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. 


STEIN, Steven (W/M)

DC #   122551

DOB:   03/06/68


­­­Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County, Case #91-1505CF

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable David C. Wiggins

Attorney, Trial: Jefferson W. Morrow, Esquire

Attorney, Direct Appeal: W.C. McLain – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Linda McDermott – Registry


Date of Offense: 01/20/91

Date of Sentence: 07/23/91


Circumstances of Offense:


Steven Stein was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders of Dennis Saunders and Bobby Hood.


On 01/20/91, Dennis Saunders and Bobby Hood, shift supervisors at the Edgewood Avenue Pizza Hut, were shot to death in the store.  Saunders was shot four times and Hood was shot five times.  A sum of $980 also was taken from the restaurant.  The bodies of Saunders and Hood were found the next day in the men’s bathroom of the Pizza Hut.


Ronald Burroughs, an employee, had left the restaurant shortly after 11 p.m.  He testified that two customers were still inside when he left.  Burroughs identified the customers as Steven Stein and Marc Christmas, the co-defendant.  Stein was a Pizza Hut employee and Christmas was a former employee of Pizza Hut.  The police also found Christmas’s fingerprint on the unpaid guest check.


Kyle White, the roommate of Stein and Christmas, testified that Stein and Christmas had discussed how to rob a Pizza Hut restaurant.  On 01/20/91, Stein and Christmas left the apartment about 9:30 p.m. with a rifle and claimed they were going to see Christmas’s father about selling it.  Christmas’ father, however, testified that Stein nor Christmas came to see him that night.  Stein and Christmas were back home by 11:45 p.m.


After being arrested, Stein gave a statement to the police.  Stein waived his rights and said that he wanted to talk about the crime.  Stein admitted to being part of the robbery and said that it had “gone bad.”  He never admitted to shooting either Saunders or Hood.


Codefendant Information:


Marc Christmas (Duval County Circuit Court # 91-1504)


Marc Christmas was convicted of three counts for his involvement in the crimes that occurred on 01/20/91.  Christmas was sentenced on 11/12/91.  He received three life sentences for the two counts of First-Degree Murder during the Commission of a Felony and for one count of Robbery with a Deadly Weapon.


Trial Summary:


02/07/91          Indicted on the following:

                                    Count I:           First-Degree Murder

                                    Count II:         First-Degree Murder

                                    Count III:        Robbery with a Deadly Weapon

06/20/91          Stein was found guilty on all counts charged in the indictment.

06/20/91          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 10 to 2 majority, voted for the death penalty.

07/23/91          Stein was sentenced as follows:

                                    Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

                                    Count II:         First-Degree Murder – Death

Count III:        Robbery with a Deadly Weapon – Life, less 182 days for time served


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC #78,460

632 So. 2d 1361 (Fla. 1994)


08/19/91          Appeal filed.

01/13/94          FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence.

03/15/94          Rehearing denied.

04/14/94          Mandate issued.


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC #93-9144

513 U.S. 834 (U.S. 1994)


05/16/94          Petition filed.

10/03/94          USSC denied the Petition.

Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #91-1505CF


11/15/95          Motion filed.

06/21/96          Amended motion filed.

05/03/02          Amended motion filed.

10/18/02          Evidentiary Hearing held.

11/04/02          Motion denied in part.

05/02/06          Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Appeal (non-final)

FSC# 04-1037

895 So.2d 406 (2005)


06/14/04          Appeal filed.

01/28/05          Appeal denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Appeal

FSC# 06-1505

995 So.2d 329


06/30/06          Appeal filed.

09/25/08          Disposition affirmed.

10/10/08          Motion for Rehearing filed.

11/19/08          Rehearing denied.

12/05/08          Mandate issued.


United States District Court, Middle District –Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

USDC# 09-01162



11/30/09          Petition filed.


State Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC# 91-1505



10/26/10          Motion filed.


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:


The Direct Appeal was pending for three years and the 3.850 is still pending after six years.


Case Information:


Steven Stein filed his Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 08/19/91.  He raised several issues on Direct Appeal.  Stein claimed that the trial judge erred in not suppressing statements he made, allowing a suppression hearing to continue after Stein’s counsel had left, and not declaring a mistrial after prejudicial remarks were made in front of the jury.  He also argued that the mitigating and aggravating circumstances were mishandled.  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 01/13/94.  Rehearing was denied on 03/15/94.  A mandate was issued on 04/14/94.


Stein filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on 05/16/94.  The United States Supreme Court denied the petition on 10/03/94.


Stein filed a 3.850 Motion in the Duval County Circuit Court on 11/15/95.  Amended motions were filed on 06/21/96 and 05/03/02.  An evidentiary hearing was held on 10/18/02.  The motion was denied in part on 11/04/02.  On 05/02/06, the motion was denied entirely.


On 06/14/04, Stein filed a 3.851 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court.  The appeal was denied on 01/28/05.


Stein filed a 3.851 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 06/30/06.  On 09/25/08, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the Circuit Court’s disposition and denied the 3.851 Appeal.  On 10/10/08, Stein filed a Motion for Rehearing in the Florida Supreme Court.  This motion was denied on 11/19/08.  The Florida Supreme Court issued a mandate in this case on 12/05/08.


On 11/30/09, Stein filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the United States District Court, Middle District. This case is currently pending.


On 10/26/10, Stein filed a 3.851 Motion in the State Circuit Court. This motion is currently pending.


Institutional Adjustment:


 DATE          DAYS                    VIOLATION                       LOCATION     

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

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

03/26/00          0                      DISOBEYING ORDER          UNION C. I.       




Report Date:   01/03/02          S.Q.

Approved:       04/21/03          W.S.

Updated:         01/18/11          EMJ