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
BanksDonald J29603RegistryCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
9/15/2008FSC08-1741Direct Appeal
3/25/2009FSC08-1741Initial brief
8/24/2009FSC08-1741Reply Brief
3/3/2010FSC08-1741Oral Arguments held
6/3/2010FSC08-1741Conviction and sentence affirmed
6/15/2010FSC08-1741Motion for rehearing
10/22/2010FSC08-1741Motion denied
11/9/2010FSC08-1741Mandate issued
2/11/2010USDC10-00129Habeas Petition
10/5/2010USDC10-00129Response filed

Current Attorney

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


Last NameCase NumberJudgeCountyCCRCOrder DateContract Date
Sichta16=2005-CF-015549-AXMoranDuval 11/15/1002/14/11

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 change and may not reflect the latest status of aninmate’s case and should not be relied upon for statistical or legalpurposes. 


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 PublicDefender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Rick Sichta


Date of Offense: 03/10/05

Date of Sentence: 08/15/08


Circumstances ofOffense:


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


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


Between 2:40 and 2:47 a.m. on the same morning, a personattempted to access an automatic teller machine with Volum’sATM card. This event was recorded by a video surveillance camera. Though theface of the person was not visible in the video, it was clearly a black malewearing a unique shirt and jacket, visually identical to the ones Banks waswearing during this time. Furthermore, the person in the video was driving awhite compact sedan that matched the description of Volum’sautomobile. The person was accompanied to the ATM location by another unidentifiedperson.


Before dawn that morning, Banks returned to a residence heshared with his girlfriend, Sudie Johnson. He hadbeen away from the residence all night and returned driving a vehicle identicalto Volum’s. He entered the home limping from a woundto his leg. He carried with him a pillowcase the same color as one found laterthat day in the victim’s home. Bloody underclothing and a laptop belonging to Volum were inside the pillowcase. When Johnson asked himabout the bloody clothing, Banks told her, “I just murkedsomebody.” Banks had been bleeding from the wound to his leg and continued tobleed while he was at the residence. About an hour after his arrival, hedeparted 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 thecourse 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 toldher he had murdered someone, she did not believe him. Several days later,however, she and Banks were watching a videotaped television program when anews flash was aired regarding the murder of Linda Volum.Banks then stated to Johnson, “You see that? I did that.” This comment ledJohnson to question Banks about the murder. In response, he told her factsabout the crime, which could only have been known by someone present at themurder or by sheriff‘s investigators. He also told her that he had committedthe crime as a “murder pay-back.” He also explained that he put a crack pipe inthe residence to make the murder appear to be “foul play.” Banks told Johnsonthat he had received the wound to his leg on the night of the murder byaccidentally stabbing himself in the course of stabbing the victim to death.


The sheriff‘s office investigation of the crime sceneproduced substantial physical evidence of Banks’ guilt. A crack pipe and aknife were found under the victim’s body. Blood, which DNA testing proved to beBanks’, was found in several places in the house. Banks’ semen was found on thevictim’s body, and a mixture of blood from both Banks and the victim was foundnear 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 oneplace, indicating that another person may have been present at the murder. Thatperson has never been identified.


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


Prior IncarcerationHistory 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          Indictedas follows:

                                    CountI:           First-Degree Murder

05/30/08          Juryreturned a guilty verdict

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

08/15/08          Sentencedas follows:

                                    CountI:           First-Degree Murder – Death


Appeal Summary:


Florida SupremeCourt – Direct Appeal

FSC# 08-1741


09/15/08          Directappeal filed

06/03/10          FSCaffirmed the conviction and sentence

06/15/10          Motionfor rehearing

10/22/10          Motiondenied

11/09/10          Mandateissued


Factors Contributingto the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:


There have been no unreasonable delays in the imposition ofBanks’ 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 whosedaughter had been the victim of an armed robbery; (B) the trial court erred inallowing the State to exercise peremptory challenges against twoAfrican-Americans; (C) the trial court erred in admitting DNA results withoutrequiring the presentation of statistical evidence; (D) the trial court erredin denying a motion for mistrial when a witness mentioned Banks’ involvement inanother crime; (E) the trial court erred during the penalty phase by allowingthe State to present a video of Banks committing an armed robbery; and (F) the trialcourt erred in finding the cold, calculated, and premeditated (CCP) aggravatingcircumstance. On 06/03/10, the Florida Supreme Court denied each of the claimsraised on appeal and affirmed Banks’ conviction and sentence of death.


On 06/15/10, Banks filed a motion for rehearing. That motionwas 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