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.
POOLE, Mark Anthony (B/M)
Tenth Judicial Circuit, Polk County Case# CF01-7078A-XX
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable J. Dale Durrance
Attorney, Trial: Julia Jester – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Howard L. Dimmig – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Second Penalty Phase: TBA
Date of Offense: 10/12/01
Date of Sentence (1st): 08/25/05
Date of Sentence (2nd): TBA
Circumstances of Offense:
On 08/25/05, Mark Anthony Poole was sentenced to death for the murder of Noah Scott and to life in prison for the attempted murder Scott’s fiancée.
Noah Scott, 24, and his fiancée, whose name is intentionally omitted, were living in the Orangewood Village Mobile Home Park in Lakeland, Florida. At the time, Scott’s fiancée was about five months pregnant with the couple’s first child. On the evening of 10/12/01, Poole broke into the couple’s home as they were sleeping. His fiancée awoke in the middle of the night with a pillow being placed over her face and an intruder sitting on top of her. Poole began to rape her and sexually assault her, demanding to know where the money was. She resisted and begged Poole not to hurt her because of her pregnancy, but Poole repeatedly struck her with a tire iron, severing two of her fingers and causing her to move in and out of consciousness. During the attack, Scott attempted to stop Poole but was repeatedly struck in the head with the tire iron, rendering him unconscious. At some point after the attack, Poole left the bedroom to collect a cache of video games and game equipment. Before leaving, Poole re-entered the bedroom, touched her vaginal area and said “thank you.”
The female victim fully regained consciousness the next morning at the sound of her alarm. She retrieved her cell phone and called 911. Shortly thereafter, police officers were dispatched to the home. Scott was pronounced dead at the scene. His fiancée was found severely injured in the hallway adjacent to the bedroom with multiple face and head wounds and missing part of her fingers. She was rushed to Lakeland Regional Medical Center where doctors treated nine lacerations to her head. Some were so deep they exposed her skull. Medical reports indicated that Scott was struck at least 13 times in the head.
Several witnesses told police officers that they saw Poole or a man matching Poole’s description near the victims’ home on the night of the attacks. Pamela Johnson, Poole’s girlfriend, testified that on that evening, Poole left his house sometime in the evening and did not return until 4:50 a.m. Scott’s fiancée testified that Scott had owned a Sega Genesis, Sega Dreamcast, and a Super Nintendo. The night of the attacks, Poole sold the gaming systems to Ventura Rico, a man who lived in the same mobile home park as the victims. Melissa Nixon, girlfriend to Rico’s cousin, had witnessed the exchange. Nixon testified that the next morning, her son noticed blood on one of the gaming systems. DNA analysis confirmed that the blood found on the Sega Genesis box, Sega Dreamcast box, and the Super Nintendo matched the DNA profile of Scott. A vaginal swab confirmed that the semen found in the female victim was that of Mark Poole. From Poole’s home, police retrieved a blue polo shirt and the pair of Vans shoes Poole said he had been wearing on the night of the murder. A stain found on the left sleeve of one of Poole’s shirts matched the female victim’s blood type. A footwear examination revealed that one of the two footwear impressions found on a notebook in the victim’s trailer matched Poole’s left Vans shoe. The tire iron used in the crimes was found underneath a motor home near the victims’ home.
After surviving the attack, Scott’s fiancée gave birth to a baby boy.
Poole’s sexual battery case was treated separately (CC# 01-4708) for which he was sentenced to life in prison.
Poole has criminal histories in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina and Florida.
Two mental health experts were hired by the defense. Both examiners testified that, although Poole is not insane, he does have low intellect, a substance-abuse problem, and moderate brain damage.
11/01/01 Indicted as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder (Noah Scott)
Count II: Attempted First-Degree Murder
Count III: Armed Burglary
Count IV: Armed Robbery
04/27/05 Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment
05/04/05 Jury recommended death by a vote of 12-0
08/25/05 Sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder (Noah Scott) – Death
Count II: Attempted First-Degree Murder – Life in Prison
Count III: Armed Burglary – Life in Prison
Count IV: Armed Robbery – Life in Prison
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
997 So.2d 382
09/22/05 Appeal filed
04/09/08 Oral Arguments held
12/11/08 Conviction affirmed, Sentence vacated; Case remanded to trial court for new penalty phase
01/05/09 Mandate entered
On 09/22/05, Poole filed a Direct Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court citing the following issues: (1) the trial court erred in denying the appellant’s motion for mistrial based upon a single comment which implicated the appellant’s right to remain silent, (2) the prosecution erred in cross-examining the defense character witness on the defendant’s tattoos, prior arrests, and lack of remorse, (3) the trial court erred in denying a mistrial based upon a comment made on the jury’s duty to recommend the death penalty, and (4) the Florida death penalty statue is unconstitutional. On 12/11/08, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the conviction but vacated the sentence of death based on the third issue raised in the appeal. They remanded the case to the trial court to conduct a new penalty phase. This ruling is not final until time expires to file a motion for rehearing (12/26/08). The Florida Supreme Court entered a mandate in the case on 01/05/09.
Information unavailable at this time.
Report Date: 12/12/08 AEH
Approved: 12/12/08 RM
Update: 04/28/09 AEH