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.
SILVIA, William (W/M)
18th Judicial Circuit, Seminole County Case # 06-CF-4522A
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Donna L. McIntosh
Attorney, Trial: Timothy Caudill and Kevin Proulx – Public Defender’s Office
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Timothy Caudill – Public Defender’s Office
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: TBA
Date of Offense: 09/22/06
Date of Sentence: 01/28/09
Circumstances of Offense:
William and Patricia Silvia were married for four years, until their separation in 2006. Patricia and her two children from a previous marriage moved in with her mother and stepfather, Betty and Patrick Woodard, in Winter Park, Florida. William made several unannounced visits at night to speak to Patricia, but he was refused each time.
William became homeless after his separation from Patricia, which led him to sleep in his car or rent motel rooms. Silvia was fired from his job on 09/22/06. Later that day, he purchased a pump-action, 12-gauge Mossberg 500 shotgun and ammunition and rented a local motel room.
The Woodards were having a cookout that evening. Patricia, her children, parents, sister, brother, and other friends were there. William arrived at the home around 9:00 p.m., with the shotgun in his truck. He asked to speak to Patricia in hopes of reconciling with her. They had a brief conversation outside, and Patricia returned inside the house. William walked back to his truck to retrieve the shotgun and fired two shots in the air while walking back to the Woodward’s house. Patricia’s uncle, sister, and daughter were all in the carport at the time. Her uncle fell to the ground between two vehicles, and her sister returned to the house. As Patricia’s daughter was trying to head inside to the house to find her brother, William pointed the gun at her from one foot away. Patricia and Betty were in the kitchen, which was connected to the carport. Betty opened the door to the carport and was shot in the face. Patricia was shot in the head while she got ice out of the refrigerator. When Patrick heard gunshots, he came out of the bedroom to check on everyone. He found Patricia lying in front of the refrigerator and Betty outside the door to the carport, on the floor, and covering her face. William was at the end of the carport with the gun in his hand, pointing it at Patrick and pumping it.
Patricia died at the scene of the crime due to numerous pellet gunshot wounds to her head, according to the medical examiner. Betty was taken to Orlando Regional Medical Center and was considered to be in “grim” condition due to the blood loss and massive facial and head trauma. She survived the shooting. William was arrested in the early morning of 09/23/06 in the parking lot of the motel where he had rented a room. He was transported to the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office, and on the way he confessed to shooting Patricia. Police officers searched William’s motel room and found a shotgun, shotgun shells, weapons manuals, and empty beer bottles. The shotgun shells were the same as the ones found at the crime scene, and a firearms analyst concluded that shells found at the crime scene were also fired from the shotgun found in William’s motel room.
10/24/06 Indicted as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder (Patricia Silvia)
Count II: Attempted First-Degree Murder (Betty Woodard)
06/06/08 Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment
07/21/08 Jury recommended death by a vote of 11-1
01/28/09 Sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder – Death (Patricia Silvia)
Count II: Attempted First-Degree Murder – Life in Prison (Betty Woodard)
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
02/09/09 Direct Appeal filed
04/07/11 FSC affirmed convictions and sentence
Silvia filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 02/09/09. He raised the following claims: (1) Cold, calculated, and premeditated aggravator; (2) great risk of death to many persons aggravator; (3) death sentence is not proportionate; (4) irrelevant evidence in penalty phase; (5) permission of improper victim impact evidence; and (6) Ring v. Arizona. On 04/07/11, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed Silvia’s convictions and sentence.
Report Date: 05/05/11 EMJ
Approved: 05/05/11 RM
Updated: 05/05/11 EMJ