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. 


PEARCE, Faunce Levon (W/M)

DC# 741988

DOB:  03/20/62


Sixth Judicial Circuit, Pasco County Case# 99-3110

Sentencing Judge:  The Honorable Maynard F. Swanson, Jr.

Attorney, Trial:  Paul C. Helm – Private

Attorney, Direct Appeal:  Alfred J. Ivie, Jr. – Private

Attorneys, Collateral Appeals:  Richard E. Kiley & James V. Viggiano – CCRC-M


Date of Offenses:  09/14/99

Date of Sentence:  02/14/02

Date of Resentence: 05/20/09


Circumstances of Offense:


On 07/20/01, Faunce Levon Pearce was convicted of the murder of Robert Crawford and the attempted second-degree murder of Stephen Tuttle.  Pearce was sentenced to death for Crawford’s murder and sentenced to life for Tuttle’s attempted murder.


On the evening of 09/13/99, Pearce visited his place of business and sought his coworkers’ teenage stepson, Ken Shook, for LSD gel tablets.  Shook and his friends, Stephen Tuttle and Robert Crawford, contacted Amanda Havner, who had a connection with an LSD saleswoman.  Havner contacted Tanya Barcomb, who had close connections with an LSD supplier.  Pearce gave Shook, Tuttle, Havner and Crawford $1,200 and sent them to purchase a book of LSD gel tablets from Barcomb’s apartment.  Before leaving to pick up the drugs, Pearce warned them against returning without the drugs or the money.


When the four teenagers arrived at the Barcomb’s apartment complex, Barcomb and her boyfriend approached their car, took the $1,200, and told them to stay in the car while they bring the LSD out to them.  Barcomb and her boyfriend had planned on stealing the money upon their arrival.  As Barcomb and her boyfriend entered the apartment complex, Barcomb’s boyfriend hid the money in his own shoe and punched himself in the mouth, to appear as though he was mugged.  Minutes later, Barcomb and her boyfriend returned to the car and claimed the drug supplier stole their money.  As a result of Barcomb’s deception, the four teenagers had no choice but to return to Pearce without his drugs or money.


Before the group of teens told Pearce about the situation, he received a call from Barcomb explaining that his money was stolen by the supplier and, consequently, his drugs were not available for him.  Pearce became very angry and, once the teenagers arrived at his worksite, Pearce pointed his gun at them and ordered everyone to go into his office.  According to witness testimony, Pearce’s mood became calm and threatening inside his office.  Havner made phone calls in an attempt to recover Pearce’s money, but was unsuccessful.  Pearce slammed Havner’s head into the wall and threatened to shoot her in the head.  Moments later, Havner was released when her brother arrived to pick her up.  Some time later, Pearce ordered Tuttle to perform oral sex on him while at gun point.


Pearce later called his friend, Theodore Butterfield, and requested that he bring weapons to his workplace.  On the way over, Butterfield was accompanied by Lawrence Joseph Smith and Heath Brittingham.  Pearce planned on beating and then interrogating Shook, Tuttle, and Crawford as to who had stolen his money.  Pearce’s coworker, however, refused to allow Pearce to handle his stepson in such a manner and offered to drive Tuttle and Crawford home.  Pearce assured him that he just wanted to “rough them up” a bit until he got his money.


Pearce, Butterfield, Smith, Brittingham, Tuttle, and Crawford crammed into Pearce’s two-door Trans Am, and were driven by Pearce to a deserted area.  Pearce ordered Tuttle out of the car and left it to Smith to “rough him up.”  Smith shot Tuttle in the back of his head with a .40-caliber pistol.  Afterwards, Pearce drove 200 yards down the road and stopped at another site.  Pearce ordered Crawford out of the car and, despite Crawford pleading for his life, he shot Crawford in the arm and the head with the same pistol Tuttle was shot with.  Once the men left the scene, Smith threatened Butterfield and Brittingham that he would kill them if they “snitched.”


On the morning of 09/14/99, police located and interviewed Butterfield and Brittingham.  Later in the day, Smith was arrested.  Pearce was arrested a few weeks later.  Upon Pearce’s indictment, Butterfield and Brittingham agreed to cooperate with the State and testify against Pearce and Smith for assurance that they would not be charged with any the crimes related to these offenses.  In addition, Tuttle survived the gunshot wound to his head and also agreed to testify against Pearce and Smith.


Codefendant Information:

Lawrence Joseph Smith (DC# R24256)


Pearce and Smith were indicted separately for the same offenses.  Smith was convicted of first-degree murder and attempted murder and sentenced to death (CC# 01-2103).  On Direct Appeal, Smith’s convictions and life sentence for attempted murder were affirmed by the Florida Supreme Court.  Because of erroneous statements in the sentencing order, however, the Court remanded the case for resentencing for the first-degree murder conviction.


Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:


Offense Date


Sentence Date


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Prison Sentence Length








2Y 0M 0D




Offense Date


Sentence Date


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0Y 0M 11D








6Y 7M 29D








5Y 0M 0D








3Y 0M 0D








0Y 18M 0D




Trial Summary:


09/17/99          Indicted as follows:

                                    Count I:           First-Degree Murder with a Firearm

                                    Count II:         Attempted Second-Degree Murder with a Firearm

07/20/01          Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

03/01/02          Jury recommended death by a vote of 10-2

02/14/02          Sentenced as follows:

                                    Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

                                    Count II:         Attempted Second-Degree Murder – 25 years

12/01/06          Judge Lynn Tepper granted the 3.850 Motion and ordered a new trial

11/13/08          The Florida Supreme Court reversed the decision for a new trial, and affirmed the disposition for a new penalty phase

05/20/09          Resentenced as follows:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Life without Parole.


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

FSC# 01-2820

816 So. 2d 128 (2002)


12/20/01          Petition filed

03/14/02          Petition denied


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 02-476

880 So. 2d 561


02/28/02          Appeal filed

07/01/04          FSC affirmed sentence and conviction

07/22/04          Mandate issued


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 99-3110CFAES


09/01/05          Motion filed

12/01/06          Circuit Judge granted Pearce’s 3.850 Motion and ordered a new trial


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal (Filed by the State)

FSC# 07-201

994 So.2d 1094


02/02/07          Appeal filed

11/13/08          Disposition for new trial reversed; Disposition for new penalty phase affirmed

12/04/08          Mandate issued



Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:


Pearce’s Direct Appeal took more than two years to settle, primarily because he had undergone withdrawals of counsel at two different times.  On 07/16/02, Pearce filed for a motion to withdraw counsel based on conflict.  On 08/09/02, the Circuit Court appointed Steven Herman of Zephyrhills, Florida, to represent Pearce.  On 07/22/04, a motion to appoint post-conviction counsel was filed.  The Circuit Court appointed collateral attorneys, Bill Jennings and his assistants from CCRC-Middle to represent Pearce.



Case Information:


Prior to Pearce’s Direct Appeal, Pearce filed a Petition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus to the Florida Supreme Court on 12/20/01, which was denied on 03/12/02.


On 02/28/02, Pearce filed a Direct Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court, and there were many issues raised.  First, Pearce claimed the trial court erred by refusing to allow defense counsel to impeach Butterfield and Brittingham’s statement that was previously videotaped.  Second, there was concern for the issue of whether Crawford’s murder was premeditated, which also questioned the jury recommendation of death.  Third, Pearce claimed there was insufficient evidence that supported the trial court’s finding of cold, calculated, and premeditated (CCP) aggravating circumstances.  Finally, Pearce claimed the death sentence was disproportionate.  On 07/01/04, the Florida Supreme Court found the trial court did not err and affirmed Pearce’s convictions and death sentence. 


On 09/01/05, Pearce filed a 3.850 Motion to the Circuit Court.  On 12/01/06, Circuit Judge Lynn Tepper granted Pearce’s 3.850 Motion and ordered a new trial.  Judge Tepper concurred that Pearce’s trial attorneys were ineffective in allowing the State to introduce evidence of sexual battery which was not a charge in Pearce’s trial, and Pearce’s trial attorneys failed to offer any mitigating factors during the penalty portion of the trial concerning his strict upbringing and mental health problems.


On 02/02/07, the State filed a 3.850 Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court.  On 11/13/08, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the disposition ordering a new penalty phase but reversed the decision for a new trial.  The Florida Supreme Court issued a mandate on 12/04/08.


On 05/20/09, Circuit Court Judge Lynn Tepper resentenced Pearce to life without the possibility of parole.


Institutional Adjustment:












Report Date:   11/05/04          NRC

Approved:       11/05/04          JFL

Updated:         08/17/09          EMJ