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.
BAILEY, Robert (W/M)
14th Judicial Circuit, Bay County Case #05-1093
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Michael Overstreet
Attorney, Trial: John Gontarek – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal: W.C. McLain – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Clyde M. Taylor, Jr. – Registry
Date of Offense: 03/27/05
Date of Sentence: 04/11/07
Circumstances of Offense:
At 10:20 P.M. on March 27, 2005, Officer Kevin Kight, a sergeant with the Panama City Beach Police Department, stopped a white Dodge Durango that was blocking traffic on Front Beach Road. Robert Bailey was the driver of the vehicle and his friend D’Tori Crawford was sitting in the passenger seat.
At 10:30 P.M., Kight radioed to the dispatcher that he had been shot. Officer Michael Rozier was conducting a traffic stop at a nearby location. Upon hearing that Kight had been shot, he drove to the Front Beach Road location. Kight was on the ground with two other officers attending to him. Rozier followed the vehicle tracks leaving the scene, and found a white Dodge Durango parked a few blocks away.
Multiple police officers arrived at the scene shortly after Kight’s radio transmission. The officers immediately began to administer emergency medical aid. Eventually paramedics arrived and continued CPR. A pulse was never detected and Kight was pronounced dead at the hospital.
Hillary Chaffer, a resident of Panama City Beach, was driving on Front Beach Road that evening. She noticed that a police officer had stopped a vehicle. As she drove her truck into a position parallel to the stopped white Dodge Durango, she saw the officer approaching the Durango with his right hand on his gun and his left hand reaching back toward his handcuffs. Chaffer then faced forward to drive, and heard two gunshots. She looked back and saw the driver of the Durango fire a third shot into the officer. Chaffer later identified Robert Bailey as the driver of the Durango.
Corey Lawson was riding with friends in a pick-up truck driving along Front Beach Road at 10:30 P.M. on March 27, 2005. As the truck was stopped in traffic, a man ran up to the road from the beach and jumped into the bed of the truck. The man told Lawson he had just “popped a cop.” The man then showed Lawson the gun he had used. At the man’s request, Lawson and his friends dropped the man off at a liquor store. Lawson later identified Robert Bailey as the man.
Bailey’s friend, D’Tori Crawford, testified for the State at trial. He stated that he, Bailey, and their friend John Braz drove from Wisconsin to Florida to spend a few days there for spring break. On March 27, 2005, after checking in at the Sugar Sands Motel, the three went to the Sweet Dreams bar. Bailey drove them in the Durango. After about an hour, Bailey and Crawford left the bar in the Durango. Crawford described Bailey as not sober but not drunk. As Bailey drove down the road in the heavy, slow-moving traffic, they stopped to talk to some girls who were standing beside the road. While they were talking, Bailey did not realize the traffic was proceeding and he was blocking the traffic behind them. An officer stopped them. While the officer was checking Bailey’s information, Bailey told Crawford he did not have a license and was wanted for a parole violation. He said if the officer tried to arrest him, he was going to “pop this cop.” Crawford then left the vehicle and ran away before the officer returned.
At the scene of the shooting, officers collected the following pieces of evidence: two fired cartridge casings, a set of handcuffs, a citation for driving with a revoked license, and Robert Bailey’s identification card. Officers recovered a fired cartridge casing from the Durango. A bullet projectile was also recovered from a minivan that was driving by at the time of the shooting.
Police officers arrested Bailey at the Sugar Sands Motel on the morning of March 28, 2005. Officers recovered a Taurus 9-mm semi-automatic pistol from Bailey’s waistband, as well as cartridges from his pocket.
Joseph Hall, an FDLE firearms expert, compared the Taurus firearm to the casings and bullets recovered from the scene of the shooting. Hall concluded that the two fired cartridge casings found at the scene and the one found in the Durango were fired from Bailey’s Taurus firearm. Hall also found that the two bullets recovered from Kight’s body were fired from the Taurus firearm. The bullet recovered from the side of the minivan was too damaged for comparison.
Dr. Charles Siebert performed an autopsy on Kight. Kight sustained two gunshot wounds to the upper chest. The bullets traveled through the weaker material of Kight’s protective vest. Siebert concluded the gunshot wounds caused Kight’s death and the manner of death was homicide.
At the time of the murder, Bailey was wanted for parole violation in Wisconsin. A warrant for his arrest was issued on 03/09/05.
04/15/05 Indicted as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder
Count II: Resisting Officer with Violence
02/15/07 Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment
02/16/07 Jury recommended death by a vote of 11-1
04/11/07 Sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder – Death
Count II: Resisting Officer with Violence – 5 Years
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
998 So. 2d 545
04/24/07 Appeal filed
12/18/08 Appeal denied
01/08/09 Mandate issued
United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari
129 S.Ct. 2395
03/11/09 Petition filed
05/18/09 Petition denied
United States District Court, Northern District – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
05/07/10 Petition filed
01/18/11 Petition dismissed
State Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion
05/17/10 Motion filed
07/08/10 Motion denied
08/25/10 Amended motion filed
03/03/11 Order to strike 3.851 motion
Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:
There have been no significant delays in the case at this time.
On 04/27/07, Bailey filed a direct appeal in the Florida Supreme Court, citing the following issues: improper prosecutorial comments, disproportionate nature of the sentence, and the unconstitutionality of Florida’s capital sentencing structure. The appeal was denied on 12/18/08 and a mandate was issued on 01/08/09.
On 03/11/09, Bailey filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on 05/18/09.
On 05/07/10, Bailey filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the United States District Court, Northern District. That petition was dismissed on 1/18/11.
On 05/17/10, Bailey filed a 3.851 Motion in the Circuit Court, which was denied on 07/08/10. Bailey filed an amended motion on 08/25/10. An order to strike this motion was issued on 03/03/11.
Report Date: 01/05/09 KLH
Approved: 01/06/09 KLH
Updated: 04/13/11 JJK