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
MurrayGerald 291140RegistryCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
7/14/2003FSC03-1241Direct Appeal (Retrial II) filed
4/13/2006FSC03-1241Relinquished to CC
5/22/2006FSC03-1241Relinquishment ended
10/25/2006FSC03-1241Amended brief filed
7/3/2007FSC03-1241State's response filed
11/4/2008FSC03-1241Oral Arguments held
1/30/2009FSC03-1241Sentence affirmed
2/16/2009FSC03-1241Motion for Rehearing
2/26/2009FSC03-1241Rehearing denied
3/16/2009FSC03-1241Mandate issued
6/26/2009USSC09-5012Petition for Writ of Certiorari filed
9/23/2009USSC09-5012Reply brief filed
10/13/2009USSC09-5012Petition denied
6/1/2009FSC09-9253.851 Petition for review of non-final order filed
7/1/2009FSC09-925Response brief filed
7/16/2009FSC09-925Reply brief filed
9/29/2009FSC09-925Petition denied
10/11/2010CC92-37083.851 Motion filed
12/13/2010CC92-3708Response filed

Current Attorney

Last NameFirst NameCityAddressZipPhoneEMail
SichtaRichard (Rick) A.Jacksonville, FL1833 Atlantic Blvd.32207-3459904/207-9039Email


Last NameCase NumberJudgeCountyCCRCOrder DateContract Date
Sichta16-1992-CF-3708-AXXXMAHaddockDuval 02/11/1004/23/10

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 upon for statistical or legal purposes. 


MURRAY, Gerald Delane (W/M)

DC#    291140

DOB: 02/05/69


Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County Case# 92-3708

Sentencing Judge:  The Honorable Alban E. Brooke

Judge, Retrial (I):  The Honorable William Wilkes, L.Haldane Taylor

Judge, Retrial (II):  The Honorable Hudson Olliss

Attorneys, Trial:  Roberto Arias & Stephen Weinbaum– Court-appointed

Attorneys, Direct Appeal:  Fletcher N. Baldwin, RichardW. Smith & William J. Sheppard – Assistant Public Defenders

Attorney, Direct Appeal (Retrial I):  Tom Fallis –Court-appointed

Attorney, Direct Appeal (Retrial II):  Pro Se &Richard Kuritz – Private

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Richard Sichta – Registry


Date of Offense:  09/15/90

Date of Sentence:  04/15/94

Date of Resentence: 03/19/99

Date of Resentence:  06/26/03


Circumstances of the Offense:


On 03/09/94, Gerald Delane Murray was convicted offirst-degree murder, burglary with an assault, and sexual battery with greatforce.  Murray was sentenced to death for the murder and life for theother two offenses.


At around midnight on 09/15/90, Murray and his friend,Steven Richard Taylor, were dropped off at a mobile home neighborhood by afriend (James “Bubba” Fisher) where the victim, 59-year-old Alice Vest,lived.  A Ford Ranchero was reported stolen from a residence near theplace where Murray and Taylor had been dropped off.  At around 4:30 a.m.,a passing motorist noticed the vehicle parked in a driveway next door to themobile home where Vest lived.  Later that day, the Ford Ranchero was foundabandoned behind a used car dealership, located only a few blocks away fromwhere Taylor lived at the time.


That same morning of 09/15/90, residents of the mobile homeneighborhood where Vest lived discovered Vest’s badly beaten body in thebedroom of her mobile home.  According to the testimony of the medicalexaminer, Vest had been vaginally and anally raped, strangled, and stabbedapproximately 20 times.  The medical examiner testified that most of thestab wounds were made with a knife, and the remaining stab wounds were madewith a pair of scissors, both of which were found at the scene of thecrime.  The initial cause of death was ligature strangulation.  Vestwas alive while she was being stabbed, and she was strangled with an electricalcord after the stabbings.  The examiner pointed out multiple fracturesfound on Vest’s lower jaw, indicating that she received several blows to thehead, which were done with a bottle, metal bar, and candlestick.  Theseitems were also found at the scene of the crime.  Finally, the medicalexaminer testified that Vest’s breasts were bruised, as a result of “impacting,sucking, or squeezing” while she was alive.  In the medical examiner’sopinion, Vest was alive for approximately ten minutes from the first stabbingto the strangulation.  The medical examiner was unsure whether Vest wasconscious during all or any part of the attack.  According to other trialtestimony, the phone line to Vest’s mobile home had been cut, the mobile homehad been burglarized, and various pieces of jewelry were missing.


During trial, the State admitted hair evidence recoveredfrom Vest’s mobile home.  Hair evidence was also sent to an FBI lab inWashington, D.C., for comparison with known hair samples from three persons:Murray, Taylor, and Vest.  The hair expert from the FBI concluded that thehairs found on Vest’s nightgown and body were pubic hairs that had the samemicroscopic characteristics of Murray’s hairs.  Taylor was excluded as apossible source of the hairs.


Additional evidence at the trial revealed that,approximately six months after his indictment for Vest (11/22/92), Murray escapedfrom Duval County Jail and was accompanied by a fellow inmate, AnthonySmith.  Smith testified for the State that Murray confessed to the rape,robbery, and murder of Vest.  On 06/09/93, approximately seven monthsafter his escape, Murray was captured in Las Vegas, Nevada.  At the timeof his arrest, he was carrying two false identification cards.


Codefendant Information:


Steven Richard Taylor (DC# 288500)


Taylor was convicted and sentenced to death for first-degreemurder, 15 years for burglary of a dwelling, and 27 years for sexualbattery.  Taylor was tried separately for his offenses (CC# 91-2456).

Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:


Prior Prison History: (Note: Data reflected covers periods of incarceration with the Florida Dept. of Corrections since January of 1983)

Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Prison Sentence Length








1Y 10M 0D








1Y 10M 0D









1Y 3M 0D








5Y 0M 0D




Prior Community Supervision History: (Note: Data reflected covers periods of community supervision with the Florida Dept. of Corrections since January of 1983)

Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Community Supervision Length








1Y 0M 0D








1Y 0M 0D









0Y 5M 26D




Trial Summary:


02/24/94         Indicted as follows:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Murder

                                   Count II:           Burglarywith Assault

                                   Count III:         Sexual Battery withGreat Force

03/09/94         Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

03/28/94         Jury recommended death by a vote of 11-1

04/15/94         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II:           Burglarywith Assault – Life

                                   Count III:         Sexual Battery withGreat Force – Life

03/06/98         Jury unable to reach a verdict

10/12/98         Judge L. Haldane Taylor presiding

02/03/99         New jury impaneled and sworn

02/12/99         Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts and recommended death by a vote of12-0

03/19/99         Resentenced to death

05/22/03         New jury impaneled and sworn

06/19/03         Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts

06/26/03         Resentenced to death by a vote of 12-0


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 83,556

692 So. 2d 157


04/20/94         Appeal filed

04/17/97         FSC reversed convictions and remanded for retrial

05/19/97         Mandate issued


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal (Retrial I)

FSC# 95,470

838 So. 2d 1073


04/29/99         Appeal filed

10/03/02         FSC reversed convictions, vacated sentences and death sentence, and remandedfor a new trial

10/17/02         Motion for rehearing filed

02/13/03         Rehearing denied

03/17/03         Mandate issued

Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal (Retrial II)

FSC# 03-1241  

3 So.3d 1108


07/14/03         Appeal filed

11/04/08         Oral Arguments held

01/30/09         Disposition affirmed

02/16/09         Motion for Rehearing filed

02/26/09         Rehearing denied

03/16/09         Mandate issued


Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Petition (Non-final)

FSC# 09-925


06/01/09         Petition seeking review of non-final order filed

09/29/09         Petition denied


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC # 09-5012

130 S.Ct. 396


06/26/09         Petition filed

10/13/09         Petition denied


State Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC# 92-3708



10/11/10          Motion filed


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition ofSentence:


It took over three years for Murray’s Direct Appeal to bedecided by the Florida Supreme Court.  Furthermore, Murray’s retrial withthe Court took approximately four years to decide on another retrial, giventhat the Court had reversed his convictions, vacated his sentences and deathsentence, and remanded for a new trial twice.


During his direct appeal, Murray withdrew counselrepresentation from various attorneys and was appointed replacement attorneysby the Circuit Court.  Murray’s retrials also had different presidingjudges.


Case Information:


Murray filed a Direct Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on04/20/94.  He raised numerous issues.  First, Murray claimed thetrial court abused its discretion in ten ways: by permitting the state toperemptorily challenge three jurors; in denying Murray’s motion to suppresshair evidence seized pursuant to an allegedly defective search warrant; inallowing the state’s expert to testify about the results of DNA typing becausethe state’s method of DNA typing and probability calculations do not meet theFrye test for admissibility; by admitting hair evidence recovered from thevictim’s body and from the victim’s nightgown because the evidence had beentampered with; in denying Murray’s motions for continuance at trial and penaltyphase; in admitting evidence of Murray’s pre-trial escape, theft ofautomobiles, and possession of false identification; in excluding the testimonyof three defense witnesses concerning Murray’s true motive for escape; inoverruling Murray’s objection to the standard heinous, atrocious, or cruelinstruction and denying Murray’s requested instruction on that aggravator; inrejecting Murray’s statutory and nonstatutory mitigating factors; and, inadmitting hearsay evidence concerning Murray’s prior violent felonies at thepenalty phase.


Second, the prosecutor’s comments during the guilt phaseclosing argument deprived Murray of a fair trial.  Third, the evidence attrial was insufficient to support Murray’s convictions.  Fourth, the trialcourt erred in finding the especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel aggravatingfactor.  Fifth, the trial court improperly doubled the felony murder andpecuniary gain aggravating factors.  Sixth, the trial court erred in findingthat the murder was committed for pecuniary gain.  Seventh, theprosecutor’s comments during the penalty phase closing argument deprived Murrayof a fair trial.  Eighth, section 921.141 (7), Florida Statutes (1995),which allows presentation of victim evidence in a capital sentencing proceedingis unconstitutional.  Ninth, the trial court’s use of Murray’scontemporaneous convictions for burglary and sexual battery to support thefelony murder aggravating factor violated Murray’s right against doublejeopardy.  Tenth, the trial court improperly instructed the jury regardingits role in the sentencing process.  Eleventh, the record does not supportthe death penalty.  Twelfth, Florida’s death penalty statute isunconstitutional because electrocution constitutes cruel and unusualpunishment.  Thirteenth, Murray’s death sentence isdisproportionate.  Finally, the trial court erred in enhancing Murray’ssentence for burglary and imposing it to run consecutively to his deathsentence.  On 04/17/97, the Court reversed Murray’s convictions andremanded for retrial.  The Court questioned the admissibility of DNAevidence used against him because no semen or fingerprints were found at thescene to connect Murray to the crime; Murray’s case relied heavily on extensiveDNA evidence.


On 03/19/99, Murray was resentenced to death in the CircuitCourt.  On 04/29/99, Murray filed a Direct Appeal (Retrial I) to theFlorida Supreme Court, citing the following issues: (1) the trial court did notproperly admit the hair evidence related to slide Q42; (2) the trial court didnot properly admit the hair evidence related to slide Q20; (3) the trial courtdid not properly exclude evidence of a phone call during the trial between thestate expert and the defense; (4) the trial court did not properly concludethat the DNA evidence meets the Frye Standard; (5) the trial court did notproperly admit collateral crime evidence; (6) the trial court did not properlydeny the motion to exclude the DNA evidence where the hair was consumed by thetest; (7) the trial court did not properly deny the motion for judgment ofacquittal based on failure to prove a prima facie case of first degree murder,burglary with an assault, and sexual battery; (8) the trial court abused itsdiscretion by denying appellant’s discovery request; (9) the trial court didnot properly admit appellant’s confession regarding how his hair came to befound in the victim’s house.  On 10/03/02, the Court reversed Murray’sconvictions, vacated sentences and death sentence, and remanded for a new trialbecause the testing of DNA evidence in his case did not meet scientificstandards.


On 06/26/03, Murray was resentenced to death in the CircuitCourt.  On 07/14/03, Murray filed a Direct Appeal (Retrial II) in theFlorida Supreme Court, citing the following issues: (1) the trial court wasunreasonable in permitting the admission of slide Q-42 into evidence; (2) thetrial court was unreasonable in permitting the admission of slide Q-20 intoevidence; (3) the trial court erred in its ruling concerning the testimony ofFBI expert Dr. Dizinno; (4) the trial court erred in denying Murray’s motion todismiss the indictment; (5) the trial court erred by denying Murray’s motionsto interview all grand jurors and depose the prosecutor and Detective O’Steenas witness to the grand jury proceedings; (6) there was insufficient evidenceto convict Murray of the offenses charged in the indictment; (7) the appellantdemonstrated that the trial court’s finding that the prosecutor provided arace-neutral reason for peremptorily challenging an African-American juror waserroneous; (8) the trial court erred in not declaring a mistrial due to allegedjuror misconduct; (9) the trial court reversibly erred when it instructed thejury on an “abiding conviction of guilt”; (10) the trial court erred byallowing the prior trial testimony of the medical examiner and Juanita White tobe read to the jury; and (11) the death sentence in this case is notproportional. On 11/04/08, Oral Arguments were held.  On 01/30/09, the FloridaSupreme Court affirmed the sentence of death.  On 02/16/09, Murray filed aMotion for Rehearing, which was denied on 02/26/09.  On 03/16/09, theFlorida Supreme Court issued a mandate that proceedings be had in accordancewith their opinion rendered on 01/30/09.


On 06/01/09, Murray filed a petition seeking review of anon-final order in a death penalty proceeding in the Florida Supreme Court. Thepetition was denied on 09/29/09.


Murray filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the UnitedStates Supreme Court on 06/26/09. This petition was denied on 12/08/09.


On 10/11/10, Murray filed a 3.851 Motion in the CircuitCourt. This motion is currently pending.


Institutional Adjustment:

















Report Date:    12/03/04          NRC

Approved:       12/07/04          JFL

Updated:         10/18/10          EMJ