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. 


GORDON, Robert (B/M)

DC#     123911

DOB: 11/25/62


Sixth Judicial Circuit, Pinellas County Case # 94-02958

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Susan R. Schaeffer

Attorney, Trial: Robert A. Love – Private

Attorney, Direct Appeal:  Michael Hursey – Private

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Bjorn E. Brunvand – Court Appointed


Date of Offense:         01/25/94

Date of Sentence:       11/16/95


Circumstances of Offense:


Robert Gordon and his codefendant, Meryl McDonald, were hired by Denise Davidson to kill her estranged husband, Dr. Louis Davidson. 


Early on the morning of January 25, 1994, McDonald and Gordon waited in the parking lot of the apartment complex where Dr. Davidson lived.  Gordon met with Dr. Davidson and the two walked to Davidson’s apartment.  Dr. Davidson’s body was discovered later that day by his fiancée.  His body was blindfolded, bound, gagged, and hogtied, lying face down in a bathtub full of bloody water.  The apartment had been ransacked, and Davidson’s watch, camera, and money clip were missing, although $19,300 in cash and some credit cards remained. 


The medical examiner testified that Davidson had bruises on his face and shoulders, three broken ribs, and multiple lacerations on the back of his scalp, caused by a blunt object.  The cause of Davidson’s death was drowning. 


Money transfers from Denise Davidson to Robert Gordon, as well as phone records and physical evidence recovered from the hotel where Gordon was staying during the time of the murder implicated him in the murder scheme. 


Codefendant Information:


Meryl McDonald was convicted of First-Degree Murder and was sentenced to death.


Denise Davidson was convicted in a separate trial of First-Degree Murder and sentenced to life imprisonment.


Susan Shore agreed to testify for the State, and as a result, her charges were reduced to accessory after the fact.  She was sentenced to probation.


Leonardo Cisneros remains a fugitive. 


Trial Summary:


02/28/94          Indicted on the charge of First-Degree Murder

06/15/95          Jury returned guilty verdict on the sole count of the indictment

06/16/95          Jury recommended the death sentence by a vote of 9-3

11/16/95          Sentenced to death


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 86,955

704 So. 2d 107


12/04/95          Appeal filed

11/26/97          FSC affirmed conviction and death sentence.

01/16/98          Rehearing denied

02/16/98          Mandate issued


Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 94-02958


02/18/99          Motion filed

04/23/02          Circuit court denied motion


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC# 02-1212

863 So. 2d 1215


05/30/02          Appeal filed

12/18/03          FSC affirmed denial of motion

01/09/04          Mandate issued


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

USDC# 04-355


05/17/04          Petition filed

05/26/04          USDC struck petition

12/16/04          Petition amended

08/28/06          USDC dismissed petition


U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Appeal

USCA# 06-15783

479 F.3d 1299


10/27/06          Appeal filed

03/01/07          USCA denied Certificate of Appealability


Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC# 94-02958


09/07/07          Motion filed

10/30/07          Motion denied


Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC# 94-02958


09/28/09          Motion filed

02/23/10          Motion denied


Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Appeal

FSC# 10-541



03/26/10          Appeal filed


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:


The 3.850 Motion was pending from 02/18/99 – 04/23/02.


Case Information:


On 12/04/95, Gordon filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, citing the following errors:  denying Gordon’s motion to strike the venire; denying motion for judgment of acquittal at the close of evidence; denying request for a separate penalty phase from that of his codefendant and a new penalty phase jury; disproportional sentencing; and improper finding of the cold, calculated, and premeditated and heinous, atrocious, or cruel aggravating factors.  On 11/26/97, the FSC affirmed the conviction and death sentence. 


On 02/18/99, Gordon filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court, which was denied on 04/23/02.


On 05/30/02, Gordon filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel.  On 12/18/03, the FSC affirmed the denial of the 3.850 Motion.


On 05/17/04, Gordon filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the U.S. District Court, Middle District, which was stricken by the court on 05/26/04.  On 12/16/04, the Petition was amended, and on 08/28/06, the USDC dismissed the petition. 


On 10/27/06, Gordon filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Appeal with the U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit.  On 03/01/07, the USCA denied the Certificate of Appealability. 


On 09/07/07, Gordon filed a 3.851 Motion with the Circuit Court, which was denied on 10/30/07.


On 09/28/09, Gordon filed a 3.851 Motion with the Circuit Court, which was denied on 02/23/10.


On 03/26/10, Gordon filed a 3.851 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, which is pending.


Institutional Adjustment:




DATE     DAYS                    VIOLATION                                       LOCATION      


06/03/97      0                       DISRESP.TO OFFICIALS                 UNION C. I.        



Report Date:   08/03/01          JFL

Approved:       11/16/01          WS

Updated:         03/30/10          KKR