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.
DAVIS, William (B/M)
Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County Case #03-10469
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Lance M. Day
Attorney, Trial: Lewis Buzzell – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Nada M. Carey – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Frank J. Tassone – Registry
Date of Offense: 08/20/03
Date of Sentence: 08/15/06
Circumstances of Offense:
William Davis was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders of Alice Albin and Loretta Wren.
In August of 2003, William Davis was living in the Dearpoint Trailer Park in Jacksonville. He lived in a trailer with his cousin Heather Hurley, and Heather’s boyfriend, James Armstrong. The murdered victims, Alice Albin and her daughter Loretta Wren, lived in the same trailer park.
Amy Ware was the daughter of Alice Albin and the sister of Loretta Wren. In the summer of 2003, she was living with them in the Dearpoint Trailer Park. That summer, she met Davis and the two began dating. Approximately one week prior to the murders, Ware ended her relationship with Davis and moved to North Carolina.
Armstrong testified that on August 20, 2003, Davis came home to their trailer that evening and seemed to be in a good mood. Armstrong heard Davis leave, then return to the trailer approximately 15 minutes later. Davis went into the kitchen and looked through the silverware drawer. Davis then left for another 15 minutes, then returned and asked Armstrong for a flashlight. Davis left and returned to the trailer several more times, and eventually took a shower and went to his room. These activities all took place between 11 P.M. and midnight.
The next morning, Davis told Armstrong that the previous evening he had been at the trailer where Amy Ware used to live. He said that an ex-boyfriend of Albin’s came to the trailer with a knife. Davis said he fought with the ex-boyfriend and was cut across the inside of his hand. Davis was crying and asked Armstrong to come with him to check on the two women. The two men drove to the trailer. Armstrong banged on the door but there was no answer. Davis looked in the window and ran back down the steps, shouting “oh my god, oh my god!” Armstrong looked in the window, saw two bodies inside, and called 911. Armstrong told Davis to go home. Armstrong testified he told Davis to leave because Davis “didn’t have the mentality to be able” to talk to the police.
Police arrived at the scene, entered the trailer, and found the dead bodies of Wren and Albin on the floor of the living room. They also found Albin’s two-year-old grandson, alive and unharmed, in the back bedroom.
Davis returned to the trailer while the police were still there and began to speak to Officer Singletary. Singletary noticed that Davis had a bloody towel wrapped around his hand. Davis told Singletary that an ex-boyfriend had been at the trailer the night before. Davis asked to speak to a detective.
Davis was interviewed on August 21, 2003 by Detectives Gary Stucki and Mark Romano. Davis initially told the detectives that Albin’s ex-boyfriend had attacked the victims, but he eventually confessed to the murders. Davis told the detectives the shoes and clothing he had been wearing were in the woods and told them how to find them. He also told them he buried pieces of the two knives, both of which broke.
Police recovered a broken knife and knife blade from the crime scene. Police also recovered a knife handle, broken knife, and a broken blade buried in the dirt near Davis’s trailer. They found a black bag in a wooded lot next to the trailer park. Inside the bag were blue jeans, a pair of Reeboks, khaki shorts, a tank top, and a white T-shirt. There was a knife blade inside the khaki shorts.
One of the knives recovered from the scene contained Davis’s DNA. The knife blade had Albin’s DNA on it. The blade found in the khaki shorts contained Wren’s DNA. The DNA on one of the Reeboks was a match to Albin.
Microanalysis indicated that the broken knife found at the crime scene and the blade found in the khaki shorts were once a single piece.
Autopsies indicated that both victims died of sharp force trauma. Albin’s body contained 18 stab wounds. Wren was cut or stabbed 16 times over various parts of her body.
10/02/03 Indicted as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder (Alice Albin)
Count II: First-Degree Murder (Loretta Wren)
05/10/06 Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment
05/13/06 Jury recommended death by a vote of 9-3
08/15/06 Sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder (Alice Albin) – Death
Count II: First-Degree Murder (Loretta Wren) – Death
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
2 So. 3d 952
09/22/06 Appeal filed.
12/18/08 Appeal denied.
01/07/09 Motion for rehearing.
02/06/09 Rehearing denied.
02/24/09 Mandate issued.
United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari
129 S.Ct. 2872
04/21/09 Petition filed.
06/29/09 Petition denied.
Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion
06/25/10 Motion filed.
Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:
There have been no significant delays in the case at this time.
On 09/22/06, Davis filed a direct appeal in the Florida Supreme Court citing the following issues: jury instructions, failure to consider impaired capacity as a mitigating factor, insufficient weight given to mitigating factors, disproportionate nature of the death sentence, and the unconstitutionality of Florida’s death-sentencing procedures. The appeal was denied on 12/18/08 and a mandate was issued on 02/24/09.
On 04/21/09, Davis filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on 06/29/09.
On 06/25/10, Davis filed a 3.850 Motion in the Circuit Court, which is pending.
Report Date: 01/06/09 KLH
Approved: 01/07/09 KLH
Updated: 07/08/10 KKR