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.
BRANT, Charles (W/M)
Thirteenth Judicial Circuit, Hillsborough County Case # 04-CF-012631
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable William Fuente
Attorney, Trial: Robert Fraser - Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal: John C. Fisher - Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Marie-Louise Samuels Parmer – Private
Date of Offense: 07/01/04
Date of Sentence: 08/13/07
Circumstances of Offense:
Charles Brant was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Sara Radfar, which occurred on 07/01/04. On 07/02/04, law enforcement officers found Radfar dead in her home.
Brant told officers he went to Radfar’s home on 07/01/04 to take pictures of her tile floor, which he had installed, for his portfolio. Radfar let him in, and while he was taking photographs of the tile, Radfar walked into the bathroom. Brant grabbed Radfar, dragged her into one of the bedrooms, and sexually assaulted her. Brant stated that he put a sock in Radfar’s mouth to quiet her and then started to choke and suffocate her. He explained that, when he thought Radfar had either lost consciousness or died, he started walking around in the house. She regained consciousness, however, and ran to the front door. Brant then dragged her back into the bedroom. At that point, Brant again began to choke and suffocate her. He stated that the choking and suffocation went on for some time.
Brant next took Radfar to the bathroom. He said that she was breathing as he put her in the tub. Brant then grabbed a stocking, a dog leash, and an electrical cord from a heating pad, and wrapped those items around Radfar’s neck. Brant stated that Radfar died while in the tub. He also stated that, after her death, he started to clean up the duplex, changed into clothing he found in the home, left through the front door, moved Radfar’s car out of the driveway, and walked home. Brant further explained that, on the next day, he went back into Radfar’s residence and tried to wipe down any fingerprints he may have left.
Detective Kathy Smith testified that, as part of the homicide investigation, law enforcement officers collected garbage from Brant’s porch and from a garbage can by Brant’s mailbox. The officers retrieved, among other items, a debit card with the victim’s name and photograph on it, four latex gloves, and a box that had contained women’s stockings.
Jacqueline Lee, M.D., associate medical examiner, testified that bruises on the victim’s body could be interpreted as defensive wounds and that hemorrhages involving the eyes and eyelids were indicative of strangulation. She testified that the cause of death was strangulation and suffocation. Analysis of Sara Radfar’s vaginal swab taken from the rape kit at the Medical Examiner’s Office demonstrated the presence of semen that matched the defendant’s DNA.
07/14/04 Indicted as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder (Sara Radfar)
Count II: Sexual Battery
Count III: Kidnapping
Count IV: Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle
Count V: Burglary of a Dwelling with Assault or Battery
08/13/07 Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment
08/22/07 Brant waived his right to a penalty-phase jury
11/30/07 Sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder (Sara Radfar) – Death
Count II: Sexual Battery – Life
Count III: Kidnapping – Life
Count IV: Grand Theft of a Motor Vehicle – 5 Years
Count V: Burglary of a Dwelling with Assault or Battery –
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
21 So.3d 1276
12/26/07 Appeal filed
11/12/09 FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence
12/07/09 Mandate issued
Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion
02/09/11 Motion filed
Brant filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 12/26/07. On appeal, Brant argued that his death sentence was disproportionate. He did not raise any claims regarding the propriety of his pleas or his penalty-phase trial. However, in all direct appeals where the death penalty has been imposed, the Florida Supreme Court reviews the record to determine whether the evidence is sufficient to support the murder conviction. The Florida Supreme Court did not find errors that warranted reversing the conviction or sentence. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and sentence on 11/12/09.
On 02/09/11, Brant filed a 3.850 motion in the circuit court. That motion is pending.
Report Date: 11/12/09 KKR
Approved: 12/04/09 RM
Updated: 03/15/11 JJK