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.
DUFOUR, Donald (W/M)
Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County Case # 82-5467
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Michael F. Cycmanick
Attorney, Trial: Jay P. Cohen – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Brynn Newton – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Hunter Harris Chamberlin – CCRC-M
Date of Offense: 09/04/82
Date of Sentence: 07/03/84
Circumstances of Offense:
Donald Dufour’s former girlfriend, Stacey Sigler, testified that on the evening of 09/04/82, Dufour told her that he planned to find a homosexual man, and then rob and kill him. Dufour requested that Sigler drop him off at a bar and await his call. About one hour later, he called Sigler to have her pick him up at his brother’s house. When she arrived, Dufour was searching the trunk of a car that Sigler did not recognize and was wearing new jewelry – both the car and jewelry belonged to the victim, later determined to be Zack Miller.
An associate of Dufour, Robert Taylor, testified that Dufour told him that he (Dufour) had used a .25 caliber pistol to shoot Zack Miller in an orange grove and then take his car. Taylor purchased a piece of the stolen jewelry from Dufour and helped him disassemble the pistol and discard the pieces in a junkyard.
Another associate of Dufour, Raymond Ryan, testified that Dufour told him of the killing and admitted to stealing the jewelry. Ryan also saw Dufour and Taylor disassemble the pistol.
A prison acquaintance of Dufour, Henry Miller, testified that Dufour also told him the details of the murder.
Zack Miller was found in an orange grove, with two gunshot wounds to his back and head.
01/20/83 Information presented by the State, charging one count of First-Degree
05/31/84 Jury returned a guilty verdict
05/31/84 Jury recommended a death sentence by a vote of 12-0
07/03/84 Sentenced to death
On 03/06/86, Dufour pled no contest and was sentenced to Life Imprisonment for the First-Degree Murder of Edward Wise (Case# 83-319), committed on 07/04/82. In return for the plea, the State agreed to drop another murder charge against Dufour for the murder of John Stinson, who was killed at the same time as Wise.
Dufour was convicted and sentenced to death for the 10/14/82 murder of Earl Peeples in Mississippi. Robert Taylor, who testified against Dufour as to the murder of the Florida man, was a codefendant of Dufour and was convicted and sentenced to death for another murder committed at the same time as Dufour’s murder of Peeples.
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
495 So.2d 154
08/06/84 Appeal filed
09/04/86 FSC affirmed conviction and sentence
10/27/86 Rehearing denied
12/02/86 Mandate issued
U.S. Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari
479 U.S. 1101
12/27/86 Petition filed
02/23/87 USSC denied Petition
Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion
09/21/92 Motion filed
10/16/01 Motion amended
05/30/03 Circuit Court denied Motion
Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Motion Appeal
905 So.2d 42
07/30/03 Appeal filed
04/14/05 FSC affirmed denial of Motion
06/14/05 Rehearing denied
06/30/05 Mandate issued
Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
905 So.2d 42
02/19/04 Petition filed
04/14/05 FSC denied Petition
06/14/05 Rehearing denied
06/30/05 Mandate issued
Circuit Court – 3.203 Motion
11/24/04 Motion filed
08/09/05 Motion amended
12/19/08 Motion denied
Florida Supreme Court – 3.203 Appeal
02/16/09 Appeal filed
02/03/11 Denial affirmed
02/18/11 Motion for rehearing
Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:
The time between the denial of the Petition for Writ of Certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court and the filing of the 3.850 Motion in the Circuit Court (02/23/87 – 09/21/92 have contributed to the delay. The 3.850 Motion was pending from 09/21/92 – 05/30/03.
Dufour filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 08/06/84, citing the following errors: denial of motion to suppress evidence; admission of evidence from Miller that violated his 6th Amendment right to counsel; denial of several motions for mistrial (inappropriate prosecutorial evidence during opening statements); inappropriately limiting the cross-examination of Taylor; allowing a witness to read into evidence a statement made by Taylor; failure to issue a mistrial for prosecutorial comments during closing arguments that drew attention to Dufour’s failure to take the stand during the trial; conducting pretrial motion hearings in Dufour’s absence; denial of Dufour’s motions for continuance; declining to impose sanctions for prosecutorial misconduct regarding discovery; forcing Dufour to wear leg shackles during trial led to jury prejudice; denial of Dufour’s motion for mistrial due to failure to dismiss a juror that had received a “strange” phone call; denial of proposed special jury instructions during the penalty phase of trial; admission of evidence of another murder in Mississippi; denial of a motion to strike death as a possible penalty due to failure to list all aggravating circumstances that might apply in the case; failure to establish two aggravating circumstances (avoiding a lawful arrest and cold, calculated, and premeditated murder); and unconstitutionality of Florida’s death penalty statute. The FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence on 09/04/86.
Dufour filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on 12/27/86 that was denied on 02/23/87.
Dufour filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court on 09/21/92 and amended the Motion on 10/16/01. On 05/30/03, the Circuit Court denied the Motion.
Dufour filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 07/30/03, primarily citing allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel. On 04/14/05, the FSC affirmed the denial of the Motion.
Dufour filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Florida Supreme Court on 02/19/04, citing allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel. On 04/14/05, the FSC denied the Petition.
Dufour filed a 3.203 Motion with the Circuit Court on 11/24/04 and amended the motion on 8/9/05. A partial Evidentiary Hearing was held on 08/06/07 and 10/11/07. The motion was denied on 12/19/08.
Dufour filed a 3.203 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 02/16/09. The denial of Dufour’s 3.203 motion was affirmed on 02/03/11. On 02/18/11, Dufour filed a motion for rehearing. That motion 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
09/05/78 30 DISOBEYING ORDER LANTANA C. I.
11/30/80 30 POSS OF NEGOTIABLES MARION C.I
03/10/81 0 BEING IN UNAUTH AREA MARION C.I
03/30/81 0 BEING IN UNAUTH AREA MARION C.I
Report Date: 01/13/04 JFL
Approved: 01/26/04 WS
Updated: 03/18/11 JJK