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.

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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
ConahanDaniel Y02046CCRC-SCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
3/30/2011FSC11-6153.850 Motion appeal
10/1/2004CC97-1663.851 Motion
5/20/2009CC97-166Status Conference
1/31/2011CC97-1663.851 Motion denied
3/1/2011CC97-166Motion for rehearing denied

Current Attorney

Last NameFirst NameCityAddressZipPhoneEMail
HennisWilliam M.Fort Lauderdale, FL101 NE 3rd Ave Ste 40033301954/713-1284Email


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

The Commission on Capital Cases updates thisinformation regularly.  This information, however, is subject to changeand may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not berelied on for statistical or legal purposes.


CONAHAN, Daniel (W/M)

DC #   Y02046

DOB: 05/11/54   


Twentieth Judicial Circuit, Charlotte County, Case #97-166

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable William L. Blackwell 

Attorney, Criminal Trial: Paul Sullivan, Esq.

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Paul Helm – Assistant PublicDefender 

Attorneys, Collateral Appeals: Christina L. Spudeas – CCRC-S


Date ofOffense:           04/16/96

Date of Sentence:        12/10/99


Circumstances of Offense:


Daniel Conahan was convicted andsentenced to death for the kidnapping and premeditated murder of RichardMontgomery.


Richard Montgomery was last seen by his friends on04/16/96.  Montgomery said that he was going out to make a few hundreddollars and would return shortly.  When asked if whether this money-makingactivity was legal, Montgomery smirked and said nothing.


In a previous conversation with his mother, Montgomery toldher that someone offered him $200 to pose for nude pictures, but declined totell her who made the offer.  In the same conversation, Montgomery toldher he met a new friend, Daniel Conahan, who was anurse living in Punta Gorda.


The next day, two Charlotte County Utility Engineers discovereda human skull in a wooded area off Highway 41.  Police officers called tothe scene discovered the nude body of Montgomery.  His body displayedneck, wrist and waist trauma consistent with ligature or bondage marks. Also,Montgomery’s penis had been amputated postmortem.  Crime sceneinvestigators collected a rope, a carpet pad used to cover Montgomery’s body, askull and torso (belonging to another individual), a gray coat and numerouscombings.  A K-9 dog, trained to detect human scent, was called to thescene and showed particular interest in a palm tree, which was flattened orotherwise damaged on one side.  Autopsy reports concluded that Montgomerydied as a result of strangulation and the ligature marks covering his body wereconsistent with being tied to a tree.


Due to the unique modus operandi of this case, policereviewed a similar assault reported two years earlier.  Stanley Burdenreported that Daniel Conahan offered to pay him $100to $150 to pose for nude bondage photographs.  Burden agreed and Conahan drove the two of them to a wooded location. After taking several pictures, Conahan pulled out arope and tied Burden to a tree.  While restrained, Conahanperformed oral sex on Burden and attempted to have anal sex with him. Burden resisted by positioning his back side up against the tree.  Conahan placed the rope around Burden’s neck andunsuccessfully tried to strangle him for half an hour.  Conahan asked Burden why he would not die and Conahan finally gave up.  Burden freed himself  and reported the incident to the police. The police located the crime scene and found a tree with markings thatcorroborated Burden’s injuries and story.  At that time, police began anundercover investigation of Daniel Conahan.


Following his arrest, Conahan wasindicted for the kidnapping, sexual battery and murder of Montgomery.  Conahan waived his right to a trial by jury.  Duringthe guilt phase, the State presented evidence that, on the day of Montgomery’sdisappearance, Conahan’s credit card was used to buyrope, Polaroid Film, pliers and a knife.


 A Motion for Change of Venue to Collier County wasgranted for the penalty phase.


Trial Summary:


02/25/97         Defendant indicted on the following:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Premeditated Murder

                                   Count II:          First-Degree Felony Murder

                                   Count III:         Kidnapping

                                   Count IV:         Sexual Battery

08/09/99         Defendant adjudicated as follows:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Premeditated Murder - Guilty

                                   Count II:          First-Degree Felony Murder – Nolle Prosse by State

                                   Count III:         Kidnapping - Guilty

                                   Count IV:         Sexual Battery –Acquitted

11/01/99         Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 12 to 0 majority, voted for the impositionof the death penalty.

12/10/99         The defendant was sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Premeditated Murder – Death

                                   Count III:         Kidnapping – 6years, 8 months


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court - Direct Appeal

FSC #SC00-170

844 So.2d 1629


01/24/00         Appeal filed.

01/16/03         FSC affirmed the convictions and sentence of death.

04/24/03         Rehearing denied in light of revised opinion.

04/24/03         Mandate issued.


United States Supreme Court - Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC #03-5209

540 U.S. 895


07/03/03         Petition filed.

10/06/03         Petition denied.


Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC# 97-166


10/01/04         Motion filed.

01/31/11          Motion denied.

02/18/11          Motion for rehearing.

03/01/11          Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Motion Appeal

FSC #11-615



03/30/11          Appealfiled.



Factors Contributing to the Delay in the Imposition ofthe Sentence:


It took more than six years for the Circuit Court to deny Conahan’s 3.851 motion.


Case Information:


Conahan filed a Direct Appeal inthe Florida Supreme Court on 01/24/00.  In that appeal, he argued that thetrial court erred in denying his motion for acquittal because the State’scircumstantial evidence was legally insufficient.  Conahanalso claimed that the trial court erred in its consideration and application ofaggravating circumstances.  Lastly, Conahancontended that the prosecutor violated his right to a fair trial by makingimproper comments in his opening and closing remarks of the penaltyphase.  The Florida Supreme Court agreed that the prosecutor didimproperly comment upon evidence at the penalty phase, but concluded that theerror was harmless.  As such, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed Conahan’s convictions and sentence on 01/16/03.  Thecourt issued a revised opinion on 04/24/03, again affirming the convictions andsentence of death.


Conahan filed a Petition for Writof Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on 07/03/03, which was deniedon 10/06/03.


Conahan filed a 3.851 Motion withthe Circuit Court on 10/01/04. That motion was denied on 01/31/11. Conahan filed a motion for rehearing on 02/18/11, which wasdenied on 03/01/11.


Conahan filed a 3.851 Motionappeal in the circuit court on 03/30/11. That appeal is pending.





Report Date:     05/21/04 – ew

Updated:         04/13/11 – jjk