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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
BevelThomas J29642CCRC-MCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
2/5/2009CC04-045253.850 Motion
3/19/2009CC04-04525Status Conference
8/17/2009CC04-04525Motion amended
11/19/2009CC04-04525Status conference scheduled
12/7/2005FSC05-2213 Direct Appeal
3/20/2008FSC05-2213Denial Affirmed
6/9/2008FSC05-2213Mandate issued

Current Attorney

Last NameFirst NameCityAddressZipPhoneEMail
Tassone, Jr.Frank J.Jacksonville, FL1833 Atlantic Blvd.32207-3459904/396-3344Email


Last NameCase NumberJudgeCountyCCRCOrder DateContract Date
Tassone, Jr.16-2004-CF-4525-AXXXMAHaddockDuval 06/23/0809/17/08

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. 


BEVEL, Thomas (B/M)

DC#    J29642

DOB: 06/20/81


­­­Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County Case #04-04525

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Lawrence P. Haddock

Attorney, Trial: Refik Eler – Court-appointed

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Jefferson Morrow – Court-appointed

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Frank J. Tassone, Jr. –CCRC-M


Date of Offense: 02/29/04

Date of Sentence: 10/21/05


Circumstances of Offense:


Thomas Bevel was convicted and sentenced to death for the2/29/04 murder of Garrick Stringfield and his son Phillip Sims. Bevel was alsosentenced to life imprisonment for the attempted first-degree murder of FelettaSmith.


Bevel and Stringfield were roommates and close friends.Stringfield frequently referred to Bevel as “nephew” or “Tom Tom” and Bevelfrequently referred to Stringfield as “Unc.”


On the evening of February 28, 2004, Sojourner Parkerdropped off her 13-year-old son, Phillip Sims, at the home of his father,Garrick Stringfield. Parker noticed Stringfield’s car was not in the drivewaywhen she arrived at the house, but was not concerned because Bevel answered thedoor and let her son inside.


Around 9:00 pm, Stringfield arrived at his house withFeletta Smith, a woman both Stringfield and Bevel knew from their childhood.Bevel and Sims were playing video games in the living room. Smith andStringfield joined them. Stringfield and Smith then went into Stringfield’sbedroom to watch television. Stringfield showed Smith an AK-47 rifle that hekept under his bed. Smith was frightened by the gun, so Stringfield handed thegun to Bevel who removed it from the room.


Bevel then drove Stringfield’s car to a BP gas station wherehe picked up his girlfriend, Rohnicka Dumas, and returned with her to thehouse. Stringfield and Bevel then went into the back yard. When they came backinside the house, Stringfield was carrying a small handgun, and Bevel wascarrying the AK-47 rifle Stringfield handed to him earlier that evening.Stringfield and Smith went into Stringfield’s bedroom, and Bevel and Dumas wentinto the bedroom across the hall.


Smith testified that she was in the bedroom with Stringfieldwhen she heard Bevel saying “Unc, open the door!”  She testified thatStringfield opened the door and Bevel immediately shot Stringfield in the head.Bevel then shot Smith several times. Smith became quiet and pretended to bedead. Bevel then went into the living room and shot Sims twice: one shot grazedhis arm and chest and one shot went directly into his face.


Rohnika Dumas testified that she was in a bedroom near tothe bedroom where Stringfield and Smith were located. She testified that sheheard gunshots and a female screaming and hollering. Bevel then came into theroom with a rifle, got Dumas to leave the room, and they both got intoStringfield’s car. Dumas testified that, as they were driving away, Bevel saidthat he didn’t mean to kill the boy. Dumas also testified that she initiallytold the police that she did not know Bevel was a suspect in the murders untilshe saw his picture on television.


Smith called 911 using Stringfield’s cell phone. She wastaken to the hospital where she remained for nearly a month. She testified thather left hip and right femur were broken, and she was shot in the back twice.She also testified that, when she first talked to the police, she told them theshooters were two males wearing masks. She testified that she said that at firstbecause she was scared and did not want to get involved.


Dr. Jessie Giles, who performed the autopsy of Sims,testified that Sims died as a result of massive trauma due to a gunshot woundto the head. Dr. Aurelian Nicolaescu, who performed the autopsy of Stringfield,testified that Stringfield died as a result of a gunshot wound to the head.Both doctors testified that the bodies of Sims and Stringfield exhibitedstippling injuries, which are indicative of being shot at close to intermediaterange.


Bevel was questioned on March 27, 2004 by detectives fromthe Jacksonville Sheriff’s Department. Bevel was questioned on two occasionsover a 24-hour period. Bevel gave the detectives four different versions of theevents but eventually confessed to the murders. However, Bevel’s confessioncontradicted the testimony given by Smith and Dumas. Bevel claimed he andStringfield had been fighting about money. He claimed, on the night of themurder, their fight escalated until Stringfield was pointing a handgun at Beveland Bevel had picked up the AK-47 rifle. Stringfield then went into hisbedroom. Bevel then heard what he believed was Stringfield loading the handgun.Bevel moved towards the room and shot Stringfield when he reached the door.Bevel told the detectives that the gun went off several times, but he did notmean to shoot Smith.


Trial Summary:


04/08/04         Indicted as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder

                                   Count II:         First-Degree Murder

                                   Count III:        Attempted First-DegreeMurder

08/26/05         Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

09/07/05         Jury recommended death by a vote of 12-0 for Count I and 8-4 for Count II

10/21/05         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II:         First-Degree Murder –Death

                                   Count III:        Attempted First-DegreeMurder – Life 


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC #05-2213

983 So. 2d 505


12/07/05         Appeal filed

03/20/08         Appeal denied

03/27/08         Motion for rehearing

05/23/08         Rehearing denied

06/09/08         Mandate issued


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #04-04525



02/05/09         Motion filed

08/17/09          Motion amended 


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition ofSentence:


There have been no unreasonable delays in the imposition ofBevel’s sentence at this time.


Case Information:


On 12/07/05, Bevel raised the following issues in a directappeal: jury selection, admission of irrelevant evidence, weight given tomitigating and aggravating factors, disproportionate nature of death sentence,Bevel’s mental age, and the constitutionality of the death penalty. The appealwas denied by the Florida Supreme Court on 3/20/08 and a mandate was issued on06/09/08.


On 02/05/09, Bevel filed a 3.850 Motion in the state circuitcourt and amended the motion on 08/17/09. This motion is pending.




Report Date:  03/26/08          klh

Approved:      04/02/08         klh

Updated:       09/04/09         kkr