (Resentencing):  Robert G. Udell – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal:  Jeffery Anderson – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal (Resentencing):  Jeffery Anderson – Assistant Public Defender
Attorneys, Collateral Appeals:  Paul Edward Kalil – CCRC-S

Date of Offense: 01/18/91

Date of Sentence: 11/08/91

Date of Resentence: 03/24/97

Circumstances of the Offense:

Billy Leon Kearse was convicted of robbery with a firearm and the murder of Fort Pierce police officer, Danny Parrish, which occurred on 01/18/91.

Officer Danny Parrish observed Billy Kearse driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Parrish radioed in the vehicle license plate number and proceeded to stop Kearse.

Kearse did not have his driver’s license and gave Parrish several alias names that did not match the driver’s license history. Kearse was then ordered to exit the vehicle and place his hands on top of the vehicle.

When Parrish attempted to handcuff Kearse, a struggle ensued. Kearse grabbed Parrish’s weapon and fired 14 shots. Thirteen of the shots struck Parrish, nine in his body and four in his bullet-proof vest

A nearby taxi driver heard the shots and saw a dark blue vehicle occupied by a black male and female drive away from the scene. The taxi driver then called for help on Parrish’s radio.

Parrish was transported to the hospital by emergency personnel, where he died from the gunshot injuries. A be-on-the-lookout (BOLO) was issued for a black male driving a dark blue 1979 Monte Carlo.

The police checked the license plate number Parrish had called in before the traffic stop and discovered it was registered to an address in Fort Pierce, where Kearse was arrested.

Kearse waived his Miranda rights and confessed to shooting Parrish during the struggle.

One of Kearse’s companions testified during the trial that Kearse shot Officer Parrish “because his probation was suspended and the police was [sic] looking for him already.” 

Trial Summary:

05/08/91 - Indicted as follows:

Count I: First-Degree Murder
Count II: Robbery with Firearm
Count III: Possession of Firearm by Convicted Felon

05/28/91 - Count I and II were severed from Count III.

10/22/91 - Jury returned a verdict of guilt for Counts I and II.

10/24/91 - Jury recommended death by a vote of 11-1.

11/08/91 - Sentenced as follows:

Count I: First-Degree Murder – Death
Count II: Robbery with Firearm – Life

06/22/95 - Florida Supreme Court reversed death sentence for new sentencing phase.

03/24/97 - At resentencing, jury recommended death by a vote of 12-0.

Case Information:

On 12/05/91, Kearse filed a Direct Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.  The Court found that the trial court made an error in failing to give the jury requested information concerning the aggravating circumstances: cold, calculated, and premeditated.  The Court, on 06/22/95, affirmed Kearse’s conviction but remanded his sentence for resentencing.

On 04/14/97, Kearse filed his Direct Appeal after resentencing to the Florida Supreme Court.  The Court found that Kearse’s death sentence was not disproportionate to the crime; that Kearse was not entitled to interview jurors concerning an allegation of juror misconduct; and, in a capital murder trial during the sentencing phase, photographs of the victim’s body are admissible.  In addition, the Court found that disqualification of the prosecutor was not warranted because he had not yet taken the elected office of county court judge.  

The Court, on 06/29/00, affirmed Kearse’s sentence.

Kearse filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court on 01/18/01, which was denied on 03/26/01.

Kearse filed a 3.850 Motion to the Circuit Court on 10/03/01.  The motion was amended twice on 06/21/02 and 03/01/04.  On 09/06/05, the Circuit Court issued an order, denying the amended 3.850 Motion.

Kearse filed a 3.850 Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on 04/01/02, which was dismissed voluntarily on 06/13/02.  Kearse’s motion to dismiss the appeal was denied as moot.

On 10/03/05, Kearse filed a 3.850 Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, which is currently pending.

On 05/15/06, Kearse filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to the Florida Supreme Court, which is also pending.

FloridaCapitalCases.state.fl.us

 

 

 
 
 
 
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