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. 


DOUGLAS, Luther (B/M)

DC#    125172

DOB:   07/04/74


Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County Case # 00-1549

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Henry E. Davis

Attorney, Trial: Refik W. Eler – Private (Court-Appointed)

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Nada Carey – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Frank Tassone – Registry


Date of Offense:           12/26/99

Date of Sentence:         06/14/02


Circumstances of Offense:


On the evening of 12/25/99, Mary Ann Hobgood left her parents’ house with her friend, Misty Jones, in a car driven by Jones’ boyfriend, Luther Douglas.  Douglas was driving a red Ford Escort, which belonged to the mother of one of Douglas’ children, Jimela Dozier.  The three then stopped at a liquor store and bought a bottle of rum and soda, which Douglas and Hobgood drank.  They then went to several area bars and, when Douglas dropped Jones off at home around midnight, he left with Hobgood in the car. 


Douglas called Jones in the early hours of 12/26/99, first telling her that he had dropped Hobgood off at a bar and then stating that he had taken Hobgood home.  When Jones saw Douglas later in the morning, she noticed scratch marks on Douglas’ neck that had not been there the previous evening.  In Douglas’ presence, Jones called Hobgood’s home and was informed that she had not returned home.  When Hobgood’s sister called Jones later in the day, Jones lied and told her that they [Jones and Hobgood] had been out with Jones’ ex-boyfriend, Timothy Hightower, the previous evening.  Jones later stated that she lied to Hobgood’s sister because Douglas was listening to the conversation.  Jones then confronted Douglas regarding Hobgood’s whereabouts, while the two were driving in the red Ford Escort.  During the drive, Jones noticed that the car was clean, inside and out, whereas it had been dirty and cluttered with trash on the previous evening.  Douglas admitted beating Hobgood and throwing her out of the car.  Douglas also told Jones that if she was questioned about the crime, she should implicate Hightower, or else she would end up like Hobgood


When police questioned Jones about Hobgood’s whereabouts, she told them the same story that she had told Hobgood’s sister – she and Hobgood had gone out with Hightower.  Jones recanted that statement when police again questioned her in January of 2000. 


On the afternoon of 12/26/99, Hobgood’s body was found along a set of railroad tracks.  She was found on her back in a shrub line, with her legs stretched out in front of her.  Hobgood’s body was nude from the waist down, and her knit top and black bra were torn and pushed up to her shoulders.  Near the body, police found a lug wrench, a rubber car part (later determined to be from the red Ford Escort), and a blood-soaked maroon jacket, that was later determined to have belonged to Douglas.  Forensic investigation determined that Hobgood died as the result of blunt head trauma, with ten blows to the face, seven blows to the back of the head, and seven to ten blows to her hands and arms.  Additionally, her jaw and nose were broken, several of her teeth had been knocked out and her right shoulder was dislocated.  An autopsy showed that additional, extensive injury was received post-mortem, most likely the result of being run over by a car.  A rape kit indicated the presence of semen, later determined to be Douglas’, in the vagina of Hobgood.  Forensic testing in the red Ford Escort yielded traces of blood in, on, and under the car that matched Hobgood’s blood. 


When questioned by police, Douglas initially claimed that the blood found in the car belonged to a friend, Eric Ransom, but police later determined that Ransom was incarcerated at the time of the murder.  Police then arrested Douglas for the rape and murder of Hobgood.  While in jail awaiting trial, Douglas implicated himself in the crimes to a fellow inmate. 


Trial Summary:


03/02/00          Indicted as follows:

                                    Count I:            First-Degree Murder

                                    Count II:           Sexual Battery

                                    Count III:         Kidnapping

03/15/02          Jury returned guilty verdicts for Counts I and II of the indictment

                        State nolle prossed Count III of the indictment

04/05/02          Jury recommended death by a vote of 11-1

06/14/00          Sentenced as follows:

                                    Count I:            First-Degree Murder – Death

                                    Count II:           Sexual Battery – Life Imprisonment


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 02-1666

878 So.2d 1246


07/25/02          Appeal filed

05/06/04          FSC affirmed convictions and sentences

06/15/04          Rehearing denied

07/15/04          Mandate issued


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

USSC# 04-6881

543 U.S. 1061


10/13/04          Petition filed

01/10/05          USSC denied Petition


Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC# 00-1549


05/17/05          Motion filed

12/28/05          Amended motion filed

11/23/09          Motion denied


Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Motion Appeal

FSC# 10-318



02/22/10          Appeal filed


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

FSC# 10-1725


09/03/10 Petition filed


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:


The case progression appears to be within acceptable time parameters.


Case Information:


Douglas filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 07/25/02, citing the following errors: allowing crime scene and autopsy photographs into evidence; failing to find mitigating circumstances; finding the aggravating circumstance of heinous, atrocious, or cruel murder; disproportionate death sentence; and Florida’s unconstitutional death penalty statute.  On 05/06/04, the FSC affirmed the convictions and sentences. 


Douglas filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on 10/13/04 that was denied on 01/10/05.


Douglas filed a 3.851 Motion with the Circuit Court on 05/17/05 that was denied on 11/23/09.   


Douglas filed a 3.851 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 02/22/10, which is pending.


Douglas filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Florida Supreme Court on 09/03/10, which is pending.


Institutional Adjustment:





DATE             DAYS              VIOLATION                                      LOCATION      

06/22/05          60                    DISOBEYING ORDER                      UNION C.I.         




Report Date:   07/23/04          JFL

Updated:         10/26/10          JJK