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Jerry Michael WICKHAM





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: March 5, 1986
Date of birth: September 5, 1945
Victim profile: Morris “Rick” Fleming
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Leon County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on December 8, 1988

Florida Supreme Court


opinion SC05-1012


DC# 504430
DOB: 09/05/45

Second Judicial Circuit, Leon County, Case #87-3970
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Charles D. McClure
Attorney, Trial: Philip J. Padovano, Esq.
Attorney, Direct Appeal:
David A. Davis – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Frederick T. Davis, Esq.

Date of Offense: 03/05/86

Date of Sentence: 12/08/88

Circumstances of Offense:

On 03/05/86, Jerry Wickham, accompanied by friends and family, was driving along Interstate 10 when he realized that they hardly had any money for gas or other expenses necessary to continue traveling. 

One member of the party suggested that they stop at a local church for help.  Wickham and others decided, however, that they should commit a robbery to obtain the travel money instead of asking a church. 

Upon reaching Tallahassee, the group exited the interstate and began driving north along Thomasville Road towards the Florida-Georgia border.  The group pulled off the highway, close to the border, at which time the men hid and the women and children flagged down a passing car under the guise of needing help.  

When Morris “Rick” Fleming stopped to help and found nothing wrong with the car, Wickham jumped out of his hiding place, pointing a gun at Fleming.  Seeing this, Fleming turned around and began walking back towards his vehicle. 

Wickham then shot Fleming in the back, the impact of which caused him to spin around and face Wickham directly.  Wickham then shot Fleming in the chest once, at which time the victim began to beg for his life.  Wickham then fatally shot Fleming twice in the head. 

The group took all the money he had, $4.05, and continued on to a nearby gas station where they purchased some gas.  It was there that Wickham changed and threw away his bloodstained clothes. 

Wickham, while driving back towards Tallahassee, instructed the other members of his party to dispose of the used and unused bullet shells by throwing them out the window.  The group continued towards Tampa, stopping along the way at a church to obtain more money for traveling expenses. 

NOTE: Wickham was arrested for the above referenced crimes prior to his arrest for the 1986 murder of Morris “Rick” Fleming.


Trial Summary:

10/22/87          The defendant was indicted on the following charges:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder

Count II:          Robbery with a Firearm

Count III:         Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon Later Dropped

12/07/88         The jury found the defendant guilty of all counts charged in the indictment.

12/08/88          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by an 11 to 1 majority, voted for the death penalty.

12/08/88          The defendant was sentenced as follows:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder - Death

Count II:          Robbery with a Firearm - Life


Case Information:

On 01/05/89, Wickham filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court.  In that appeal, he argued that the trial court erred in limiting the testimony about his inability to form specific intent to commit premeditated murder and that the trial court erred in allowing the State to present evidence of an attempted escape plan from the Leon County jail.  The Florida Supreme Court found no merit to these claims.  Wickham also contended that the trial court erred in its application of the heinous, atrocious or cruel  (HAC) aggravating factor and in failing to find and weigh evidence available in mitigation.  The Florida Supreme Court agreed with Wickham but determined that these errors to be harmless in lieu of the numerous aggravating circumstances. 

On 12/12/91, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed Wickham’s convictions and sentence of death.

On 05/04/92, Wickham filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court that was subsequently denied on 06/22/92.

On 05/22/95, Wickham filed a 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court and was dismissed on 02/26/97.  On 09/26/00, a motion to file an amended 3.850 Motion was granted.  On 01/24/05, the Motion was denied. 

On 06/09/05, Wickham filed a 3.850 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court.  The appeal is currently pending.



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