The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly. This information, however, is subject to change and may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied upon for statistical or legal purposes.
GORDON, Robert (B/M)
Sixth Judicial Circuit, Pinellas County Case # 94-02958
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Susan R. Schaeffer
Attorney, Trial: Robert A. Love – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Michael Hursey – Private
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Bjorn E. Brunvand – Court Appointed
Date of Offense: 01/25/94
Date of Sentence: 11/16/95
Circumstances of Offense:
Robert Gordon and his codefendant, Meryl McDonald, were hired by Denise Davidson to kill her estranged husband, Dr. Louis Davidson.
Early on the morning of January 25, 1994, McDonald and Gordon waited in the parking lot of the apartment complex where Dr. Davidson lived. Gordon met with Dr. Davidson and the two walked to Davidson’s apartment. Dr. Davidson’s body was discovered later that day by his fiancée. His body was blindfolded, bound, gagged, and hogtied, lying face down in a bathtub full of bloody water. The apartment had been ransacked, and Davidson’s watch, camera, and money clip were missing, although $19,300 in cash and some credit cards remained.
The medical examiner testified that Davidson had bruises on his face and shoulders, three broken ribs, and multiple lacerations on the back of his scalp, caused by a blunt object. The cause of Davidson’s death was drowning.
Money transfers from Denise Davidson to Robert Gordon, as well as phone records and physical evidence recovered from the hotel where Gordon was staying during the time of the murder implicated him in the murder scheme.
Meryl McDonald was convicted of First-Degree Murder and was sentenced to death.
Denise Davidson was convicted in a separate trial of First-Degree Murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Susan Shore agreed to testify for the State, and as a result, her charges were reduced to accessory after the fact. She was sentenced to probation.
Leonardo Cisneros remains a fugitive.
02/28/94 Indicted on the charge of First-Degree Murder
06/15/95 Jury returned guilty verdict on the sole count of the indictment
06/16/95 Jury recommended the death sentence by a vote of 9-3
11/16/95 Sentenced to death
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
704 So. 2d 107
12/04/95 Appeal filed
11/26/97 FSC affirmed conviction and death sentence.
01/16/98 Rehearing denied
02/16/98 Mandate issued
Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion
02/18/99 Motion filed
04/23/02 Circuit court denied motion
Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal
863 So. 2d 1215
05/30/02 Appeal filed
12/18/03 FSC affirmed denial of motion
01/09/04 Mandate issued
U.S. District Court, Middle District – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
05/17/04 Petition filed
05/26/04 USDC struck petition
12/16/04 Petition amended
08/28/06 USDC dismissed petition
U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Appeal
479 F.3d 1299
10/27/06 Appeal filed
03/01/07 USCA denied Certificate of Appealability
Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion
09/07/07 Motion filed
10/30/07 Motion denied
Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion
09/28/09 Motion filed
02/23/10 Motion denied
Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Appeal
03/26/10 Appeal filed
Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:
The 3.850 Motion was pending from 02/18/99 – 04/23/02.
On 12/04/95, Gordon filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, citing the following errors: denying Gordon’s motion to strike the venire; denying motion for judgment of acquittal at the close of evidence; denying request for a separate penalty phase from that of his codefendant and a new penalty phase jury; disproportional sentencing; and improper finding of the cold, calculated, and premeditated and heinous, atrocious, or cruel aggravating factors. On 11/26/97, the FSC affirmed the conviction and death sentence.
On 02/18/99, Gordon filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court, which was denied on 04/23/02.
On 05/30/02, Gordon filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. On 12/18/03, the FSC affirmed the denial of the 3.850 Motion.
On 05/17/04, Gordon filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the U.S. District Court, Middle District, which was stricken by the court on 05/26/04. On 12/16/04, the Petition was amended, and on 08/28/06, the USDC dismissed the petition.
On 10/27/06, Gordon filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit. On 03/01/07, the USCA denied the Certificate of Appealability.
On 09/07/07, Gordon filed a 3.851 Motion with the Circuit Court, which was denied on 10/30/07.
On 09/28/09, Gordon filed a 3.851 Motion with the Circuit Court, which was denied on 02/23/10.
On 03/26/10, Gordon filed a 3.851 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, which is pending.
THE FOLLOWING ENTRIES REFLECT DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AGAINST THE INMATE FOR VIOLATION OF THE RULE CITED AND INDICATE THE GAIN TIME DAYS LOST.
DATE DAYS VIOLATION LOCATION
06/03/97 0 DISRESP.TO OFFICIALS UNION C. I.
Report Date: 08/03/01 JFL
Approved: 11/16/01 WS
Updated: 03/30/10 KKR