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Antonio Lebaron MELTON





Classification: Homicide - Murderer
Characteristics: Juvenile (17) - Robberies
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: 1990 / 1991
Date of birth: December 29, 1972
Victims profile: Ricky Saylor (taxicab driver) / George Carter (pawnshop owner)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Escambia County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on May 19, 1992

Florida Supreme Court

opinion 79959 opinion SC05-1423

DC#  217358

First Judicial Circuit, Escambia County Case# 91-373-D
Sentencing Judge:  The Honorable William Anderson
Attorney, Trial:  Samuel H. Hall Ė Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal:  W.C. McLain Ė Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  D. Todd Doss Ė Registry

Date of Offense:  01/23/1991

Date of Sentence:  05/19/1992

Circumstances of the Offense:

Antonio Lebaron Melton and his friend, Bendleon Lewis, entered George Carterís pawnshop in Pensacola on 01/23/91.  

According to Lewis, who was granted immunity by the State to testify against Melton, he pretended to be interested in pawning a necklace.

When Carter weighed the necklace, Melton pulled a .38-caliber gun from his pants and focused it on Carter while Lewis robbed the store.  As Lewis was unlocking the door to leave, he heard a gunshot.

According to Melton, while Lewis was talking to Carter about the necklace, Melton put on surgical gloves and reached for a ring.  Carter observed this and reached for a gun that he had.  

Lewis grabbed Carterís hands while Melton pulled out his own gun.  Melton then proceeded to take Carterís gun.  Melton stated that Carter rushed him then fell and hit his head.  

Melton then told Carter to remain still, but Carter reached for Meltonís hand that held the gun.  The two struggled for the weapon, which resulted in Carter being fatally shot in the head.  

Despite the conflicting stories, the one undisputed fact that remains is that Melton held the gun that fired the shot that ultimately killed Carter.

Codefendant Information:

Bendleon Lewis (DC# 220262)

Lewis was acquitted on the armed robbery conviction (CC# 91-373).  He was, instead, convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years.  Lewis is currently serving his sentence under community supervision.


Trial Summary:

02/05/92          Indicted as follows:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder
Count II:          Robbery with Firearm

02/05/92         Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment and recommended death by a vote 8-4

05/19/92          Sentenced as follows:

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


Case Information:

Meltonís direct appeal was filed to the Florida Supreme Court on 06/01/92.  The Court affirmed Meltonís conviction and sentence on 05/12/94.  Melton raised four issues on direct appeal. The main issue was that several improper comments made by the prosecutor to the jury justified a mistrial.  None of the issues were found to have merit by the Court.

Within the same year of the Florida Supreme Courtís ruling, Meltonís attorney filed a petition for Writ of Certiorari on 09/02/94 to the United States Supreme Court.  The petition was denied on 10/31/94.

Melton filed a 3.850 Motion on 1/14/96 to the Circuit Court. The motion was pending for over eight years. A Huff hearing was held on 10/18/01. On 10/22/01, the Circuit Court judge issued an order granting an evidentiary hearing.  On 03/24/04, the motion was denied.

On 08/26/04, Melton filed a 3.850 Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, which is currently pending.

On 08/15/05, Melton filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to the Florida Supreme Court, which is also pending.

On 02/28/06, Melton filed a 3.851 successive Motion to the Circuit Court, which is pending.



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