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.
SLINEY, Jack (W/M)
DC # 905288
Twentieth Judicial Circuit, Charlotte County, Case #92-451-CF
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Donald E. Pellecchia
Attorney, Trial: Kevin C. Shirley, Esquire
Attorney, Trial: Mark A. Cooper – Assistant Public Defender (as of 03/03/94)
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Robert F. Moeller – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Thomas Ostrander – Registry
Date of Offense: 06/18/92
Date of Sentence: 02/14/94
Circumstances of Offense:
Jack R. Sliney was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a pawnshop owner, George Blumberg.
On 06/18/92, Marilyn Blumberg discovered her husband, George Blumberg, dead behind the counter of the pawnshop that they owned and ran together. He had received blunt head trauma, possibly from being hit with a camera, had been stabbed three times in the neck with a pair of scissors, and had been hit several times in the head with a hammer. The one relevant fingerprint found by police belonged to Keith Witteman, whom Sliney implicated in his testimony.
Witness, Kenneth Dobbins, testified that he saw two young men enter the store and speak with Blumberg about a piece of jewelry. Composite sketches were drawn from Dobbins’ description. An officer showed the sketch to his stepdaughter’s boyfriend, Thomas Capeles, because he was in the same age group as the suspects and might know them. Capeles did not recognize either individual. Capeles, however, later contacted the officer because Jack Sliney, manager of Club Manta Ray, offered to sell him a gun, and Sliney looked similar to one of the men in the composite sketches.
Capeles agreed to assist in the investigation, and a controlled gun buy was arranged. The serial number of the gun that was bought from Sliney matched the gun registry from the Blumberg’s pawnshop. Another controlled gun buy was arranged, and these guns also matched the pawnshop registry. Sliney was arrested shortly after the second gun sale.
Sliney confessed to the murder of Blumberg in both a taped oral statement and in a written statement. Sliney told officers that he and Witteman went into the store and argued with Blumberg over the price of a necklace. He reported that Witteman told him to hit Blumberg and then said that he would have to kill Blumberg because the victim could identify them. Sliney admitted to hitting Blumberg in the head with a camera, stabbing him with scissors, and finally hitting him with a hammer. During the trial, Sliney testified that Witteman killed Blumberg, which contradicted his original statement to the police.
Keith Witteman was convicted and sentenced to Life for First-Degree Murder during the Commission of a Felony. He also was sentenced to ten years for Robbery with a Deadly Weapon.
07/03/92 Sliney was indicted on the following counts:
Count I: First-Degree Premeditated Murder
Count II: First-Degree Felony Murder
Count III: Robbery with a Deadly Weapon
10/01/93 Sliney was found guilty on all counts charged in the indictment.
11/04/93 Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 7 to 5 majority, voted for the death penalty.
02/14/94 Sliney was sentenced as follows:
Count I: First-Degree Premeditated Murder – Death
Count II: First-Degree Felony Murder – Nolle Prossed
Count III: Robbery with a Deadly Weapon – Life, less 607 days for time served
Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal
699 So. 2d 662
03/08/94 Appeal filed.
07/17/97 FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence.
09/18/97 Rehearing denied.
10/20/97 Mandate issued.
United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari
522 U.S. 1129
12/17/97 Petition filed.
02/23/98 USSC denied the Petition.
Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion
02/19/99 Motion filed.
03/31/99 Amended Motion filed.
04/12/99 Amended Motion filed.
06/19/01 Consolidated Motion filed.
04/29/02 Evidentiary hearing held.
05/09/03 Evidentiary hearing held.
10/10/03 Amended Motion filed.
11/17/03 Amended Motion filed.
12/14/04 Motion denied.
Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Motion Appeal
FSC # 05-13
944 So. 2d 270
01/03/05 Appeal filed.
11/09/06 FSC affirmed the denial of the motion.
12/07/06 Mandate issued.
Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
944 So. 2d 270
08/19/05 Petition filed.
11/09/06 FSC denied the petition.
12/07/06 Mandate issued.
United States District Court, Middle District – Habeas Petition
12/18/06 Petition filed.
09/22/10 Petition dismissed and denied with prejudice.
United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit – Habeas Appeal
10/25/10 Appeal filed.
Factors Contributing to the Delay in Execution of Sentence:
The Direct Appeal was pending for three and a half years prior to being decided. The 3.850 Motion was pending from 02/19/99 – 12/14/04.
Sliney filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 03/08/94. He raised several issues on Direct Appeal. Sliney contended that his confession was forced and should not have been admitted. Another issue was that the tape from the gun sale between Capeles and Sliney and the tape of Marilyn Blumberg’s 9-1-1 call should not have been allowed. Sliney also argued that the trial court erred in not allowing inmates to testify that they heard Witteman, the codefendant, confess, not allowing adequate preparation time, and finding aggravating factors. Another issue argued was that the penalty of death was disproportionate to the crime committed. The Florida Supreme Court did not find errors that warranted reversing the conviction or sentence and affirmed the conviction and sentence on 07/17/97. Rehearing was denied on 09/18/97. A mandate was issued on 10/20/97.
Sliney filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on 12/17/97. The United States Supreme Court denied the petition on 02/23/98.
On 02/19/99, Sliney filed a 3.850 Motion in the Charlotte County Circuit Court. Amended motions were filed on 03/31/99 and 04/12/99. A consolidated motion was filed on 06/19/01. Evidentiary hearings were held on 04/29/02 and 05/09/03. Amended motions were filed on 10/10/03 and 11/17/03. The motion was denied on 12/14/04.
On 01/03/05, Sliney filed a 3.850 appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, citing allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel. On 11/09/06, the FSC affirmed the denial of the motion.
Sliney filed a petition for writ of habeas corpus in the Florida Supreme Court on 08/19/05, citing allegations of ineffective assistance of counsel. On 11/09/06, the FSC denied the petition.
On 12/18/06, Sliney filed a Habeas Petition in the United States District Court, Middle District. Grounds one, three, four, and five of this petition were dismissed with prejudice; grounds two and six were denied with prejudice on 09/22/10.
On 10/25/10, Sliney filed a Habeas Appeal in the United States Court of Appeals. This appeal is currently pending.
Report Date: 12/31/01 SQ
Approved: 04/17/02 WS
Updated: 01/24/11 EMJ