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Raymond MORRISON Jr.





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery - Drugs
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: January 8, 1997
Date of arrest: 2 days after
Date of birth: October 16, 1968
Victim profile: Albert Dwelle, 82
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Duval County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on December 18, 1998

Florida Supreme Court

opinion SC94666

DC# 113388
DOB: 10/16/68

Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County, Case# 97-991-CF
Sentencing Judge, Trial: The Honorable Henry E. Davis
Attorney, Trial:  Ronald P. Higbee – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Chet Kaufman – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: D. Todd Doss – Registry

Date of Offense: 01/08/97

Date of Sentence: 12/18/98

Circumstances of the Offense:

Raymond Morrison was sentenced to death on 12/18/98, for the murder of 82-year-old Albert Dwelle. 

On 01/08/97, Morrison visited his girlfriend, Sandra Brown, at her apartment.  The victim lived across from Brown’s apartment. At approximately 9:00 p.m., Morrison told Brown he was going to take out the trash.  Morrison did not return to the apartment.

Morrison was arrested on 01/10/97 for an unrelated offense.  When he was taken into custody, he asked Officer Richardson if the arrest was about an old man.  The officer told Morrison it was an unrelated offense but homicide detectives wanted to question him.  Morrison was then read his constitutional rights.  In the car, Morrison learned Richardson was a pastor at a local church.  They talked about religion and the steps Morrison needed to take to get his life in order.

Morrison was then interviewed by the detectives about the murder of Dwelle.  While being interviewed, Morrison stated that he wanted to talk to Officer Richardson again.  The detectives paged Officer Richardson, who then went and spoke with Morrison. 

After speaking with Officer Richardson, Morrison gave a written statement of what took place on 01/08/97.  He stated that at 9:00 p.m., he started smoking crack with a man named “Big Man.” 

They ran out of crack and Morrison knocked on Dwelle’s door and asked him for a cigar.  Dwelle told Morrison he could not come into his apartment.  After taking the cigar from Dwelle, Morrison asked for a light.  While Dwelle went into his bedroom to retrieve a light, Morrison entered the apartment and followed him into the bedroom. 

Morrison then noticed some money in a shirt pocket that Dwelle had hanging from a chair.  He grabbed the money.  When Dwelle saw Morrison take his money, he picked up a knife and started swinging it around.  Morrison then claimed he grabbed Dwelle’s arm and swung him around so he was facing away from him. 

When Morrison did that, the man began lashing the knife over his shoulder.  While doing so, Morrison claimed that Dwelle accidentally cut his throat and then started swinging the knife even harder.  Morrison also claimed that he did not notice that Dwelle had cut himself.  Then, Dwelle accidentally stabbed himself in the neck.  Morrison then stated that he laid Dwelle down and took the knife to hide it. 

Morrison then went back to “Big Man” and asked him to drive him out of town.  When they got to Marietta, they spent the money on drugs and prostitutes.  Morrison was also seen selling coins that resembled coins that were missing from Dwelle’s apartment. 

They then went back to the apartment complex where Morrison stated that he saw his Uncle Cap.  Morrison stayed with his uncle until the police picked him up on 01/10/97.  Morrison later led the police to where he hid the knife that was used to kill the victim.  

Trial Summary:

01/23/97          Indicted as follows:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder

Count II:          Armed Robbery

Count III:         Burglary with an assault

09/25/98          Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

10/08/98          Jury recommended death by a vote of 12-0

12/18/98          Sentenced as follows:

Count I:           First-degree murder – Death

Count II:          Armed robbery – Life

Count III:         Burglary with an assault – Life

Case Information:

Morrison filed his Direct Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on 01/11/99.  Among his claims, he contended that the trial court erred during the jury selection and in allowing certain statements from the prosecutor during closing arguments.  Morrison also claimed that the trial court erred in excluding testimony aimed to impeach the State’s witness and in denying his motion for acquittal of the charges against him. 

The Court found no merit in any of his claims and affirmed his convictions and sentences on 03/21/02.

Subsequently, Morrison filed for a Writ of Certiorari to the United States Supreme Court on 08/15/02, which was denied on 10/15/02.

On 09/18/03, Morrison filed a 3.850 Motion to the Circuit Court, which is currently pending.



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