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 on for statistical or legal purposes.


COLEMAN, Michael (B/M)

DC #    067457

DOB:   07/24/61 


First Judicial Circuit, Escambia County, Case #89-01139

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Nickolas P. Geeker

Trial Attorney: Ted A. Stokes – Private

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Ted A. Stokes – Private

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Harry Brody – Registry


Date of Offense:           09/19/88     

Date of Sentence:         09/29/89         


Circumstances of Offense:


Pensacola members of the “Miami Boys,” a statewide drug organization, placed a safe containing drugs and money in the home of Michael McCormick.  McCormick’s neighbors, Derrick Hill and Morris Douglas stole the safe from him.  In order to keep the location of the stolen goods unknown, Hill and Douglas then gave the drugs and money to Darlene Crenshaw.


On 09/19/88, Michael Coleman, Timothy Robinson, Bruce Frazier, and Michael McCormick, members of the “Miami Boys,” busted into Hill and Douglas’ apartment in search of the stolen goods.  Darlene Crenshaw and Amanda Merrell were also in the apartment visiting Hill and Douglas.  Coleman and his associates then forced all the apartment’s inhabitants to completely strip, after which he tied them up with electrical cord.  Darrell Frazier then arrived with Mildred Baker, McCormick’s girlfriend.  Robinson ordered the captives to relinquish the stolen drugs, and when no one spoke up, he began stabbing Hill.  Crenshaw stated that she could take them to the drugs, and left with Bruce and Darrell Frazier.  Coleman and Robinson then raped both Merrell and Baker.


After showing the Fraziers to the drugs and money, Crenshaw escaped.  When the Fraziers returned to Hill and Douglas’ apartment, Coleman and Robinson slashed and shot their five captives, including McCormick, and then all four men left.  Despite being shot in the head and having her throat slashed, Merrell survived the attack and summoned police.  The other four prisoners died at the scene.


Merrell and Crenshaw were able to identify Coleman from photographs, which aided authorities in their search for the defendant.  The Pensacola Sheriff’s Department arrested Coleman on 02/14/89.


Codefendant Information:


Timothy Robinson was sentenced to death for his part in the murders on 09/26/89.

Robinson was convicted of First-Degree Murder, Attempted Murder, Armed Kidnapping, Armed Sexual Battery, Armed Robbery, Armed Burglary and Conspiracy to Traffic.


Bruce Frazier was convicted of Second-Degree Murder, Attempted Murder, Armed Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, Armed Burglary, and Conspiracy to Traffic.  Frazier was sentenced to 30 years for Trafficking and 50 years for each of the other convictions.


Darrell Frazier was convicted and sentenced to life for First-Degree Murder, Second-Degree Murder, Armed Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, and Armed Burglary.  He was sentenced to 30 years for Second-Degree Murder and Conspiracy to Traffic. 


Prior Incarceration in the State of Florida:



Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Prison Sentence Length






5Y 0M 0D






4Y 6M 0D






4Y 0M 0D






15Y 0M 0D



NOTE:            On 01/21/92, Michael Coleman was sentenced to 15 years for an Aggravated Battery that occurred while he was incarcerated in the Florida prison system for the aforementioned quadruple homicide.


Trial Summary:


02/14/89          Defendant arrested.

02/28/89          Defendant indicted.

05/23/89          Amended indictment filed, charging:

                                    Count I:            First-Degree Murder   

                                    Count II:           First-Degree Murder

                                    Count III:         First-Degree Murder

                                    Count IV:         First-Degree Murder

                                    Count V:          Attempted Murder

                                    Count VI:         Armed Kidnapping

                                    Count VII:        Armed Kidnapping

                                    Count VIII:       Armed Kidnapping

                                    Count IX:         Armed Kidnapping

                                    Count X:          Armed Kidnapping

                                    Count XI:         Armed Kidnapping

                                    Count XII:        Armed Sexual Battery

                                    Count XIII:       Armed Sexual Battery

                                    Count XIV:      Conspiracy to Traffic

                                    Count XV:        Armed Burglary

                                    Count XVI:      Armed Robbery

                                    Count XVII:     Armed Robbery

06/01/89          The defendant was found guilty on all counts.

06/02/89          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 6 to 6 count, voted for life


09/29/89          Judge Geeker overrode the jury’s recommendation of life and the

defendant was sentenced as followed:

                                    Count I:            First-Degree Murder                Death

                                    Count II:           First-Degree Murder                Death

                                    Count III:         First-Degree Murder                Death

                                    Count IV:         First-Degree Murder                Death

                                    Count V:          Attempted Murder                    30 Years

                                    Count VI:         Armed Kidnapping                   Life

                                    Count VII:        Armed Kidnapping                   Life

                                    Count VIII:       Armed Kidnapping                   Life

                                    Count IX:         Armed Kidnapping                   Life

                                    Count X:          Armed Kidnapping                   Life

                                    Count XI:         Armed Kidnapping                   Life

                                    Count XII:        Armed Sexual Battery               Life

                                    Count XIII:       Armed Sexual Battery               Life

                                    Count XIV:      Conspiracy to Traffic                30 Years

                                    Count XV:        Armed Burglary                        Life

                                    Count XVI:      Armed Robbery                       Life

                                    Count XVII:     Armed Robbery                       Life


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC #74,944

610 So. 2d 1283


10/30/89          Appeal filed.

12/24/92          FSC affirmed the convictions and sentence of death.

12/24/92          Rehearing denied.

01/22/93          Mandate issued.


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC #93-5635

510 U.S. 921


08/17/93          Petition filed.

10/12/93          Petition denied.


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #89-1139


03/24/97          Motion filed.

02/03/00          Amended motion filed.

07/16/04          Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 and 3.203 Motion Appeal

FSC# 04-1520



08/02/04          3.850 Appeal filed.

04/18/05          Motion to relinquish to trial court for 3.203 (determination of mental


09/23/05          Relinquished to trial court for Evidentiary Hearing on mental retardation


09/06/07          3.203 Appeal filed.


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #89-1139


04/21/05          Motion filed.

08/01/07          Motion denied.


State Circuit Court – 3.203 Motion (Relinquished from FSC)

CC #89-1139


09/28/05          Motion filed.

08/28/07          Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

FSC# 09-92


01/21/09          Petition filed.


Factors Contributing to the Delay in the Imposition of the Sentence:


There was a four-year gap between the date that Coleman’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari was denied and the date he filed his Motion to Vacate Judgment and Sentence (3.850).    During this time, Capital Collateral Representative (CCR) was attempting to withdrawal as his collateral counsel, citing a conflict of interest in having represented his co-defendant, Timothy Robinson.  CCR’s motion for withdrawal was denied, however, upon reconsideration, the trial court vacated its earlier ruling and allowed CCR to withdrawal.  When CCR was restructured into 3 regional offices, however, it was a moot point for CCR to withdrawal, as the conflict was resolved by having the co-defendants represented by different regional offices.  In turn, Coleman’s 3.850 Motion was filed in March 1997 and was pending until 2004.  On 10/14/98, Coleman was appointed a new registry attorney, Maria Laverde, who filed a Notice of Withdrawal from the case in October 2003.  On 03/10/04, Spiro Kypreos was assigned as new registry counsel for Michael Coleman, but Baya Harrison was later appointed.


Case Information:


Coleman filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 10/30/89.  In that appeal, he argued that the trial court erred in not severing his trial from those of his co-defendants, in refusing to have a requested portion of the record regarding DNA evidence read back to the jury, and in denying his motion to suppress the testimony of certain witnesses.  Also, Coleman contended that the sentencing judge erred in overriding the jury’s recommendation of life.  The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentence of death on 12/24/02.


Coleman then filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on 10/12/93.


Coleman next filed a 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court on 03/24/97 that was denied on 07/16/04. 


Coleman filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 08/02/04. This motion is pending.


Coleman filed a 3.203 Motion in the Florida Supreme Court on 04/18/05. The Florida Supreme Court relinquished this motion to the trial court for an Evidentiary Hearing on the mental retardation claim on 09/23/05. On relinquishment, the State Circuit Court denied the 3.203 motion on 08/28/07. Coleman then filed a 3.203 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 09/06/07. This motion is pending. 


Coleman filed a 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court on 04/21/05, which was denied on 08/01/07.


Coleman filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Florida Supreme court on 01/21/09 that is pending.


Institutional Adjustment:


DATE              DAYS              VIOLATION                                       LOCATION      

--------            ----                  ----------------------------                  -------------------

08/20/90          0                      DISOBEYING ORDER                      FSP

02/03/91          15                    POSS OF CONTRABAND                FSP

02/26/91          15                    DISOBEYING ORDER                      FSP

05/26/91          30                    DISOBEYING ORDER                      FSP

09/01/91          60                    ASSAULTS OR ATTEMPT                FSP

04/04/93          0                      DISOBEYING ORDER                      FSP

07/29/93          0                      POSS OF NARCOTICS                     UNION C. I.        

02/03/94          0                      POSS OF UNAUTH BEV.                 UNION C. I.        

05/23/94          0                      DISOBEYING ORDER                      UNION C. I.        

05/31/94          0                      FIGHTING                                          UNION C. I.        

06/21/94          0                      PART.IN RIOTS                                 UNION C. I.        

06/30/94          0                      DISOBEYING ORDER                      UNION C. I.        

07/01/94          0                      DISOBEYING ORDER                      UNION C. I.        

07/03/94          0                      DISRESP.TO OFFICIALS                 UNION C. I.        

07/25/94          0                      REF. SUB. ABUSE TEST                   UNION C. I.       

02/22/95          0                      DISRESP.TO OFFICIALS                 UNION C. I.       

02/27/00          180                  POSS OF NARCOTICS                     UNION C. I.       

08/01/01          0                      DISOBEYING ORDER                      UNION C. I.       

05/23/04          15                    POSS OF NEGOTIABLES                 UNION C. I.

04/07/06          0                      POSS OF CONTRABAND                UNION C.I.




01/18/02 – ew

02/05/02 – approved – ws

01/05/10 – updated – kkr