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. 


HAMILTON, Richard (W/M)

DC#    123846

DOB:   02/16/63


Third Judicial Circuit, Hamilton County Case # 94-150

(Venue changed to Clay County)

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable E. Vernon Douglas

Attorney, Trial: Jimmy E. Hunt & David M. Valin – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Direct Appeal: David A. Davis – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: George W. Blow, III – Registry


Date of Offense:           04/27/94

Date of Sentence:         06/12/95


Circumstances of Offense:


Richard Hamilton and Anthony Wainwright escaped from a North Carolina prison, stole guns and a Cadillac, and traveled to Florida.  When the car overheated on 04/27/94 in Lake City, FL, they kidnapped Carmen Gayheart at gunpoint from a Winn-Dixie parking lot and stole her Ford Bronco.  The two raped, strangled, and shot Gayheart twice in the back of the head.


Codefendant Information:


Wainwright was also convicted of the charges and sentenced to death.


Trial Summary:


07/15/94          Indicted on the following counts:

                                    Count I First-Degree Murder

                                    Count II           Armed robbery

                                    Count III          Armed kidnapping

                                    Count IV          Armed sexual battery

08/12/94          Entered not guilty plea

05/30/95          Jury returned guilty verdict on all counts

06/01/95          By a vote of 10-2, jury recommended death sentence

06/12/95          Sentenced as follows:

                                    Count I First-Degree Murder – Death

                                    Counts II-IV    Life Imprisonment


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 86,021

703 So.2d 1038


07/10/95          Appeal filed

10/23/97          FSC affirmed conviction and sentence

01/08/98          Rehearing denied

02/09/98          Mandate issued


U.S. Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC# 97-8803

524 U.S. 956


04/07/98          Petition filed

06/26/98          USSC denied Petition


Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 94-150


11/08/99          Motion filed

05/29/02          Circuit Court denied Motion


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Motion Appeal

FSC# 02-1426

875 So.2d 586


06/28/02          Appeal filed

06/03/04          FSC affirmed denial of 3.850 Motion

08/26/04          Mandate issued


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

FSC# 02-2409

875 So.2d 586


11/12/02          Petition filed

11/27/02          Petition amended

06/03/04          FSC denied Petition

08/26/04          Mandate issued


U.S. District Court, Middle District – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

USDC# 05-813


08/26/05          Petition filed

06/20/07          Amended petition filed

07/07/08          Petition denied


United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit – Habeas Appeal

USCA# 08-14836


10/06/08          Appeal filed


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:


The Direct Appeal was pending from 07/10/95 to 02/09/98.


Case Information:


On 07/10/95, Hamilton filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, citing the following nine errors: denying a mistrial, allowing the State to impeach its own witnesses, allowing the State to elicit testimony indicating Hamilton lied to the police, refusing to instruct the jury that Hamilton withdrew from the plan to commit murder, overruling defense objections to prosecutorial statements, admitting testimony concerning the victim’s children, admitting several statements obtained in violation of his right to cut off police questioning, admitting evidence which the State had failed to prove, giving unconstitutional jury instruction on an aggravating circumstance (CCP).  The FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence of Hamilton on 10/23/97.


On 04/07/98, Hamilton filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court that was denied on 06/26/98


On 11/08/99, Hamilton filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court and amended the Motion on 06/30/00.  The Motion was denied on 05/29/02.


On 06/28/02, Hamilton filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel.  On 06/03/04, the FSC affirmed the denial of the 3.850 Motion. 


On 11/12/02, Hamilton filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Florida Supreme Court.  On 11/27/02, he amended the Petition, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel and Ring issues.  On 06/03/04, the FSC denied the Petition.


On 08/26/05, Hamilton filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the U.S. District Court, Middle District that was amended on 06/20/07. This petition was denied on 07/07/08.


On 10/06/08, Hamilton filed a Habeas Appeal with the United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit. This appeal was denied on 12/15/10.


Institutional Adjustment:





DATE                     DAYS                     VIOLATION                                        LOCATION      


04/27/96                 0                              DEST. OF ST. PROP.                           FLORIDA STATE PRISON

08/05/98                 60                            DISOBEYING ORDER                         CENTRAL OFFICE      




Report Date:     09/06/01          JFL

Approved:        10/22/01          WS

Updated:          02/08/11          KLH