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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
FrancesDavid X33939CCRC-MCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
7/7/2008CC00-16204Status Conference
4/9/2009CC00-162043.850 Motion
5/17/2010CC00-16204Evidentiary Hearing
6/17/2010CC00-16204Evidentiary hearing
5/20/2005FSC05-892Direct Appeal
12/21/2007FSC05-892Mandate issued
3/5/2008USSC07-9801Certiorari petition
5/12/2008USSC07-9801Petition denied

Current Attorney


Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
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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. 


FRANCES, David (B/M)

DC#     X33939

DOB: 08/20/1980


­­­Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County Case #00-16204

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable John H. Adams

Attorney, Trial: Gerod J. Hooper- Assistant Public Defender

Attorneys, Direct Appeal: James R. Wulchak – AssistantPublic Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Robert T. Strain –CCRC-M


Date ofOffense:         11/06/00

Date of Sentence:       04/29/05


Circumstances of Offense:


David Sylvester Frances was convicted on 10/29/04 andsentenced to death on 04/29/05 for the murder of Helena Mills and JoAnnaCharles.


Helena Mills and JoAnna Charles were found dead in Mills’home at 6:00 PM on 11/06/00.  Both women were strangled to death with anelectrical cord.  There were no signs of forced entry into thecondominium.  Mills’ automobile, some jewelry belonging to Charles, and aPlaystation belonging to Mills’ son were also stolen from the scene. Male DNAwas found under Charles’ fingernails, but could not be matched to eitherdefendant due to the small sample size. No useable fingerprints were obtainedfrom the electrical cord.


Earlier that morning, David Frances and his younger brotherElvis Frances knocked on the door of Mills’ home and spoke with Mills’ son.They learned that Charles, a 16-year-old family friend living with Mills, wasstaying home from school that day due to illness.


On 12/05/2000, Frances and his brother were detained inDeKalb County, Georgia following a traffic stop. Elvis was driving Mills’stolen vehicle; David was a passenger in the same vehicle.


During his first interview with Orlando police detectives,David claimed that Elvis killed both victims. David admitted to helping Elvismove the bodies and steal Mills’ car. Elvis stated in his interview that Davidparticipated in the murders.


During his second interview with Orlando police detectiveson 12/06/00, David provided additional information regarding the murders. Hismother wanted both David and Elvis to move out of the house.  The brothershad no money and no car, so they planned to steal Mills’ car and drive toTallahassee.  David stated that he strangled Mills with an electricalcord. The brothers wrapped an electrical cord around Charles’ neck and eachpulled on an end until she was dead. They then stole the jewelry, thePlaystation, and Mills’ car, and pawned the stolen items. They drove toTallahassee and then to Georgia in Mills’ car.


Codefendant Information:


The defendant’s younger brother Elvis Frances was sentencedto life in prison for the killings. He is not eligible for the death penalty ashe was 16 at the time of the murders.


Trial Summary:


10/29/04         Indicted as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree murder

                                   Count II:         First-Degree murder

                                   Count III:        Robbery

                                  Count IV:        Petty theft

                                   Count V:         Petty theft

10/29/04         Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

04/29/05         Jury recommended death by a vote of 9-3 for Count I

04/29/05         Jury recommended death by a vote of 10-2 for Count II

04/29/05         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree murder – Death

                                   Count II:         First-Degree murder –Death

                                   Count III:        Robbery- 15 years

                                   Count IV:        Petit theft- 2 months

                                   Count V:         Petit theft- 2 months


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC #05-892

970 So. 2d 806


05/20/05         Direct appeal filed.

10/11/07         Appeal denied.

12/21/07         Mandate issued. 


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC #07-9801

128 S. Ct. 2441


03/05/08         Petition filed.

05/13/08         Petition denied.


Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #00-16204



04/09/09         Motion filed.


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition ofSentence:


The state attorney’s office did not exceed the acceptabletimeframe.


Case Information:


On 5/20/05, Frances raised the following issues in a directappeal: the heinous, atrocious, or cruel aggravating factor should not apply tothis case; the trial court improperly applied the prior violent felonyconviction aggravating circumstance; the trial court failed to find that themitigating circumstances outweighed the aggravating circumstances; and thedeath sentence was disproportionate. The appeal was denied on 10/11/07.


On 03/05/08, Frances filed a petition for Writ of Certiorariwith the United States Supreme Court which was denied on 05/13/08.


On 04/09/09, Frances filed a 3.850 Motion in the CircuitCourt. This motion is pending.



Report Date:  11/28/07          klh

Approved:      12/03/07          klh

Updated:        05/22/09         klh