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.
WALKER II, Robert S (W/M)
Eighteenth Judicial Circuit, Brevard County Case # 03-CF-32520
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Charles Holcomb
Attorney, Trial: Kenneth Studstill
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Baya Harrison – Private
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Marie-Louise Samuels Parmer, Maria Deliberato, & Nathaniel Plucker – CCRC-M
Date of Offense: 01/27/03
Date of Sentence: 12/13/04
Circumstances of Offense:
Robert Walker was convicted and sentenced to death for the drug-related beating, kidnapping, and murder of David Hamman.
On the evening of 01/26/03, David Hamman, Leslie Ritter, and Loriann Gibson arrived at the apartment of Joel Gibson in the city of Palm Bay in Brevard County, Florida. Already inside were Gibson, Walker, and his girlfriend, Leigh Ford. Immediately following the arrival, Walker and Ford attacked Hamman beating him with various objects including a metal Maglite flashlight and a blackjack. Suspecting Hamman to be a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent, the couple forced Hamman and his companions to strip off their clothes in order to search for wires. After the search, Ritter and Loriann Gibson were confined to the back bedroom and Walker and Ford continued the attack, which lasted two to three hours.
Sometime around midnight, Hamman escaped the apartment and ran a short distance down the road before being caught by Walker and Ford. The couple laid a tarp in the trunk of Ford’s car and forced Hamman to get in. Driving separately, Ford in her car and Walker in Hamman’s pickup truck, the couple reconvened at the Tom Lawton Recreation Area, a state park. Upon arrival, Hamman was forced, hands bound, to lie down with his back to the ground. Walker then shot Hamman six times in the face with a Llama .45-caliber pistol.
Upon returning to the apartment, Walker asked Loriann Gibson and Ritter to drive him to Georgia in Hamman’s truck. They acquiesced, driving him as far as Live Oak, Florida, before leaving him at a gas station when he exited the vehicle to purchase a map. The two women then alerted a law enforcement officer of the events that had transpired the night before. Walker’s description was released and he was apprehended that morning at the Live Oak bus station.
Walker’s recorded confession of shooting Hamman was played for the jury at trial. Loriann Gibson and Leslie Ritter also provided testimony in court.
Leigh Ford, convicted of First-Degree Murder, Kidnapping, and Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, is currently serving two life sentences and a 15-year sentence.
Walker is bipolar, according to the Initial Brief of Appellant.
01/28/03 Indicted as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder
Count II: Kidnapping
Count III: Aggravated Battery
07/27/04 Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment.
07/28/04 Jury recommended death by a vote of 7-5.
12/13/04 Sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder – Death
Count II: Kidnapping – 30 years
Count III: Aggravated Battery – 15 years
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
957 So.2d 560
01/04/05 Appeal filed
05/03/07 FSC affirmed conviction and death sentence
05/25/07 Mandate issued
Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion
07/11/08 Motion filed
07/16/09 Evidentiary Hearing Held
03/08/10 Motion granted in part/denied in part
Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Motion Appeal
04/08/10 Appeal filed by Walker
04/08/10 Cross-appeal filed by State
On 01/04/05, Walker filed a direct appeal to the Florida Supreme Court. In his direct appeal, Walker raised seven issues pertaining to pretrial motions, the constitutionality of Florida’s death penalty, circumstantial evidence, the weighing of aggravating and mitigating factors, and the admission of potentially irrelevant and prejudicial photographic evidence. The issues were found to have no merit or not supported by evidence. The conviction and death sentence were affirmed by the Florida Supreme Court on 05/03/07. The Mandate was issued 05/25/07.
On 07/11/08, Walker filed a 3.851 Motion to Vacate Judgment and Sentence in the Circuit Court. On 07/16/09 an Evidentiary Hearing was held. The Circuit Court granted the motion in part and denied the motion in part on 03/08/10.
On 04/08/10, Walker filed a 3.851 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court. The State filed a cross-appeal on 04/08/10. This appeal is pending.
Report Date: 08/29/07 AEH
Approved: 08/29/07 RM
Updated: 04/13/10 MJH