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. 


BROOKS, Lamar (B/M)

DC#     124538

DOB:   10/26/72


­­First Judicial Circuit, Okaloosa County Case # 96-735

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Jere Tolton

Attorney, Trial: Berry Beroset – Private

Attorney, Retrial: Kepler Funk & Keith Szachacz – Private

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Kepler Funk & Keith Szachacz – Private

Attorney, Direct Appeal (after retrial): David Davis – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  D. Todd Doss – Registry


Date of Offense:           04/24/96

Date of Sentence:         09/29/98

Date of Resentence:      02/25/02


Circumstances of Offense:


In the late night hours of 04/24/96, Rachel Carlson and her three-month-old daughter, Alexis Stuart were found stabbed to death in Carlson’s running vehicle in Crestview, Florida.  Carlson was strangled and stabbed sixty-six times, while Stuart was stabbed four times.  Carlson believed Walker Davis, Jr. was the father of her child, and she called the Florida Department of Revenue and requested that a case be opened against Davis for child support.  A DNA test conducted subsequent to the murder revealed that Davis was not the father. Carlson demanded monetary child support from Davis, who already was married and had two children at the time of the Carlson murder. 


In the week prior to the murder, Lamar Brooks, Davis’ cousin, traveled to Florida and stayed with Davis during his visit.  Mark Gilliam, a friend of Brooks’, later testified to a conversation between Davis, Brooks, and himself, wherein all three discussed various ways they would kill Carlson because of pressure she exerted on Davis for child support.  A plan developed whereby Davis would pay Brooks $10,000 to kill Carlson, and Gilliam would be paid $500 to drive them to Crestview to commit the murder.  On two occasions, the plan was attempted, yet failed due to various unforeseen circumstances.  Gilliam did not participate in the murder plans after the second failed attempt. 


A bloodstain pattern expert testified at trial that a back-seat passenger stabbed Carlson and no one was in the passenger seat during the murder.  Forensic evidence showed that a footprint was found on Carlson’s shoulder, which would be consistent with someone climbing over the body to exit the vehicle.  Additional forensic evidence demonstrated that Davis, whose leg was in a cast at the time of the murder, would have been physically unable to climb over the front seat to exit the vehicle. 


At trial, Terrance Goodman, who was a cellmate of Brooks after his arrest, testified that Brooks told him that he “offed this broad” and “while anybody could pull a trigger, it takes more heart to stab someone because you can feel the hitting of the bone and the tearing of the tissue.”  Brooks also told Goodman that he was in the back seat of the car during the murder. 


According to testimony, Davis bought a $100,000 life insurance policy on Stuart in February 1996, naming himself as sole beneficiary.  The State argued that Davis planned to pay Brooks and Gilliam with the proceeds from the insurance policy. 


Codefendant Information:


Walker Davis, Jr. was indicted for the same crimes as Brooks, yet was tried separately.  He was also convicted, and on 06/30/97, he was sentenced to two terms of Life Imprisonment. 


Trial Summary:


First Trial:


05/23/96          Indicted as follows:

                                    Count I:            First-Degree Murder (Rachel Carlson)

                                    Count II:           First-Degree Murder (Alexis Stuart)

04/10/98          Jury returned guilty verdicts on both counts of the indictment

04/19/98          Jury recommended death by votes of 10-2

09/29/98          Sentenced as follows:

                                    Count I:            First-Degree Murder (Rachel Carlson) – Death

                                    Count II:           First-Degree Murder (Alexis Stuart) – Death


Second Trial:


01/23/02          Jury returned guilty verdicts on both counts of the indictment

01/30/02          Jury recommended death by votes of 9-3 (Count I) and 11-1 (Count II)

02/25/02          Sentenced as follows:

                                    Count I:            First-Degree Murder (Rachel Carlson) – Death

                                    Count II:           First-Degree Murder (Alexis Stuart) – Death


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 94,308

787 So. 2d 765


11/13/98          Appeal filed

04/05/01          FSC overturned convictions, vacated sentences, and remanded for a retrial

06/04/01          Rehearing denied

07/05/01          Mandate issued


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal (after retrial)

FSC# 02-538

918 So. 2d 181


03/06/02          Appeal filed

06/23/05          FSC affirmed convictions and sentences

01/09/06          Mandate issued


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

USSC# 05-9813

126 S. Ct. 2294


03/10/06          Petition filed

05/22/06          USSC denied petition


State Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC# 96-00735


05/18/07          Motion filed

10/09/07          Motion amended

05/12/10          Evidentiary hearing held

11/29/10          Motion supplemented

01/21/11          Supplement stricken

03/11/11          Successive 3.851 motion filed


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:


Brooks’ original conviction and sentence were overturned. 


Case Information:


Brooks filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 11/13/98, citing the following errors: permitting improper hearsay evidence; violating rights to confront witnesses and due process by permitting non-testifying codefendants statements; denying motions for new trial; permitting the testimony of certain witnesses; denying a motion for mistrial after impermissible comments on a right to remain silent; determining juror qualifications; permitting the admission of photographs taken during a second autopsy; denying a motion to strike venire/change venue; permitting the admission of statements to law enforcement by codefendant under the hearsay rule; denying a motion for judgment of acquittal; and erroneously instructing, finding and doubling aggravating factors.  On 04/05/01, the Florida Supreme Court reversed the convictions and vacated the death sentences. 


Brooks filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 03/06/02, citing the following errors:  admitting the testimony of a life insurance salesman; allowing irrelevant testimony; admitting notes the police seized from the codefendant; allowing the state to impeach the testimony of a witness; allowing testimony from a witness; denying several defense objections to the closing argument of the state; refusing to give a conspiracy instruction; denying motions for mistrial; denying a motion to change the venue of the trial; finding that a death sentence is warranted in the case; finding that the murder occurred during the course of an aggravated child abuse and then using that fact to justify imposing a death sentence; refusing to require the jury to indicate if they found a verdict of guilty for felony murder, which aggravating factors they found and by what vote; finding the pecuniary gain and cold, calculated and premeditated aggravating factors; and giving the jury’s death recommendation great weight because of extensive mitigation.  On 06/23/05, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentences. 


Brooks filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on 03/10/06 that was denied on 05/22/06.


On 05/18/07, Brooks filed a Motion to Vacate in the State Circuit Court, which was amended on 10/09/07.  This motion was supplemented on 11/29/10. On 01/21/11, Brooks’ supplement was stricken. Brooks filed a successive 3.851 motion on 03/11/11. That motion is pending.


Institutional Adjustment:



 DATE     DAYS         VIOLATION                              LOCATION      


05/11/01     60       DISOBEYING ORDER                   UNION C. I.        





Report Date:     01/20/06          JFL

Updated:          03/16/11          JJK