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.
WAINWRIGHT, Anthony Floyd (W/M)
DC # 123847
Third Judicial Circuit, Hamilton County, Case #94-150-CF2
(Venue changed to Fourth Judicial Circuit, Clay County)
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable E. Vernon Douglas
Attorneys, Trial: Clyde M. Taylor, Jr., Esq. & Sean Owens, Esq.
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Steven Seliger, Esq.
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Joseph T. Hobson – Registry
Date of Offense: 04/27/94
Date of Sentence (Counts II-IV): 06/01/95
Date of Sentence (Count I): 06/12/95
Circumstances of Offense:
Anthony Wainwright and Richard Hamilton escaped from a North Carolina prison, stole guns and a Cadillac then traveled to Florida. On 04/27/94 the car overheated in Lake City. At this point, they kidnapped Carmen Gayheart, a young mother of two, at gunpoint from a Winn-Dixie parking lot and stole her Ford Bronco. The two men raped and strangled Gayheart and then shot her twice in the back of the head.
On 04/28/94, Wainwright and Hamilton were arrested in Mississippi after a shootout with police. Upon capture, Wainwright admitted to authorities that after kidnapping and robbing Gayheart, he raped her, despite that fact that he has AIDS. Wainwright denied he was involved in the strangling and shooting of the victim.
Richard Hamilton was convicted of First-Degree Murder, Armed Robbery, Armed Kidnapping, and Armed Sexual Battery. He was sentenced to death for the murder of Carmen Gayheart and to life imprisonment on the other convictions.
07/15/94 Defendant indicted on the following charges:
Count I: First-Degree Murder (Carmen Gayheart)
Count II: Armed Robbery
Count III: Armed Kidnapping
Count IV: Armed Sexual Assault
05/30/95 The jury found the defendant guilty on all counts.
06/01/95 Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 12 to 0 majority, voted for the death penalty.
06/01/95 The defendant was sentenced as follows:
Count II: Armed Robbery – Life
Count III: Armed Kidnapping – Life
Count IV: Armed Sexual Assault – Life
06/12/95 The defendant was sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder (Carmen Gayheart) – Death
Florida Supreme Court - Direct Appeal
704 So 2d. 511 (Fla. 1997)
07/10/95 Appeal filed
11/13/97 FSC affirmed Wainwright’s convictions and sentence of death
01/16/98 Rehearing denied
02/16/98 Mandate issued
United States Supreme Court - Petition for Writ of Certiorari
523 U.S. 1127 (U.S. 1998)
03/16/98 Petition filed
05/18/98 Petition denied
State Circuit Court - 3.850 Motion
05/14/99 Motion filed
04/19/02 Motion denied
Florida Supreme Court - 3.850 Appeal
896 So.2d 695
06/14/02 Appeal filed
11/24/04 Affirm denial of 3.850 Motion
Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
896 So.2d 695
09/11/02 Petition filed
11/24/04 Petition denied
United States District Court, Middle District – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
03/29/05 Petition filed
05/23/05 Amended petition filed
03/13/06 Dismissed with prejudice
United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit—Habeas Appeal
537 F.3d 1282
10/16/06 Appeal filed
11/13/07 USCA affirmed denial of the petition
United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari
546 U.S. 878 (U.S. 2005)
05/31/05 Petition filed
10/03/05 Petition denied
State Circuit Court - 3.851 Motion
07/16/07 Motion filed
09/19/07 Motion denied
Florida Supreme Court - 3.851 Appeal
2 So.3d 948
10/23/07 Appeal filed
11/26/08 Disposition affirmed
12/11/08 Motion for Rehearing
02/06/09 Rehearing denied
02/24/09 Mandate issued
State Circuit Court - 3.850 Motion
05/26/09 Motion filed
06/15/09 Motion denied
06/22/09 Motion for rehearing filed
07/22/09 Motion for rehearing denied
Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal
43 So.3d 45
07/30/09 Appeal filed
05/06/10 Disposition affirmed
State Circuit Court - 3.850 Motion (Pro Se)
08/09/10 Motion filed
08/26/10 Motion denied
Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal
02/02/11 Pro Se Appeal filed
03/14/11 Pro Se Appeal stricken and case dismissed
Factors Contributing to the Delay in the Imposition of the Sentence:
Wainwright’s 1999 3.850 Motion took approximately three years to reach a disposition.
On 07/10/95, Anthony Wainwright filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court. In the appeal, he argued that the trial court erred in admitting his post-arrest statements to police. The State agreed not to seek the death penalty if Wainwright could meet three criteria: (1) he did not contribute to Gayheart’s death, (2) he was truthful in his conversations with the police and, (3) he passed a polygraph test. Per their agreement, Wainwright made a series of incriminating statements to police and ultimately admitted to sexually assaulting Gayheart. After consulting his attorney, Wainwright refused to take the polygraph exam and after that, police had no further contact with him. The Florida Supreme Court determined that no error occurred when the trial court refused to suppress these statements because Wainwright did not adhere to or meet the three criteria of the deal proposed by the State and, therefore, no agreement had been finalized. Wainwright also argued in his Direct Appeal that the trial court erred by admitting additional DNA evidence once the trial had begun and that the State did not establish corpus delecti for the sexual battery charge, thus making his confession inadmissible. Finally, Wainwright asserted that the trial court erred in sentencing him on his three non-capital felony convictions. On the sentencing forms, the trial court checked the blanks requiring Wainwright to serve a 25-year mandatory minimum on each of the three counts and the blanks that allowed the trial court to retain jurisdiction. The State agreed that this was error and, as such, the Florida Supreme Court ordered that the trial court’s sentencing order form be altered to reflect that no minimum-mandatory terms were imposed and that there was no retention of jurisdiction by the trial court. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed Wainwright’s convictions and sentence of death on 11/13/97.
On 03/16/98, Wainwright filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was subsequently denied on 05/18/98.
On 05/14/99, Wainwright filed a 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court. Wainwright argued several issues in his motion. He contended that his trial counsel was ineffective regarding the admission of additional DNA evidence, regarding Wainwright’s statements and admissions; regarding evidence of Wainwright’s out of state crimes; regarding a microphone discovered in Wainwright’s cell. The trial counsel was also argued to be ineffective for failing to object to the prosecutor’s argument at the guilt and penalty phases; for failing to maintain proper attorney-client relationship; failing to object to an error; failing to prepare for trial, introducing statements of the codefendent, committing an alleged discovery violation and counsel’s illness during trial also rendered him ineffective. Wainwright also contended that his initial counsel was ineffective in pretrial preparation. The Motion was denied on 04/19/02. Wainwright then filed an appeal of that decision in the Florida Supreme Court on 06/14/02. On 11/24/04, the Court affirmed the denial of the Motion.
On 09/11/02, Wainwright filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Florida Supreme Court. Wainwright contended that Florida’s capital sentencing scheme is unconstitutional and that error occurred in his counsel’s failure to raise an issue involving the felony murder jury instruction. All of Wainwright’s claims were procedurally barred or lacked merit. On 11/24/04 the petition was denied.
Wainwright filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the United States District Court, Middle District on 03/29/05. The petition was dismissed with prejudice on 03/13/06.
Wainwright filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus appeal in the United States Court of Appeals on 10/16/06. On 11/13/07, the Court affirmed the denial of Wainwright’s petition.
On 05/31/05, Wainwright filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. The petition was denied on 10/03/05.
On 07/16/07, Wainwright filed a 3.851 Motion to Vacate Judgment and Sentence in the Circuit Court. This motion was denied on 09/19/07.
On 10/23/07, Wainwright filed a 3.851 appeal in the Florida Supreme Court which was denied on 11/26/08. On 12/11/08, Wainwright filed a Motion for Rehearing, which was denied on 02/06/09. On 02/24/09, the Florida Supreme Court issued a mandate in accordance with the opinion published on 11/26/08.
On 5/26/09, Wainwright filed a 3.850 Successive Motion to Vacate Judgment and Sentence in the circuit court, and the motion was denied on 06/15/09. On 06/22/09, Wainwright filed a Motion for Rehearing; the motion was denied on 07/22/09.
On 07/30/09, Wainwright filed a 3.850 appeal in the Florida Supreme Court. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the disposition of the circuit court on 05/06/10.
On 08/09/10, Wainwright filed a 3.850 Motion for Postconviction Relief (Pro Se); the motion was denied on 08/26/10.
On 02/02/11, Wainwright filed a Pro Se 3.850 appeal in the Florida Supreme Court. On 03/14/11, the Florida Supreme Court struck the Pro Se 3.850 appeal as an unauthorized impermissible pro se filing and dismissed the case.
DATE DAYS VIOLATION LOCATION
-------- ---- ---------------------------- -------------------
08/16/97 0 POSS OF CONTRABAND FSP
04/19/98 60 DEST. OF ST. PROP. FSP
11/18/99 180 UNARMED ASSAULT FSP
Reported: 07/17/02 EW
Approved: 07/23/02 WS
Updated: 03/30/11 MJH
 Corpus delecti – The doctrine in criminal law that prohibits a prosecutor from introducing a defendant's confession until all the elements of the crime have been presented to the jury.