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.
ABDOOL, Dane Patrick (White/Male)
Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County Case # 48-2006-CF-002848-O
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Lisa T. Munyon
Attorney, Trial: Kelly Bryan Sims – Public Defender’s Office
Attorney, Direct Appeal: James R. Wulchak – Public Defender’s Office
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Maria Deliberato, Marie-Louise Samuels Parmer – CCRC-M
Date of Offense: 02/25/2006
Date of Sentence: 05/12/2008
Circumstances of Offense:
On the night of 02/24/06, Amelia Sookdeo was at the home of her friend Natasha Jagllal. Sookdeo informed Jagllal she would be meeting Dane Patrick Abdool for drinks later that night. Around 10:00 p.m., Jagllal’s mother drove Sookdeo home. Sookdeo’s mother confirmed that Sookdeo arrived home at 10:00 p.m. Later that night, Sookdeo called Abdool to ask him if he could buy her some alcohol. After 11:00 pm, Abdool parked in front of Sookdeo’s house and waited for her to come out. The two then went to Abdool’s house to drink the alcohol. There, Abdool reported that Sookdeo had only a few sips and “started acting stupid”. The two then had sex but Sookdeo was still “acting stupid,” so Abdool told her to put her clothes on so they could leave. Once in the car, Sookdeo began to yell at Abdool to take her home. When he began to turn the car around, she changed her mind and told him to drop her on the side of the road so she could walk home. When Abdool asked where she wanted to be dropped, she just told him to drive. She said that she was upset with the way she was being treated and the purely sexual nature of their relationship. Sookdeo again asked Abdool to pull over so she could walk. Abdool complied.
Abdool stated that, at this point, he was “really pissed off” with Sookdeo. After he got her out of the car, he pulled out duct tape and wrapped it around her. He then retrieved a can of gasoline from the car. Abdool had purchased the duct tape, gasoline and can earlier in the evening, which he intended to use to scare Sookdeo. When asked later by detectives why he had purchased these items, he said he wanted her to know what it feels like right before you die so she would stop acting stupid. When Sookdeo saw the can of gasoline, she asked if Abdool was going to kill her. At this point, he doused her with the gasoline and the two began to struggle and Sookdeo fell to the ground. She then got up and started towards Abdool, who lit the lighter, which caught her on fire. Sookdeo began to flail around and yell. Abdool stated that she then ran towards the car and hit the front fender. When Abdool started to feel a burning sensation, he panicked and fled the scene in his car. On the way home, he took his car through a car wash.
Around 4:15 a.m. on 2/25/06, a police officer spotted a small fire burning on the side of State Road 545. As the officer got closer, she realized that it was a human body on fire. The body was so badly burned that the officer could not determine the sex or race of the victim. DNA testing later revealed that it was the body of Amelia Sookdeo. The medical examiner determined that Sookdeo had died as a result of the fire, which was propelled by an accelerant. Additionally, soot was found in her lungs indicated that she was still alive and able to breath as she was burning. A senior crime lab analyst reported that gasoline was found in all of Sookdeo’s clothing and that she would have to have been within inches if not in direct contact with the flame for ignition to occur. Two trails of ignitable liquid were found, one leading from Sookdeo’s torso to an area of dirt and rocks, and one leading from her body to the gas can. Additionally, tire tracks matching the tires on Abdool’s Volkswagen Jetta, as well as a pair of his gloves, were found at the scene thus linking Abdool with the murder. A search warrant was obtained for Abdool’s Jetta. Abdool confessed to the murder of Amelia Sookdeo during subsequent interviews.
03/21/06 Indicted as follows:
Count I: First-degree murder
02/19/08 Jury returned a guilty verdict
02/25/08 Jury recommended death by a vote of 10-2
05/14/08 Sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-degree murder – Death
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
05/21/08 Appeal filed
10/07/10 Appeal denied
10/22/10 Motion for rehearing
01/25/11 Motion denied
02/10/11 Mandate issued
On 05/21/08, Abdool filed a direct appeal with the Florida Supreme Court in which he raised the following claims: (1) the evidence did not prove premeditation; (2) the trial court allowed Detective Bobby Gammill’s opinion on the nature of Sookdeo’s death; (3) the victim’s father provided no relevant information; (4) the trial court ordered the defense counsel to turn over data used by its mental health expert prior to the penalty phase; (5) the prosecutor elicited improper, inflammatory and irrelevant evidence during the penalty phase; (6) the victim-impact evidence was irrelevant and prejudicial; (7) the court failed to consider weighty mitigating factors; (8) the death sentence is not proportionate; (9) Ring v. Arizona; (10) the evidence may not be sufficient to support conviction. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the sentence and conviction on 10/07/10.
On 10/22/10, Abdool filed a Motion for rehearing that was denied on 01/25/11. A mandate was issued on 02/10/11.
Report Date: 11/03/10 JJK
Approved: 11/03/10 RM
Updated: 02/16/11 JJK