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.
HURST, Timothy Lee (B/M)
First Judicial Circuit, Escambia County Case # 98-1795
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Linda Nobles
Attorney, Trial: R. Glenn Arnold – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal: W.C. McLain – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Harry Brody – Registry
Date of Offense: 05/02/98
Date of Sentence: 04/26/00
Circumstances of Offense:
Cynthia Harrison was an assistant manager of a Popeye’s fast food restaurant in Pensacola, Florida. Timothy Hurst was a morning prep person at the same restaurant, and his responsibility was to make rice and biscuits and wash dishes. On 05/02/98, Harrison and Hurst were scheduled to work at 8:00 a.m. The two were scheduled to be the only workers in the restaurant until another worker arrived at 9:00 a.m.
On the morning of May 2nd, Davis Kladitis, an occasional customer at Popeye’s, was standing outside a feed store near the restaurant when he saw Harrison drive by and waved to her. Kladitis also saw another car behind Harrison’s, being driven by a black man. Kladitis later identified the car as the one belonging to Timothy Hurst. Carl Hess, who worked at a nearby Wendy’s restaurant, reported seeing Hurst being let into the Popeye’s restaurant by Harrison.
At 7:55 a.m. on May 2nd, Jeanette Hayes, an employee of another Popeye’s restaurant in Pensacola, called the restaurant that Harrison and Hurst worked at and informed her that a delivery truck was en route. Hayes noted that Harrison did not sound scared.
Tanya Crenshaw, another assistant manager at the restaurant, arrived at the restaurant at 10:30 a.m. to find two employees and a delivery truck driver waiting outside the restaurant. Hurst was nowhere to be found, but Harrison’s body was found in the freezer.
Harrison’s body was bound and gagged with black electrical tape. The body had over sixty incised slash and stab wounds, all of which were consistent with having been made by a box cutter, which was found by the back door of the restaurant.
Lee Smith, a friend of Hurst, testified that Hurst had stopped by his house on the evening before the murder and told Smith that he [Hurst] planned to rob the Popeye’s restaurant where he worked. At 8:30 a.m. on May 2nd, Hurst returned to Smith’s house, carrying a clear plastic container with money in it and a bank bag. The amount of money taken by Hurst was later determined to be $1751.54 of the store’s proceeds and $375 in small bills and change, all taken from the restaurant’s safe. Hurst told Smith that he had killed “the manager” and put her in the freezer. Smith washed Hurst’s pants, which had blood spots on them, and he also helped Hurst dispose of Harrison’s wallet and Hurst’s shoes and socks. Hurst, Smith, and Hurst’s brother then went to a Wal-Mart store and bought a pair of shoes for Hurst. The three then went to a pawn shop, where Hurst bought three rings for $300.
Lee Smith’s parents were out of town at the time of the murder, but when they returned and found the clear plastic container and money in Smith’s room, they called the police. Police interviewed Smith and searched a garbage can, where they found a coin purse with Harrison’s driver’s license in it, a bank bag marked with “Popeye’s” and Harrison’s name on it, a bank deposit slip, and a bloody sock and shoes that belonged to Hurst.
05/26/98 Indicted as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder
03/23/00 Jury returned a guilty verdict on the sole count of the indictment
03/23/00 Jury recommended death by a vote of 11-1
04/26/00 Sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder – Death
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
819 So.2d 689
05/12/00 Appeal filed
04/18/02 FSC affirmed conviction and sentence
06/03/02 Rehearing denied and Mandate issued
U.S. Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari
537 U.S. 977
08/20/02 Petition filed
10/21/02 USSC denied Petition
Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion
10/16/03 Motion filed
09/30/04 Motion supplemented
01/24/05 Motion amended
05/23/05 Motion amended
09/29/05 Motion amended
08/23/07 Motion denied
Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal
09/24/07 Appeal filed
09/17/09 Appeal Granted. New Penalty Phase
Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:
The case progression appears to be within acceptable time parameters.
Hurst filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 05/12/00, citing the following errors: finding the avoid arrest aggravating circumstance, failing to consider mitigating circumstances, disproportionality of the death sentence, and failing to notify the jury of the aggravating circumstances to be considered. On 04/18/02, the FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence.
Hurst filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on 08/20/02 that was denied on 10/21/02.
Hurst filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court on 10/16/03, supplemented the motion on 09/30/04, and amended the motion on 01/24/05, 05/23/05, and 09/29/05. The motion was denied on 08/23/07.
On 09/24/07, Hurst filed a 3.850 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court. On 9/17/09, the Florida Supreme Court granted the appeal and remanded for a new penalty phase proceeding before a jury, which may consider available evidence of aggravation and mitigation.
THE FOLLOWING ENTRIES REFLECT DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AGAINST THE INMATE FOR VIOLATION OF THE RULE CITED AND INDICATE THE GAIN TIME DAYS LOST.
DATE DAYS VIOLATION LOCATION
05/07/06 30 FAILURE TO COMPLY UNION C.I.
Report Date: 06/02/04 JFL
Approved: 06/07/04 EW
Updated: 04/27/10 CAR