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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: May 2, 1998
Date of arrest: 8 days after
Date of birth: December 26, 1967
Victims profile: Bradley Krause and Aaron Knight (store employees)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Broward County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on March 19, 1999

Florida Supreme Court

opinion SC95318

DC# 649748
DOB:  12/26/67

Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Case #98-12089
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable James L. Cohn
Attorney, Trial: Richard Garfield – Special Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Patrick C. Rastatter – Special Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Linda McDermott – CCRC-S

Date of Offense: 05/02/98

Date of Sentence: 03/19/99

Circumstances of Offense:

Robert Rimmer was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders of Bradley Krause and Aaron Knight.

On 05/02/98, Robert Rimmer and Kevin Parker, possibly accompanied by a third individual, entered the Audio Logic store in Wilton Manners, FL. 

Bradley Krause and Aaron Knight, employees of Audio Logic, were working in the installation bay.  Rimmer and Parker ordered the two employees to lie face down on the floor and then bound their hands with tape.  Rimmer was armed with a .380 caliber semi-automatic firearm. 

The men stopped Joe Moore, a customer, from leaving the store.  They also ordered Louis Rosario, another customer who was outside smoking a cigarette to come back inside the store.  The customers were also taken into the installation bay where they were ordered to lie on the ground and their hands were bound with tape. 

Kimberly Davis Burke, a third customer, was sitting in a waiting area with her two-year-old daughter when she observed a purple-colored Ford Probe and a Kia Sephia pull into the parking lot.  A man, later identified as Parker, exited the Kia Sephia, entered the store and headed into the installation bay area of the store.  He spoke for a moment with Burke and her daughter on his way into the installation bay. 

Another man, later identified as Rimmer, then entered the store from the installation bay and told Burke that Moore, her boyfriend, was looking for her.  Burke went into the installation bay and saw the four men lying on the ground.  Burke realized what was happening and sat down on the ground with her daughter in her lap.  She watched as Rimmer, Parker and an unidentified third person placed stereo equipment in the Ford Probe.

Rimmer asked Knight for the keys to the cash register and if anyone owned a weapon.  Knight told him that he kept a Walther PPK in the desk, and Rimmer retrieved the firearm.  Rimmer then asked if there were any surveillance cameras.  The employees responded that there were not surveillance cameras. 

After the men completed loading stereo equipment into the Ford Probe, Rimmer ordered Burke to move further away to avoid getting anything on her.  Rimmer drove the Ford Probe partially out of the installation bay and then stopped the car.  He came back and spoke to Knight. 

Rimmer claimed that Knight knew him, but Knight said that he did not.  He then shot Knight in the back of the head killing him immediately.  Moore got to his feet, and Rimmer ordered him to lie back down on the ground.  Rimmer then shot Krause in the back of the head; Krause died later at the hospital.  At this point, Rimmer thanked the others for their cooperation and told them to “have a nice day.”

On 05/04/98, Burke assisted police in creating a sketch of the shooter.  The sketch was then distributed to the owners of the Audio Logic stores and other similar stores.  John Ercolano, an owner of another store, recognized the man from the sketch as a previous customer.  This customer had come to Ercolano’s store to have his stereo repaired. 

The customer had complained that Audio Logic caused the problems with his stereo.  Audio Logic provided Rimmer’s personal information from their records on past customers.  Victims Burke and Moore were able to identify Rimmer in both a photo lineup and a live lineup as the person who murdered Krause and Knight.

On 05/10/98, Rimmer was arrested after leading police on a high-speed car chase that ended at his home.  During the chase, Rimmer tossed items out of the car.  The items included Moore’s wallet, the stolen Wlather PPK and the firearm used to kill the employees of Audio Logic.  Following his arrest, Rimmer’s wife arrived at the home driving the Ford Probe. 

The police impounded the cars that were identified as being used in the robbery and in the high-speed chase, which included the Ford Probe identified by Burke and an Oldsmobile driven by Rimmer during the car chase. 

The police searched the Oldsmobile and found a leasing agreement for a storage facility, which was rented several days after the robbery and murders.  The police searched the storage facility and found the stereo equipment stolen from Audio Logic.  They also identified prints on the equipment as belonging to Rimmer and Parker.

According to Rimmer’s wife, Rimmer was supposed to be fishing with his son on the day of the robbery and murders.  Furthermore, she testified that she, rather than Rimmer, was actually driving the car on that day. 

The defense also argued that Rimmer needed glasses and thus could not have been the person who committed the murder because that person was not wearing glasses.  Dr. Jacobson, a clinical psychologist called by the defense, testified that Rimmer has a schizophrenic mental disorder.

Codefendant Status:  Kevin Parker DC# 103808

Kevin Parker was arrested on 05/12/98.  Parker was tried with Robert Rimmer for the same 11 counts, which included First-Degree Murder, Armed Robbery, Armed Kidnapping, Attempted Armed Robbery and Aggravated Assault.  He was found guilty on all counts.  Parker was sentenced separately from Rimmer.  He received a life sentence for each count, except for the counts of Attempted Armed Robbery and Aggravated Assault, for which he was sentenced to 10 years and 5 years respectively.

Trial Summary:

05/10/98          Rimmer was arrested.

07/01/98          Rimmer was indicted on the following:

Count I:  First-Degree Murder
Count II:  First-Degree Murder
Count III:  Armed Robbery
Count IV:  Armed Robbery
Count V:  Armed Kidnapping
Count VI:  Armed Kidnapping
Count VII:  Armed Robbery
Count VIII:  Armed Kidnapping
Count IX:  Armed Kidnapping
Count X:  Attempted Armed Robbery
Count XI:  Aggravated Assault

01/28/99          The jury found Rimmer guilty for each count of the indictment.

02/25/99          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 9 to 3 majority, voted for the death penalty for each count of First-Degree Murder.

03/19/99          Rimmer was sentenced as follows:

Count I:  First-Degree Murder Death
Count II:  First-Degree Murder
Count III:  Armed Robbery
Count IV:  Armed Robbery
Count IX:  Armed Kidnapping
Count V:  Armed Kidnapping
Count VI:  Armed Kidnapping
Count VII:  Armed Robbery
Count VIII:  Armed Kidnapping
Count X:  Attempted Armed Robbery
30 Years
Count XI:  Aggravated Assault
10 Years                         

Case Information:

Rimmer filed his Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 04/19/99.  The issues addressed included that the trial court erred in denying a motion to suppress physical evidence, in excusing several prospective jurors and in not declaring a mistrial when the prosecutor questioned Rimmer’s wife as to his guilt and allegedly made improper comments during the guilt and penalty phases. 

The Florida Supreme Court did not find errors that warranted reversing the convictions or sentences and affirmed the convictions and sentences on 07/03/02.  Rehearing was denied on 08/26/02.  A mandate was issued on 08/26/02.

Rimmer filed his Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on 09/19/02.  The petition was denied on 11/18/02.

Rimmer filed a 3.850 Motion in the Circuit Court on 11/05/03.  On 09/15/04, the motion was amended. The motion is currently pending.



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