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.
REAVES, William (B/M)
DC # 040002
Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Indian River County, Case #86-0729
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable John E. Fennely
Attorney, Trial: Clifford Barnes – Special Appointed Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal (1st): Clifford Barnes – Special Appointed Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal (2nd): Jonathan Kirschner – Private
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: William Hennis and Melissa Donoho – CCRC-S
Date of Offense: 09/23/86
Date of Sentence: 09/02/87
Date of Re-sentence: 03/06/92
Circumstances of Offense:
William Reaves was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Richard Raczkowski.
On 09/23/86, Deputy Sheriff Richard Raczkowski responded to a 911 call that was placed from the pay phone of a Zippy Mart convenience store near Vero Beach. According to Reaves, he had placed the call because he did not have money for a taxicab. The deputy called the 911 dispatcher to order a cab and inquired about outstanding warrants for William Reaves. According to Reaves’ confession, a gun fell out of his pants while he and the deputy were waiting for the cab. When Reaves tried to retrieve the gun, the deputy stepped on his hand. A struggle ensued, with Reaves eventually grabbing Deputy Raczkowski by the throat and wrestling the gun away from him. Deputy Sheriff Richard Raczkowski stepped away from Reaves asking him not to kill him, and then he turned and ran. Reaves shot the deputy four times in the back as he was running. A witness, who found the deputy, reported that he saw a black man in red shorts and a white t-shirt running away. The deputy died later in the morning.
Reaves went to the home of Eugene Hinton, who was a friend of Reaves. He reported to Hinton that he had just shot a cop. Reaves told Hinton that the cop begged him to not to kill him. Hinton also reported that Reaves appeared to be in full control. Reaves claimed that he emptied the gun at the officer as he ran away because he was high on cocaine and panicked. A firearm expert testified that the type of gun used by Reaves has to have the trigger pulled each time to fire. Another witness testified that Reaves had been wearing red shorts and a white t-shirt the afternoon of the homicide and did not appear to have been using drugs or alcohol.
The police were informed that Reaves would be departing from the bus station at 11:30 p.m. on 09/26/86. Officers attempted to arrest Reaves who struggled with the officers. During the struggle, a firearm discharged within the bus station. Reaves was brought under control by the officers. He was arrested and found to be carrying cocaine in a department store bag.
Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:
In 1973, Reaves was sentenced to eight years for Robbery and served four years. In 1979, he was sentenced to five years for Grand Theft and served four years. In 1984, Reaves was sentenced to three years and six months for involvement in the selling of heroin and served less than two years.
On 09/30/91, Reaves committed Battery upon a Law Enforcement Officer (Indian River County Circuit Court #91-1081). He was sentenced to two and one-half years for this offense.
09/26/86 Reaves arrested.
10/09/86 Reaves was indicted on the following counts:
Count I: First-Degree Murder
Count II: Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
Count III: Trafficking in Cocaine of an amount in excess of 28 grams, but less than 400 grams
10/29/86 Reaves entered a not guilty plea.
09/02/87 Reaves was found guilty on Count I.
Counts II and III were Nolle Prossed.
09/02/87 Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 12 to 0 majority, voted for the death penalty.
09/02/87 Reaves was sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder – Death
02/25/92 During the second trial, Reaves was found guilty on Count I.
02/28/92 Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 10 to 2 majority, voted for the death penalty.
03/06/92 Reaves was sentenced as follows:
Count I: Murder in the First-Degree – Death
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal (First Trial)
574 So. 2d 105
09/17/87 Appeal filed.
01/15/91 FSC reversed the conviction and sentence and remanded the case to the trial court for a new trial.
02/27/91 Rehearing denied.
04/01/91 Mandate issued.
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal (Second Trial)
639 So. 2d 1
03/26/92 Appeal filed.
04/07/94 FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence.
06/10/94 Rehearing denied.
07/01/94 Mandate issued.
United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari
513 U.S. 990
09/08/94 Petition filed.
11/07/94 USSC denied the Petition.
Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion
02/15/96 Motion filed.
02/17/99 Amended Motion filed.
02/10/00 Motion denied.
Florida State Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal
826 So. 2d 932
04/17/00 Appeal filed.
06/20/02 FSC affirmed the denial of Reaves’ 3.850 Motion in part and in part remanded for an evidentiary hearing on the claim of ineffective counsel.
09/09/02 Rehearing denied.
10/09/02 Mandate issued.
Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
837 So. 2d 396
01/03/02 Petition filed.
01/09/03 Petition denied.
Florida State Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal
942 So. 2d 874
05/24/04 Appeal filed.
09/14/06 FSC affirmed Reaves’ conviction and sentence.
11/02/06 Rehearing denied.
11/20/06 Mandate issued.
Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion
12/21/06 Motion filed.
12/11/07 Amended motion filed.
07/01/08 Second amended motion filed.
09/18/08 Motion denied.
Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Appeal
27 So.3d 661
10/23/08 Appeal filed.
11/04/09 FSC affirmed the denial of the 3.851 Motion.
11/19/09 Motion for Rehearing filed.
02/04/10 Motion for Rehearing denied.
United States District Court, Southern District – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
02/16/10 Petition filed.
State Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion
11/29/10 Motion filed.
02/09/11 Motion denied.
Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Appeal
03/16/11 Appeal filed.
Factors Contributing to the Delay in Execution of Sentence:
The first Direct Appeal and the 3.850 Motion were both pending for three years prior to a decision being rendered. The 3.850 Appeal was remanded to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing.
Reaves filed his first Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 09/17/87. Reaves raised several issues in the appeal. The first issue addressed was that the prosecutor was at one time Reaves’ defense attorney. Reaves also raised the issue that the court refused to offer the jury instructions about finding Reaves guilty of Third-Degree murder. Reaves also argued was that the trial court did not inquire into the state’s preemptory challenge of a black juror. Reaves further argued that the state misrepresented evidence to support the aggravating factor of a prior conviction for a violent felony. Furthermore, Reaves argued that he had moved to disqualify the prosecutor before trial, and the court did not grant this motion. The Florida Supreme Court found that the trial court had erred in allowing the prosecutor, Bruce Colton, who had defended Reaves in a criminal matter previously in the role of defense attorney, to the case. The Florida Supreme Court reversed the conviction and sentence and remanded the case to the trial court for a new trial on 01/15/91.
Reaves filed his second Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 03/26/92. Reaves argued that statements made by Hinton before and during the trial were inconsistent. Another issue raised by Reaves was that there were errors in the jury selection process. Finally, Reaves argued that the State Attorney’s office should not have been allowed to prosecute him during the second trial because Mr. Colton, Reaves’ previous public defender, was now a prosecutor for the state. The Florida Supreme Court did not find errors that warranted reversing the conviction or sentence. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and sentence on 04/07/94.
Reaves filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on 07/08/94. The petition was denied on 11/07/94.
Reaves filed a 3.850 Motion in the Indian River Circuit Court on 02/15/96. The motion was denied on 02/17/99.
Reaves filed a 3.850 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 04/17/00. He addressed claims of ineffective counsel since counsel denied the right to interview jurors or to confront witnesses. Reaves also contended that he was innocent of First-Degree Murder and that the death penalty was unconstitutional. Reaves argued that error occurred in that the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the 3.850 Denial in all aspects except for Reaves claim of ineffective counsel for which the Florida Supreme Court remanded the case to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing. Rehearing was denied on 09/09/02. A mandate was issued on 10/09/02.
Reaves filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Florida Supreme Court on 01/03/02. The Florida Supreme Court denied the petition on 01/09/03.
Reaves filed a 3.850 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 05/24/04. On 09/14/06, the FSC affirmed Reaves’ conviction and sentence.
Reaves filed a 3.851 Motion in the Circuit Court on 12/21/06 and then an Amended 3.851 Motion on 12/11/07. A second amended motion was filed on 07/01/08. The final order denying the 3.851 Motion was entered on 09/18/08.
On 10/23/08, Reaves filed a 3.851 appeal in the Florida Supreme Court. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the denial of the 3.851 motion on 11/04/09. A Motion for Rehearing was filed on 11/19/09, and was denied on 02/04/10.
Reaves filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the United States District Court, Southern District on 02/16/10. This petition is currently pending.
Reaves filed a 3.851 Motion in the State Circuit Court on 11/29/10. This motion was denied on 02/09/11.
On 03/16/11, Reaves filed a 3.851 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court. This case is currently pending.
DATE DAYS VIOLATION LOCATION
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03/14/95 0 DISOBEYING ORDER UNION C. I.
01/07/00 0 POSS OF CONTRABAND UNION C. I.
Report Date: 12/21/01 SQ
Approved: 01/06/02 WS
Updated: 03/21/11 EMJ