Third Judicial Circuit, Hamilton
County, Case #94-150-CF2
(Venue changed to Fourth
Judicial Circuit, Clay County)
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable
E. Vernon Douglas
Attorneys, Trial: Clyde M.
Taylor, Jr., Esq. & Sean Owens, Esq.
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Steven
Attorney, Collateral Appeals:
Joseph Hobson – Registry
Date of Offense: 04/27/94
Date of Sentence (Counts
Date of Sentence (Count I): 06/12/95
Circumstances of Offense:
Anthony Wainwright and Richard Hamilton escaped from a North Carolina
prison, stole guns and a Cadillac then traveled to Florida. On 04/27/94
the car overheated in Lake City.
At this point, they kidnapped Carmen Gayheart, a young mother of two, at gunpoint from a Winn-Dixie parking
lot and stole her Ford Bronco. The two men raped and strangled Gayheart
and then shot her twice in the back of the head.
04/28/94, Wainwright and Hamilton were arrested in Mississippi after a
shootout with police. Upon capture, Wainwright admitted to authorities
that after kidnapping and robbing Gayheart, he raped her, despite that
fact that he has AIDS. Wainwright denied he was involved in the
strangling and shooting of the victim.
Richard Hamilton was convicted of First-Degree Murder, Armed Robbery,
Armed Kidnapping, and Armed Sexual Battery. He was sentenced to death
for the murder of Carmen Gayheart and to life imprisonment on the other
07/15/94 Defendant indicted on the following charges:
Count I: First-Degree
Count II: Armed Robbery
Count III: Armed Kidnapping
Count IV: Armed Sexual
05/30/95 The jury
found the defendant guilty on all counts.
advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 12 to 0 majority, voted for the
06/01/95 The defendant was sentenced as follows:
Count II: Armed Robbery -
Count III: Armed Kidnapping -
Count IV: Armed Sexual
Assault - Life
06/12/95 The defendant was sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree
Murder - Death
07/10/95, Anthony Wainwright filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida
Supreme Court. In the appeal, he argued that the trial court erred in
admitting his post-arrest statements to police. The State agreed not to
seek the death penalty if Wainwright could meet three criteria: (1) he
did not contribute to Gayheart’s death, (2) he was truthful in his
conversations with the police and, (3) he passed a polygraph test. Per
their agreement, Wainwright made a series of incriminating statements to
police and ultimately admitted to sexually assaulting Gayheart. After
consulting his attorney, Wainwright refused to take the polygraph exam
and after that, police had no further contact with him.
Supreme Court determined that no error occurred when the trial court
refused to suppress these statements because Wainwright did not adhere
to or meet the three criteria of the deal proposed by the State and,
therefore, no agreement had been finalized. Wainwright also argued in
his Direct Appeal that the trial court erred by admitting additional DNA
evidence once the trial had begun and that the State did not establish
for the sexual battery charge, thus making his confession inadmissible.
Finally, Wainwright asserted that the trial court erred in sentencing
him on his three non-capital felony convictions.
On the sentencing
forms, the trial court checked the blanks requiring Wainwright to serve
a 25-year mandatory minimum on each of the three counts and the blanks
that allowed the trial court to retain jurisdiction. The State agreed
that this was error and, as such, the Florida Supreme Court ordered that
the trial court’s sentencing order form be altered to reflect that no
minimum-mandatory terms were imposed and that there was no retention of
jurisdiction by the trial court. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed
Wainwright’s convictions and sentence of death on 11/13/97.
03/16/98, Wainwright filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the
United States Supreme Court, which was subsequently denied on 05/18/98.
05/14/99, Wainwright filed a 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court.
Wainwright argued several issues in his motion. He contended that his
trial counsel was ineffective regarding the admission of additional DNA
evidence, regarding Wainwright’s statements and admissions; regarding
evidence of Wainwright’s out of state crimes; regarding a microphone
discovered in Wainwright’s cell.
The trial counsel was also argued to be
ineffective for failing to object to the prosectur’s argument at the
guilt and penality phases; for failing to maintain proper
attorney-client relationship; failing to object to an error; failing to
prepare for trial, introducing statements of the codefendent, committing
an alleged discovery violation and counsel’s illness during trial also
rendered him ineffective. Wainwright also contended that his initial
counsel was ineffective in pretrial preparation. The Motion was denied
on 04/19/02. Wainwright then filed an appeal of that decision in the
Florida Supreme Court on 06/14/02. On 11/24/04, the Court affirmed the
denial of the Motion.
09/11/02, Wainwright filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the
Florida Supreme Court. Wainwright contended that Florida’s capital
sentencing scheme is unconstitutional and that error occurred in his
counsel’s failure to raise an issue involving the felony murder jury
instruction. All of Wainwright’s claims were procedurally barred or
lacked merit. On 11/24/04 the petition was denied.
Wainwright filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the United
States District Court, Middle District on 03/29/05. The petition was
dismissed with prejudice on 03/13/06.
05/31/05, Wainwright filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the
United States Supreme Court. The petition was denied on 10/03/05.