Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Classification: Homicide - Murderer
Characteristics: Juvenile - Robbery
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: 1975 / 1988
Date of arrest: May 1990
Date of birth: September 18, 1959
Victims profile: A four year old kid / Donna Becker
Method of murder: Beating with a baseball bat / Stabbing with knife
Location: Broward County, Florida, USA
Status: Convicted of manslaughter in 1975. Sentence unknown. Sentenced to death on July 15, 1994

Florida Supreme Court


opinion 84198

opinion SC07-564


DC# 048606
DOB: 09/18/59                      

Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Case #90-9560CF10B & 92-15642CFA
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Richard D. Eade
Attorneys, Trial: Charles Johnson & Steve Hammer Ė Special Public Defenders
Attorneys, Direct Appeal: Scott A. Mager, Robert E. Hodapp & Carl Schoeppl Ė Private
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Kevin Kulik Ė Registry  

Date of Offense: 11/04/88

Date of Sentence: 07/15/94

Circumstances of Offense: 

Dana Williamson was convicted and sentenced to death for the 11/04/88 murder of Donna Becker.

On the evening of 11/04/88, Robert Decker went out for dinner with his father Clyde and his two-year-old son Carl.  They arrived home a few minutes before 9:00 p.m. and found Charles Panoyan, a long-time acquaintance and co-worker, waiting for them in their driveway.  Panoyan accompanied the family inside to watch Dallas on television. 

Shortly after 9:00 p.m., Panoyan went to his truck to retrieve some venison that he had brought as a gift for the Deckers.  Moments after Panoyan returned, a masked gunman (later identified as Dana Williamson) entered the house and put a gun to Clydeís head. 

Williamson ordered Clyde and Robert to lie on the floor and demanded their wallets.  Robert told Williamson that he did not have his wallet. It was locked away in the safe. Meanwhile, Robert asked Panoyan if he knew the identity of the gunman, but Panoyan said nothing. 

Williamson then restrained all three men with handcuffs and ordered Robert to show him where the safe was located in the master bedroom.  After inspecting the safe and deciding that it may be connected to an alarm system, Williamson instructed Robert and his son Carl, who had followed his father into the bedroom, to lie on the floor.

He then tied Robertís feet together to prevent him from escaping.  Robert managed to free himself and peered into the living room where Williamson was whispering something to Panoyan.  Williamson noticed Robert in the doorway and returned to the bedroom to again restrain him.

Williamson then began rummaging through the house in an apparent search for valuables.  Meanwhile, Robert freed himself again.  Upon noticing, Williamson hog-tied Robert and demanded to know where he kept the drugs and money. 

Even though there was an estimated $2,000 in cash in the house, Robert responded that he had none.  After the ordeal, police reports indicated that the cash was gone, along with several others items of value. 

While Williamson continued to search the house, Donna Becker arrived home.  As she walked to the bedroom, Williamson grabbed her and pulled her into the hallway.  Williamson stabbed Donna several times.  After being stabbed, Donna managed to call 911 from a closet in the house.  She alerted police to the robbery and expressed concern for her husbandís and sonís safety. 

Williamson continued to search the home and then returned to the bedroom with a piece of paper asking Robert for a copy of his signature.  Robert noticed that his wife Donna had already signed the paper.  Williamson then shot Robert, his father Clyde and his son Carl all in the head.  The men and the boy survived; however, Donna Decker was found dead in the closet when police arrived at the scene.

Months later, Charles Panoyan identified Dana Williamson as the perpetrator of the robbery and murder.  According to his testimony, Panoyan knew Williamson through Williamsonís father, Charlie, who was a good friend of Panoyanís. 

Panoyan testified that Williamson approached him on several occasions and inquired whether Robert Decker dealt drugs.  Panoyan adamantly insisted that Robert Decker was not involved in drugs.  Williamson again asked about Robert Deckerís drug involvement the night before the murder.  

Panoyan testified that, on the night of the murder, as he went to his truck to retrieve the venison for the Deckerís, he was held at gunpoint by Dana Williamson and his brother, Rodney Williamson. They told him they were going to rob the Deckerís. 

The Williamson brothers allegedly threatened to kill Panoyan and his family if he said anything to Robert or Clyde Decker when he went back inside the house.  Panoyan informed police that he recognized the gun that Dana Williamson was carrying as his own and that Williamson must have stolen it from his truck. 

Panoyan testified that during the robbery and murder, Williamson told him to go outside, where he was held at gunpoint by Rodney Williamson.  Rodney Williamson instructed him to get in his truck and drive a short distance down the road.  Panoyan claimed that Rodney Williamson repeatedly threatened his life and the lives of his family members. While the two men were stopped in the truck, Dana Williamson approached the truck without his mask. Williamson ordered Panoyan to leave and not to tell the authorities anything about what had happened that night.  He then reiterated his original threats against Panoyan and his family. 

Panoyan claimed that, after he was released by the Williamson brothers, he went to a nearby shopping mall and asked a security guard for some money to call his wife.  The security guard called a police officer, who escorted Panoyan to the Decker household and then to the police station where he was questioned concerning the crimes.  It was during this interrogation that Panoyan acknowledged the crime that was committed at the Deckerís household but that he was unaware of the assailantís identity. 

At trial, Panoyan acknowledged that he did not come forward with the Williamsonsí identity right away because of the threats they had made against him, and Dana Williamsonís reputation of having previously killed a child.

Dana Williamson and Charles Panoyan were both indicted for the crimes 08/13/92; however, due to his testimony against Williamson, the charges against Panoyan were dismissed and he was released.

NOTE: In 1975, Williamson was convicted of manslaughter for killing a small child.

Codefendant Information:

Rodney Williamson was convicted of First-Degree Murder and multiple counts of Armed Burglary, Armed Robbery, Kidnapping and Extortion.  Williamson was sentenced to 30 years for extortion and to life imprisonment on all other convictions.


Trial Summary:

08/13/92          The defendant was indicted on the following charges:

Count I: First-Degree Murder
Count II: Attempted First-Degree Murder
Count III: Attempted First-Degree Murder
Count IV: Attempted First-Degree Murder
Count V: Armed Burglary (Dwelling)
Count VI: Armed Burglary (Conveyance) - charges dropped
Count VII: Armed Burglary (Conveyance) - charges dropped
Count VIII: Armed Robbery
Count IX: Armed Robbery
Count X: Armed Robbery
Count XI: Armed Robbery
Count XII: Armed Kidnapping
Count XIII: Armed Kidnapping
Count XIV: Armed Kidnapping
Count XV: Armed Kidnapping
Count XVI: Armed Kidnapping
Count XVII: Extortion

02/19/94          The jury found the defendant guilty as charged.           

06/03/94          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by an 11 to 1 majority, voted for the death penalty.

07/15/94          The defendant was sentenced as follows:

Count I: First-Degree Murder - Death
Count II: Attempted First-Degree Murder - Life
Count III: Attempted First-Degree Murder - Life
Count IV: Attempted First-Degree Murder - Life
Count V: Armed Burglary (Dwelling) - Life
Count VIII: Armed Robbery - Life
Count IX: Armed Robbery - Life
Count X: Armed Robbery - Life
Count XI: Armed Robbery - Life
Count XII: Armed Kidnapping - Life
Count XIII: Armed Kidnapping - Life
Count XIV: Armed Kidnapping - Life
Count XV: Armed Kidnapping - Life
Count XVI: Armed Kidnapping - Life
Count XVII: Extortion Ė 30 years


Case Information:

On 08/18/94, Dana Williams filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court.  In that appeal, he argued that the trial court erred by admitting testimony regarding his 1975 conviction for manslaughter.  Williamson next argued that the trial court erred in failing to sever his extortion charge from the trial and for allowing erroneously admitted evidence.  Williamson also contended that the trial court erred in its consideration and application of aggravating and mitigating circumstances.  On 09/19/96, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed Dana Williamsonís convictions and sentence of death. 

On 02/28/97, Williamson filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on 04/28/97.

On 03/24/98, Williamson filed a 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court that is currently pending.


Dana Williamson



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