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.
JENNINGS, Brandy (W/M)
DC # 721097
Twentieth Judicial Circuit, Collier County Case # 95-2284
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable William L. Blackwell
Trial Attorney: Thomas B. Osteen – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Robert F. Moeller – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Kenneth Malnik & Paul Kalil – CCRC-S
Date of Offense: 11/15/95
Date of Sentence: 12/02/96
Circumstances of the Offense:
The following is an account of the circumstances that led to the conviction and sentence of Brandy Jennings and codefendant, Jason Graves.
Vicki Smith, Jason Wiggins, and Dorothy Siddle were employees at the Cracker Barrel Restaurant in Naples, Florida when they were killed on the morning of November 15, 1995, during the commission of a robbery. Police found the victims on the floor of the freezer and all three victims had their throats slit. Siddle was found with her hands bound with electrical tape behind her back. Both Wiggins and Smith still had electrical tape hanging from their left wrists, however; it appeared to have come free from their right hands.
Bloody shoe prints led from the freezer, through the kitchen, and ended up in the office. The office safe was found open and was surrounded by cash and plastic containers. Behind the restaurant there were scattered bills, a knife, a knife case, a pair of bloodstained gloves, an air pistol, and shoe prints leading away from the restaurant.
Brandy Jennings and Jason Graves knew the victims through their previous employment at Cracker Barrel. Three weeks after the murders, Jennings and Graves were apprehended and jailed in Las Vegas, Nevada for the robbery and murders. Jennings initially blamed Graves for the murders, but admitted his participation in the planning and in the perpetration of the robbery itself. Jennings admitted wearing gloves during the commission of the robbery. Jennings acknowledged that he used his Buck knife to cut the electrical tape after binding the victims’ hands, but claimed that he must have put the knife down after using it because he does not recall seeing it after that point. Jennings stated that he saw the dead victims on the floor of the freezer and that he slipped in the blood, but he does not recall falling, getting his clothing and hands bloody, or subsequently washing the blood off of his hands in the kitchen sink. Jennings told the police that it was Graves’ air pistol and Jennings then directed the police to the canal when evidence of the crime had been discarded. Items eventually recovered from the canal included: gloves, clothes, shoes, socks, packaging from a pellet air gun, a money bag marked “Cracker Barrel”, money bands, a clear garbage bag, and rocks which were weighing down the bundle of evidence. An expert testified that the bloody footprints in and around the Cracker Barrel matched the prints on the shoes that belonged to Jennings, which were pulled out of the canal.
After being confronted by police with inconsistencies in his story, Jennings stated in a taped interview that, “I think I could have been the killer. In my mind I think I could have killed them, but in my heart I don’t think I could have.”
Jennings made comments to several people about his dislike of victim, Siddle. Jennings also previously made comments about robbery and witness elimination. Jennings had stated that robbery was an easy way to get money and the best way to get away with it was not to leave witnesses.
Jennings accomplice, Charles J. Graves, was convicted of three counts of First-Degree Murder and one count of Robbery With a Deadly Weapon. Graves is serving three life sentences for the convictions of First-Degree Murder and 15 years for the conviction of Robbery.
02/20/95 Defendant indicted with the following:
Count I: First-Degree Murder
Count II: First-Degree Murder
Count III: First-Degree Murder
Count IV: Robbery With a Deadly Weapon
10/31/96 Defendant was found guilty on all counts
11/01/96 The jury recommended Death by a vote of 10 to 2 for Counts I, II, and III
12/02/96 Defendant was sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Murder – Death
Count II: First-Degree Murder – Death
Count III: First-Degree Murder – Death
Count IV: Robbery With a Deadly Weapon – 15 years
Florida State Supreme Court - Direct Appeal
718 So. 2d 144
12/17/96 Appeal filed.
09/10/98 FSC affirmed the convictions and the sentences of Death.
01/25/99 Rehearing denied.
02/24/99 Mandate issued.
United States Supreme Court - Petition for Writ of Certiorari
527 U.S. 1042
04/26/99 Petition filed.
06/24/99 Petition denied.
State Circuit Court - 3.850 Motion
03/20/00 Motion filed.
06/23/00 Motion amended.
08/04/09 Motion amended.
01/31/11 Motion denied.
Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:
The Direct Appeal was pending for three years prior to a decision being rendered.
3.850 Motion is still pending after almost nine years.
A Direct Appeal was filed on 12/17/96. Issues that were raised included whether the trial court erred in failing to grant Jennings’ motion to suppress the statements made to Florida law enforcement officers while in custody in Las Vegas and whether the trial court erred in finding the flight to avoid arrest aggravator. The Florida Supreme Court found all of these claims either without merit or harmless and affirmed the conviction and sentence of death on 09/10/98.
A Petition for Writ of Certiorari was filed on 04/26/99 and denied on 06/24/99.
A 3.850 motion was filed with the circuit court on 03/20/00 and was amended on 06/23/00. The motion was denied on 01/31/11.
THE FOLLOWING ENTRIES REFLECT DISCIPLINARY ACTIONS AGAINST THE INMATE FOR VIOLATION OF THE RULE CITED AND INDICATE THE GAIN TIME DAYS LOST.
DATE DAYS VIOLATION LOCATION
04/14/97 0 DEST. OF ST. PROP. FLORIDA STATE PRISON
Report Date: 03/27/02 cc
Approved: 04/15/02 ws
Updated: 05/02/11 car