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Anthony MUNGIN





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: September 16, 1990
Date of arrest: 2 days after
Date of birth: July 22, 1966
Victim profile:  Betty Jean Woods (convenience store clerk)
Method of murder: Shooting (.25-caliber pistol)
Location: Duval County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on February 23, 1993
photo gallery

Florida Supreme Court

opinion 81358 opinion SC03-780

DC# 288322
DOB:  07/22/66

Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County Case# 92-3178
Sentencing Judge:  The Honorable John D. Southwood
Attorney, Trial:  Charles Cofer – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal:  Steven A. Been – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Todd G. Scher – Private

Date of Offense:  09/16/90

Date of Sentence:  02/23/93

Circumstances of Offense:

On 01/28/93, Anthony Mungin was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.

On 09/16/90, a Jacksonville convenience store clerk, Betty Jean Woods, was shot in the head and subsequently died four days later.  Given that there were no eyewitnesses to the incident, a customer of the convenience store, who entered the store shortly after the shooting, recalled seeing a man rushing out of the store with a paper bag. 

The customer, who later identified the man leaving the store as Mungin, discovered the wounded clerk.  After the incident, a store supervisor noticed a cash discrepancy of $59.05 from the cash register.

On 09/18/90, Mungin was arrested in Kingsland, Georgia, after a police search of his house uncovered a .25-caliber semiautomatic pistol, bullets, and Mungin’s Georgia identification card.  This arrest was for additional offenses committed two days prior to the murder of Woods. 

After an analysis of the bullet recovered from Woods, it was determined that it was fired from the .25-caliber pistol discovered at Mungin’s residence.

Additional Information:

Prior to his direct appeal, Mungin was tried and convicted of first-degree murder during the commission of a felony, second-degree murder, and two separate counts of armed robbery.  Both robberies occurred on 09/14/90, which was two days before Woods was shot.  For the first robbery, Mungin received a life sentence for first-degree murder and a life sentence for using a firearm.  For the second robbery, Mungin received 15 years for second-degree murder and 20 years for armed robbery. 

Trial Summary:

03/26/92          Indicted as follows:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder   

01/28/93          Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

02/02/93          Jury recommended death by a vote of 7-5

02/23/93          Sentenced as follows:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

Case Information:

Mungin filed a Direct Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on 03/03/93.  There were numerous issues raised.  First, there were multiple factors concerning aggravating and mitigating circumstances.  Second, there was concern for whether there was sufficient evidence to support the first-degree murder conviction.  Third, the trial court erred in allowing the State to introduce irrelevant evidence that Mungin shot a collateral crime victim in the spine.  Finally, there was concern as to whether a fundamental error occurred when a defense witness testified in the penalty phase that inmates serving life sentences are eligible for conditional release. 

The Court found all of these claims either without merit or harmless and affirmed Mungin’s conviction and death sentence on 09/07/95.

Mungin filed a Petition for a Writ of Certiorari was filed to the United States Supreme Court on 05/29/97, which was denied on 10/06/97.

Mungin filed a 3.850 Motion to the Circuit Court on 09/17/98.  An amended Motion was filed on 07/13/01.  The Motion was denied on 03/18/03.

Mungin filed a 3.850 Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on 04/29/03.  On 04/06/06, the Court affirmed the trial court’s order denying the 3.850 Motion.  The rehearing was denied on 06/13/06.  The mandate was issued on 06/29/06.

On 10/10/03, Mungin filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus to the Florida Supreme Court, which was denied on 04/06/06.  The rehearing was denied on 06/13/06.  The mandate was issued on 06/29/06.


Anthony's Legal Case

Updated - December 2005

On November 2, Todd Scher, Anthony's lawyer, argued on behalf of Anthony before the Florida Supreme Court. This is Anthony's second appeal. And we're all anxiously awaiting their response.

November 2003

Judge Southwood denied Anthony's motion for post conviction relief and Anthony's appeal is due in the Florida Supreme Court October 7, 2003.

THE WHOLE HISTORY...from the beginning...

In high school Anthony was an ace on the wrestling team. He was even offered a college scholarship, but failing a math class he no longer qualified for the team. Today Anthony wonders what might have been if he hadn’t failed that class, if he had at least finished high school. He missed his diploma by one class and was too proud to return to school the summer after his senior year and finish up. He wonders what the path not taken would have looked like. All he knows for sure is where the path taken has led.

Heading into Trouble

In 1990, at the age of 24, Anthony made a living as a small-time drug dealer in his hometown of Kingsland, Georgia. In nearby Jacksonville where he went to buy drugs he mostly dealt with a man known to him only as "Ice." At a moment when Anthony was desperate for money this man introduced him to another trade of hustling—armed robbery. On Friday September 14, 1990 Ice lent Anthony his gun and against his own misgivings and better judgment Anthony used it. That day he robbed a gas station and a jewelry store near Tallahassee, Florida, injuring two people with Ice’s gun. Both of his victims survived. Later, when he was tried for these robberies, it was proven that Anthony did not shoot to kill. In fact, he put the phone down beside the wounded gas station clerk so he could call for help.

Before returning to Georgia that day Anthony gave Ice back his gun. And, shaken by what he’d done, he promised himself that whether he was caught or not he would never rob or shoot anyone again—a promise he kept!

On Sunday September 16th Anthony returned to Jacksonville. He wanted to visit his girlfriend in Pensacola and so caught a ride to Jacksonville where he met Ice in the early afternoon shortly after 2 p.m. Driving off, Ice told Anthony that the gun was in the car he was lending him. Anthony didn’t want the gun but was stuck with it for the next two days during which he did not touch it.

Anthony’s Arrest

When Anthony left Pensacola again on Tuesday the 18th he intended to take the car back to Jacksonville, but arrived there too late. He ended up driving it home, parked it several blocks from his house and brought the gun inside to bury it in the woods later. That night a friend of Anthony’s who had turned informer came to buy drugs from him and within minutes the house was surrounded by police. Anthony gave himself up and they found the gun. He was arrested and taken to jail. The Sheriff of Camden County questioned him and Anthony, who was relieved to have been caught because what he’d done was weighing on his conscience, told him the truth. At the time he didn’t know whether his two victims had lived or died. Yet he told the truth. He knew he was guilty of two robberies, but when the Sheriff questioned him about a third robbery he had no idea what he was talking about—and told him so.

Weeks later Anthony was extradited to Monticello, Florida. He received 20 years for armed robbery and attempted second-degree murder. In court he apologized to the man he had shot. He then was transported to Leon County in Tallahassee, Fla. where he received two life sentences running concurrent for armed robbery and attempted murder. He was also habitualized.

The Set-Up

While in Tallahassee a detective from Jacksonville came to question him about another robbery and murder. Betty Jean Woods, a convenience store clerk, had been shot on Sunday, September 16th between 1:45 p.m. and 2 p.m. in the lil Champ store off interstate I-10 in Jacksonville. She died in the hospital four days later. Anthony told the detective Gilberth he knew nothing of this. The detective broke one of Anthony’s fingers trying to make him confess, but Anthony would not confess to something he did not do.

Not long after this incident Anthony was sent to prison. Four months into his concurrent life sentences, the Jacksonville authorities charged him with robbery and first degree murder of Betty Woods. Anthony went before Judge Tygart who dismissed the case for lack of evidence. Anthony went back to prison. Three months later Jacksonville returned for him. This time the robbery charge was dropped and Anthony went before Judge Southwood and the case went to trial.

Anthony’s court-appointed public defenders were Mr. Cofer and Mr. Buzzell, both from the public defenders office of Duval County in Jacksonville. Anthony told Cofer and Buzzell exactly what happened and told them of his alibis. Unfortunately, they didn’t believe Anthony and his case was never investigated. Anthony wrote letters complaining about their lack of interest in proving his innocence. When first presented with the fact that Betty Woods was shot with the same gun he used in his robberies of September 14th, Anthony insisted that it was a lie. However, he learnt there had been a witness, a Mr. Kirkland, at the store when Betty Woods was shot. The day of the crime Kirkland gave a description of the man he saw leaving the store. He told police he saw a very dark-skinned black male who he guessed might be 37 years old with a full beard and long jerry curl, weighing 130 lbs. and 5’8" or 5’10" tall. Anthony recognized Ice at once. When he learnt this he knew he had been set up. In Kirkland’s deposition with the detective four days after the incident and also in his June 18, 1992 deposition, Kirkland told the detective he could not swear in court it was Anthony Mungin. Anthony, who was 24 years old at the time but looked far younger, was clean-shaven. He couldn’t grow a full beard if he’d tried. He had a short military haircut and was described by witnesses who saw him in the Tallahassee and Monticello robberies as between 18 and 19 years old. There’s a vast discrepancy between these different witnesses’ descriptions. Unfortunately, Anthony didn’t know Ice’s real name or where he lived. He only knew where he sold drugs.

A Witness Changes His Story

Kirkland, who said he couldn’t identify Anthony under oath changed his story during the trial, two years after the fact. He told the jury he didn’t remember saying the things written in his deposition and that Anthony was, in fact, the man he saw that day. Anthony’s public defenders raised no objections. The prosecutor told the jury they found 24 sets of fingerprints, then quickly went to another subject. He mislead the jury to believe Anthony’s fingers were among the 24, when none of Anthony’s prints were found there.

Furthermore, Kirkland identified a small dark burgundy two-door car, an Escort, that was parked on the side of the road a couple of miles from the lil Champ store as being the car he saw at the store. Weeks later when Kirkland learnt the description of the car Anthony drove to Georgia, he changed the description of the car to fit the car Anthony drove. Anthony was found guilty; by a vote of 7 to 5, he was sentenced to death on February 23, 1993 for a crime he did not commit.

Inadequate Counsel

Since then Anthony has had his battles with court-appointed appellate attorneys. His Direct Appeal was filed by Steve Been who had never done a death row appeal. Been did his best, but he wasn’t able to raise many issues since Anthony’s public defenders had done such a poor job raising objections. His appeal was denied February 8, 1996 by the Florida Supreme Court, yet one of the judges gave a long dissention and wanted to grant Anthony a new trial.

Anthony’s next appeal is his 3.850 Motion. Judge Moran out of Duval County, appointed attorney Mark Olive from the Registry Lawyers list on September 23, 1998. Mark Olive is an excellent lawyer with a lot of experience and considered one of the best post-conviction attorneys in Florida. Mark didn’t agree with the contract he had to sign to take Anthony’s case because it severely limited what he could do for Anthony. Attorney Stephen Hanlon of Holland and Knight LLP filed a law suit on behalf of Mark Olive and Anthony on February 26, 1999—"Complaint for Declaratory Judgement" Case No: 99-1027. The lawsuit is still pending.

Judge Moran took Mark Olive off Anthony’s case and appointed Attorney Wayne Henderson as Anthony’s new attorney on March 11, 1999. Though upset that he had been deprived of a good lawyer, Anthony wrote Henderson on March 16. Henderson briefly introduced himself on April 29, 1999. Investigator Jeffrey Walsh was hired to work with Anthony and Henderson. Mr. Walsh visited Anthony on May 6, 1999. Anthony has seen neither one of them since. Mr. Walsh refused to work with Henderson because Henderson was neither competent nor motivated to help Anthony.

Anthony filed a "Motion to Remove Conflict Counsel" and Henderson filed a "Motion to Withdraw" on February 7, 2000. Judge Southwood granted the motion.

Henderson recommended the court to appoint Attorney Dale G. Westling Sr. Anthony recommended Attorney Kenneth Malnik. Judge Southwood accepted Henderson’s recommendation and appointed Dale G. Westling Sr. from Jacksonville on February 9, 2000.

Anthony wrote several letters to Westling starting February 21, 2000. He never answered any of Anthony’s letters or questions. A conflict grew between Anthony and Westling because he, like Henderson, showed no interest in helping Anthony and started having a hostile attitude and cursing Anthony during his brief visitation.

Anthony gathered evidence to present to the Florida Bar against Westling and filed his complaint on February 7, 2001. He wrote the Florida Supreme Court concerning his incompetent attorney and the F.S.C. responded on February 8, 2001 inquiring information from Westling concerning Anthony’s allegations.

On February 16, 2001 Anthony filed a "Motion to Dismiss Conflict Counsel" and on March 1, 2001 Westling filed a "Motion to Withdraw." But not before filing a 19 page 3.850, which Anthony refused to sign without telling the court Westling refused to raise valid issues.

In his response to the Florida Bar Westling lied about the amount of hours he visited Anthony. Anthony can prove this with the help of prison visitation documents where dates and times are logged. He also told the Florida Bar that Anthony is using a delay tactic to keep from being executed.

Anthony’s New Lawyer

On April 3, 2001, Judge Southwood held a hearing on Anthony’s motion and Westling’s "Motion to Withdraw." During this period Anthony’s friends joined together to retain Attorney Kenneth Malnik. Mr. Malnik attended the hearing asking to be appointed to Anthony’s case. The judge allowed Malnik to take over. He would, however, receive no funds from the state to support his legal defense. Anthony’s friends are currently raising funds to support his defense.

Anthony’s attorney Kenneth Malnik asked Jeffrey Walsh to assist him in the investigation. Jeff and his wife Terry Walsh accepted. Upon investigating crucial evidence was discovered concerning the state’s sole and star witness Kirkland. Before and during trial Kirkland had a string of charges, misdemeanors and felonies, including resisting arrest with violence, assault against police officers, several DWIs and grand thefts. Strangely these charges were dropped and Kirkland paid a fine of $110.00. The jury never heard any of this about Kirkland because Anthony’s public defender never told them. In fact, he lied to Anthony telling him Kirkland had only one misdemeanor. Now Anthony can prove Kirkland lied and his motive for lying was to stay out of prison by making deals with the prosecutor in exchange for his false testimony.

Anthony’s public defender, Charle Cofer, who is now a judge in Duval County told Anthony’s lawyer and investigator that Anthony never told him about his alibis, but evidence has now been found by investigators to prove Cofer lied. Indeed Anthony did tell Cofer of his alibis, but Cofer refused to investigate. Most of Anthony’s alibis have been found and confirm what Anthony has been saying for ten years.

Moreover, during Anthony’s trial Kirkland was being represented by the same public defendant office that was representing Anthony. Anthony’s public defender Cofer knew this but never disclosed it. Anthony’s 3.850 was filed July 3, 2001.

Where Anthony Stands Now

More investigation is needed in Anthony’s case and needs to be completed by the time an evidentiary hearing is set. He is asking for financial and legal support. He is not trying to paint a perfect picture of himself. He admits the crimes he has committed and is sincerely remorseful and accepts punishment for those crimes. But Anthony Mungin is innocent of the murder he has been put on death row for. Please help him if you can. You will prevent a terrible injustice from being committed at the hands of the state.



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