Judicial Circuit, Pinellas County, Case #90-6491
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Susan S. Schaeffer
Attorneys, Trial: Frank Louderback, Esq. & Thomas McCoun, Esq.
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Robert F. Moeller - Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Richard Kiley & James Viggiano - CCRC-M
of Offense: 08/17/89
of Sentence: 09/04/92
Circumstances of Offense:
the morning of 08/17/89, the body of 93-year-old Alice Berdat, having
been severely beaten and bruised, was found murdered in her home. The
medical examiner’s report showed that there was evidence of both vaginal
and anal rape, as well as 17 fractured ribs.
Anthony Neil Washington was incarcerated in the Largo Community
Correctional Work Release Center, which was located 2.1 miles from
Berdat’s house. On the morning of 08/17/89, Washington was seen leaving
for his job at Cocoa Masonry at 6:00 a.m., and returned to the center at
exactly 9:17 a.m. Records show that he did not work at his job that
Approximately two weeks later on 08/31/89, investigator Michael Darroch
interviewed a few of Washington’s co-workers at Cocoa Masonry. The
co-workers told the investigator that they had seen Washington arrive at
work for a short while the morning of 08/17/89, where he proceeded to
sell a gold watch to fellow employee, Robert Leacock.
later identified the watch as belonging to Alice Berdat. Darroch
visited Leacock at his home where they showed him a picture of
Washington. Leacock identified Washington from the picture as being the
man who had sold him the watch.
09/05/89, Washington was brought into the police station in Zephyrhills
for questioning in an unrelated sexual battery investigation. Darroch
did not inform Washington that he was a suspect in the investigation of
Alice Berdat’s murder. While at the police station, Washington gave
hair and blood samples to the investigators, which he assumed would
clear him of any suspicion in the sexual battery case for which he was
Washington was linked to the murder of Alice Berdat through the hair and
blood he provided for the police. Washington motioned to suppress the
hair and blood from being used in court but the trial court admitted the
samples as evidence.
04/12/90 Defendant indicted on the following:
Count I: First-Degree
Count II: Burglary of a
Dwelling with a Battery
Count III: Sexual Battery
The jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts.
advisory sentencing, the jury recommended life in prison with
possibility for parole after 25 years. Judge Schaeffer overruled the
jury’s recommendation of life in prison and sentenced Anthony Washington
09/04/92 The defendant was sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree
Murder - Death
Count II: Burglary of a
Dwelling with a Battery - Life
Count III: Sexual Battery -
09/30/92, Anthony Washington filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida
Supreme Court. Washington claimed that denying his motion to suppress
the blood sample violated his Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments.
Washington also contended that the identification by Leacock was
obtained by suggestive procedure and the trial court erred in denying
his motion to suppress. Washington claimed in his appeal that the trial
court erred in not allowing him to depose the DNA technician, Anne
Baumstark. In the same claim, Washington stated that, by not calling
Baumstark as a witness, the state did not lay proper predicate for the
DNA test results to be admitted as evidence. Washington also argued
that the trial court judge incorrectly overrode the jury’s
recommendation of life imprisonment and sentenced him to death. The
judge overruled the jury’s recommendation of life imprisonment with
chance for parole after 25 years and imposed a sentence of death based
on aggravating factors. The Florida Supreme Court found no error and
affirmed Washington’s conviction and sentence on 12/08/94.
07/24/95, Washington filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the
United States Supreme Court, which was subsequently denied on 10/30/95.
03/28/97, Washington filed a 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court
that was denied on 06/06/00. Washington filed an appeal of that
decision in the Florida Supreme Court, which was affirmed on 11/14/02.
04/26/01, Washington filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the
Florida Supreme Court, which was also denied on 11/14/02.
Washington filed another 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court on
02/19/03, which was denied 11/19/03.
02/21/03, Washington filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the
United States District Court, Middle District. The case was closed on
03/14/03 and held in abeyance until the resolution of state
Washington filed an Habeas Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on
01/06/04. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the denial of Washington’s
3.850 Motion on 05/12/05.
07/29/05, Washington filed a 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court.
The motion was denied on 10/17/05.
09/30/05, Washington filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the
United States Supreme Court. The petition was denied on 12/05/05.
Washington filed a 3.853 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on
12/06/05. The appeal is currently pending.
Anthony Neal Washington