The Commission on Capital Cases was not funded in the FY 2011-2012 General Appropriations Act, and the Commission ceased operations on June 30, 2011. This site and the Commission website are being retained to provide access to historical materials.

The Registry Attorneys will be continued by the Justice Administration Commission.

These actions are effective July 1, 2011.

Disclaimer: The Commission on Capital Cases receives this information from a variety of sources. The site will be updated consistently as information is received and will be audited bi-annually. We make every attempt to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, the information should be verified by the applicable court prior to using it for legal or statistical purposes.


Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
CaveAlphonso 087429RegistryCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
9/28/2009USDC05-14137Petition denied
11/12/2009USCA09-15602Habeas Appeal

Current Attorney

Last NameFirst NameCityAddressZipPhoneEMail
BonnerMary CatherineFt. Lauderdale, FL207 S.W. 12th Court33315-1522954/523-6225Email


Last NameCase NumberJudgeCountyCCRCOrder DateContract Date

Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
Direct Links

The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly

TheCommission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly. Thisinformation, however, is subject to change and may not reflect the lateststatus of an inmate’s case and should not be relied on for statistical or legalpurposes.


CAVE,Alphonso (B/M)

DC#   087429



NineteenthJudicial Circuit, Martin County, Case #82-9546-CF

(Trialvenue changed to Sixth Judicial Circuit)

SentencingJudge: The Honorable L.B. Vocelle

Judge,Resentencing I: The Honorable Thomas J. Walsh Jr.

Judge,Resentencing II: The Honorable C. Pfeiffer Trowbridge

TrialAttorney: Karen Steger – Private

Attorney,Direct Appeal: Wayne R. McDonough – Private

Attorney,Resentencing I: Jeffrey H. Garland – Private

Attorney,Direct Appeal II: Jeffrey H. Garland – Private

Attorney,Resentencing II: Jeffrey H. Garland – Private

Attorney,Direct Appeal III: Jeffrey H. Garland – Private

Attorney,Collateral Appeals: Mary Bonner – Registry


Date ofOffense:                     04/27/82

Date ofSentence:                   12/10/82

Date ofResentence I:             06/25/93

Date ofResentence II:            02/21/97


Circumstanceof Offense:


Duringan armed robbery, the defendant, Alphonso Cave, andthree accomplices kidnapped the victim, 18-year-old Frances Julia Slater. One of the men later stabbed her, another fired afatal shot into her head.


On theevening of April 26, 1982, Cave, along with John Bush, J.B. Parker and TerryWayne Johnson, left Fort Pierce, Florida, and drove to Stuart, Florida. They arrived in Stuart at approximately 11 p.m. that evening.  Around 3a.m. on April 27, the four pulled up to a convenience store in Stuart. Cave and two of the men entered the store where Cave held a gun on Slater anddemanded the store’s cash.  After taking the cash, the men abductedSlater, placing her in the back seat of the car.  They drove to a ruralarea where she was removed from the car by the four men.  One of the menthen stabbed her and, when she fell, another fired a single lethal shot intothe back of her head.  The men then departed the scene for Fort Pierce butwere stopped by police approximately one hour later because of a brokentaillight.  They were released at that time but later apprehended when thecar and its occupants were linked to the convenience store crime.




JohnBush was convicted of First-Degree Murder, Robbery with a Firearm andKidnapping, and in 1982 was sentenced to death for the murder conviction. He was executed in 1996.


J.B.Parker was convicted of First-Degree Murder, Robbery with a Firearm andKidnapping, and in 1982 was sentenced to death for the murder conviction. After 11 appeals, he was resentenced to death in 2000.


TerryWayne Johnson was convicted in 1993 of First-Degree Murder andKidnapping.  He is serving life sentences for each of the convictions.




12/08/82         As charged in the indictment, the defendant was adjudicated as followed:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder

Count II:          Robbery with a Firearm

Count III:        Kidnapping

12/09/82         Upon advisory sentencing, the trial jury recommended the death penalty for themurder conviction by a 7 to 5 vote.

12/10/82         The defendant was sentenced as followed: 

Count I:           First-Degree Murder –Death

Count II:          Robbery with a Firearm – LifeImprisonment

Count III:        Kidnapping – Life Imprisonment


ResentencingI Summary:


05/07/93         The jury recommended the death penalty by a 10 to 2 vote.

06/25/93         Defendant was resentenced to death.


 ResentencingII Summary:


11/22/96         The jury recommended the death penalty by an 11 to 1 vote.

02/21/97         Defendant was resentenced to death.




FloridaSupreme Court - Direct Appeal (I)


476 So.2d 180


01/07/83         Appeal filed.

08/30/85         FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence.

10/21/85         FSC denied motion for rehearing.


UnitedState Supreme Court - Petition for Writ of Certiorari


476 U.S.1178


12/19/85         Petition filed.

06/09/86         USSC denied petition for writ of certiorari.


StateCircuit Court - 3.850 Motion (I)



05/27/88         Motion filed.

06/21/88         Trial court denied 3.850 Motion.


UnitedStates District Court - Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus



07/05/88         Petition filed.

08/03/90         USDC vacated and remanded sentence.

09/25/90         Motion for rehearing denied.


FloridaSupreme Court - 3.850 Appeal


529 So.2d 293


06/21/88         Appeal filed.

07/01/88         FSC affirmed trial court’s denial of 3.850 Motion.


UnitedStates Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit - Appeal of Habeas Ruling


971F.2d 1513


09/25/90         State filed appeal (defendant filed cross-appeal).

08/26/92         USCA affirmed District Court’s order to vacate and remand sentence.

09/17/92         Mandate issued.


FloridaSupreme Court - Direct Appeal (II)


660 So.2d 705


09/10/93         Appeal filed.

09/21/95         FSC vacated the sentence and remanded.


FloridaSupreme Court - Direct Appeal (III)


727 So.2d 227


03/24/97         Appeal filed.

12/24/98         FSC affirmed the resentence.

03/02/99         Motion for rehearing denied.

04/01/99         Mandate issued.


UnitedStates Supreme Court - Petition for Writ of Certiorari


528 U.S.841


06/01/99         Petition filed.

10/04/99         USSC denied petition for writ of certiorari.


StateCircuit Court -  3.851 Motion (II)



09/27/00         Motion filed.

03/15/01         Amended motion filed.

11/18/02         Motion denied.

12/19/02         Rehearing denied.


FloridaSupreme Court - 3.850 Appeal


899So.2d 1042


01/21/03         Appeal filed.

01/27/05         Denial affirmed.

04/07/05         Rehearing denied.

04/25/05         Mandate issued.


UnitedStates District Court, Southern District - Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus



04/29/05         Petition filed.

09/28/09         Petition denied.

10/27/09           Motion for COA filed.

11/02/09           COA granted in part and denied in part.


UnitedStates Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit – Habeas Appeal 




11/12/09         Appeal filed.




04/27/88         Death warrant signed by Governor Martinez.

07/07/88         Scheduled execution date.

07/05/88         United States District Court, Middle District, granted stay of execution.




12/07/87         Hearing held (denied).


FactorsContributing to the Delay in the Imposition of the Sentence:


Cavebeing resentenced to death twice is the chief cause of delay in thiscase.  The resentencing essentially started the appeals process over eachtime.  More than eight years passed from the time the U.S. District Courtvacated the first death sentence in 1990 to the Florida Supreme Court’saffirmation of the trial court’s third sentence in 1998.  Also noteworthyare two years of inactivity between the denial of the defendant’s firstpetition to the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari in 1996 and thefiling of his 3.850 Motion in 1988. 




Cavefiled a direct appeal with the Florida Supreme Court in 1983.  The courtaffirmed the trial court’s conviction and sentence in 1985.  The defendantthen petitioned the United States Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari thesame year.  The court denied the petition in 1986.


GovernorMartinez signed a death warrant on Cave in April 1988 that quickly prompted twoappeals.  The defendant in May 1988 filed a 3.850 motion with the trialcourt that the court quickly denied a few weeks later.  The FloridaSupreme affirmed the trial court’s decision in July.  Cave then petitionedthe U.S. District Court, Middle District, for a writ of habeas corpus. The court held that Cave received ineffective assistance of counsel at theguilt and penalty phases of his trial, but prejudice occurred only during thesentencing phase.  Specifically, Cave contended that his counsel did notunderstand that emphasizing Cave's admission of guilt in the robbery, whichresulted in the victim's death, would lead to a conviction for first degreemurder under Florida's felony murder statute, regardless of the fact that Cavedid not shoot Slater. Further, Cave contended that his attorney was soconvinced that she would win an acquittal for her client that she failed toprepare for the sentencing hearing.  The district court agreed. Accordingly, two days before his scheduled execution date in July, the courtgranted a stay of execution, vacated the sentence and remanded.


Thestate in 1990 appealed the federal court’s order to the 11th Circuit U.S. Courtof Appeals.  The appeals court affirmed the order in 1992.


Thetrial court resentenced Cave to death in 1993 and the defendant again appealedthe decision to the Florida Supreme Court.  The court found that aprocedural error occurred in the circuit court’s disposition of Cave’s motionfor disqualification of the resentencing judge.  Specifically, the courtheld that the judge, by passing on the truth of the facts alleged andadjudicating the question of his disqualification, failed to follow theprocedural process outlined in rule 2.160 of the Florida Rules of JudicialAdministration.


TheFlorida Supreme Court in 1995 vacated the sentence remanded the case back tothe trial court for resentencing.


Thedefendant again petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari in1996, which the court denied the following year.


Thetrial court sentenced Cave to death a third time in 1997.  The defendantfiled his third direct appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, which affirmedthe decision in 1998.

In 1999,Cave petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari.  Thecourt denied the petition the same year.


Cave in2000 filed a 3.851 Motion with the trial court, which was denied on11/18/02.  On 01/21/03, Cave filed an appeal of that decision in the FloridaSupreme Court, which was affirmed on 01/27/05.


Cavefiled a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the U.S. District Court,Southern District, on 04/29/05 that was denied on 09/28/09. On 10/27/09, Cavefiled a Motion for Certificate of Appealability. TheCertificate of Appealability was granted in part anddenied in part on 11/02/09.


On11/12/09, Cave filed a Habeas Appeal with the United States Court of Appeals,which is pending.




 DATE        DAYS         VIOLATION                            LOCATION      

 --------          ----       ----------------------------               -------------------

01/29/84       15          POSS OF UNAUTH BEV.             NEW RIVER 
03/03/84         60         DISORDERLYCONDUCT            NEWRIVER

04/04/84        60         DISRESP.TOOFFICIALS             NEW RIVER

12/12/84         0          FIGHTING                                          FSP

06/29/85         0          POSS OFNEGOTIABLES                  FSP

08/30/85         0          DISOBEYINGORDER                       FSP

08/17/92         0          DISRESP.TOOFFICIALS                   FSP

08/17/92         0          DISORDERLYCONDUCT                 FSP

07/28/94         0          FIGHTING                                      UNION C. I.        

03/01/01         0          DISRESP.TOOFFICIALS               UNION C. I.        




04/11/01– tb

04/11/01– approved – whs

11/08/10– updated – jjk