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. 


BANKS, Donald (B/M)

DC# J29603

DOB: 11/30/72


Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County Case # 05-15549

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Hugh Alfred Carithers, Jr.

Attorney, Trial: Refik Eler – Public Defender

Attorney, Direct Appeal: David A. Davis – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Rick Sichta


Date of Offense: 03/10/05

Date of Sentence: 08/15/08


Circumstances of Offense:


Donald Banks was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Linda Volum on 08/15/08.


During the early morning hours of March 10, 2005, Linda Volum was stabbed to death. Volum received 14 knife wounds, one to the neck, ten to the chest or abdomen, and three to her left forearm and hand. She also received several small cuts in different areas, including the back of the hand and around the left eye. She attempted to defend herself against the attack and was conscious and aware throughout the attack. She ultimately died from a loss of blood due to the stab wounds to her heart.


Between 2:40 and 2:47 a.m. on the same morning, a person attempted to access an automatic teller machine with Volum’s ATM card. This event was recorded by a video surveillance camera. Though the face of the person was not visible in the video, it was clearly a black male wearing a unique shirt and jacket, visually identical to the ones Banks was wearing during this time. Furthermore, the person in the video was driving a white compact sedan that matched the description of Volum’s automobile. The person was accompanied to the ATM location by another unidentified person.


Before dawn that morning, Banks returned to a residence he shared with his girlfriend, Sudie Johnson. He had been away from the residence all night and returned driving a vehicle identical to Volum’s. He entered the home limping from a wound to his leg. He carried with him a pillowcase the same color as one found later that day in the victim’s home. Bloody underclothing and a laptop belonging to Volum were inside the pillowcase. When Johnson asked him about the bloody clothing, Banks told her, “I just murked somebody.” Banks had been bleeding from the wound to his leg and continued to bleed while he was at the residence. About an hour after his arrival, he departed in the same automobile in which he had arrived. Later that morning, Volum’s automobile was involved in a traffic accident. After the accident, the occupants of the vehicle fled from the scene. In the course of investigating the accident, a deputy went to the victim’s residence, where he found her dead body.


Johnson testified at trial that, when Banks initially told her he had murdered someone, she did not believe him. Several days later, however, she and Banks were watching a videotaped television program when a news flash was aired regarding the murder of Linda Volum. Banks then stated to Johnson, “You see that? I did that.” This comment led Johnson to question Banks about the murder. In response, he told her facts about the crime, which could only have been known by someone present at the murder or by sheriff‘s investigators. He also told her that he had committed the crime as a “murder pay-back.” He also explained that he put a crack pipe in the residence to make the murder appear to be “foul play.” Banks told Johnson that he had received the wound to his leg on the night of the murder by accidentally stabbing himself in the course of stabbing the victim to death.


The sheriff‘s office investigation of the crime scene produced substantial physical evidence of Banks’ guilt. A crack pipe and a knife were found under the victim’s body. Blood, which DNA testing proved to be Banks’, was found in several places in the house. Banks’ semen was found on the victim’s body, and a mixture of blood from both Banks and the victim was found near the body. Banks’ bare footprint was also found in some blood in the house. In addition, the prints of some unknown person were found in blood in one place, indicating that another person may have been present at the murder. That person has never been identified.


Banks testified that he sold crack out of Volum’s residence, and that Volum had exchanged sex as well as the use of her laptop and vehicle for crack. He stated that, during the evening of the murder, he had cut his fingers on a crack pipe, thereby explaining his blood in Volum’s residence. He also testified that Volum has asked him to go to the ATM for her and that an acquaintance, “Bo,” accompanied him on the trip. He stated that when he left that night to go home, “Bo” remained at Volum’s residence.


Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:


Prison Sentence History:

Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Prison Sentence Length












30Y 0M 0D






30Y 0M 0D


Trial Summary:


12/15/05          Indicted as follows:

                                    Count I:           First-Degree Murder

05/30/08          Jury returned a guilty verdict

06/17/08          Jury recommended death by a vote of 10-2

08/15/08          Sentenced as follows:

                                    Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 08-1741


09/15/08          Direct appeal filed

06/03/10          FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence

06/15/10          Motion for rehearing

10/22/10          Motion denied

11/09/10          Mandate issued


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:


There have been no unreasonable delays in the imposition of Banks’ sentence at this time.


Case Information:


On 09/15/08, Banks raised six issues on direct appeal: (A) the trial court erred in denying a cause challenge to a prospective juror whose daughter had been the victim of an armed robbery; (B) the trial court erred in allowing the State to exercise peremptory challenges against two African-Americans; (C) the trial court erred in admitting DNA results without requiring the presentation of statistical evidence; (D) the trial court erred in denying a motion for mistrial when a witness mentioned Banks’ involvement in another crime; (E) the trial court erred during the penalty phase by allowing the State to present a video of Banks committing an armed robbery; and (F) the trial court erred in finding the cold, calculated, and premeditated (CCP) aggravating circumstance. On 06/03/10, the Florida Supreme Court denied each of the claims raised on appeal and affirmed Banks’ conviction and sentence of death.


On 06/15/10, Banks filed a motion for rehearing. That motion was denied on 10/22/10.


The Florida Supreme Court issued a mandate on 11/09/10



Report Date:   06/03/10          KKR

Approved:       06/14/10          RM

Updated:         02/16/11          JJK