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
ReavesWilliam 040002CCRC-SCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
10/23/2008FSC08-19853.851 appeal filed
2/23/2009FSC08-1985Initial Brief filed
4/3/2009FSC08-1985Answer brief filed
5/15/2009FSC08-1985Reply brief filed
11/4/2009FSC08-1985FSC affirmed denial of 3.851 Motion
11/19/2009FSC08-1985Motion for rehearing filed
2/4/2010FSC08-1985Motion for rehearing denied
2/16/2010USDC-S10-14046Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed
12/21/2006CC86-7293.851 motion filed
1/8/2007CC86-729Response filed
12/11/2007CC86-729Amended motion filed
9/15/2008CC86-729CMC scheduled for 09/15/08
9/18/2008CC86-7293.851 motion denied
11/29/2010CC86-7293.851 Motion filed
12/22/2010CC86-729State's response filed
2/9/2011CC86-729Motion denied

Current Attorney


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.


REAVES, William (B/M)

DC #    040002

DOB:   12/30/48


Nineteenth Judicial Circuit, Indian River County, Case#86-0729

Sentencing Judge:  The Honorable John E. Fennely

Attorney, Trial:  Clifford Barnes – Special AppointedPublic Defender

Attorney, Direct Appeal (1st):  Clifford Barnes –Special Appointed Public Defender

Attorney, Direct Appeal (2nd):  Jonathan Kirschner –Private

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  William Hennis andMelissa Donoho – CCRC-S


Date ofOffense:        09/23/86

Date ofSentence:      09/02/87

Date of Re-sentence:  03/06/92


Circumstances of Offense:


William Reaves was convicted and sentenced to death for themurder of Richard Raczkowski.


On 09/23/86, Deputy Sheriff Richard Raczkowski responded toa 911 call that was placed from the pay phone of a Zippy Mart convenience storenear Vero Beach.  According to Reaves, he had placed the call because hedid not have money for a taxicab.  The deputy called the 911 dispatcher toorder a cab and inquired about outstanding warrants for William Reaves. According to Reaves’ confession, a gun fell out of his pants while he and thedeputy were waiting for the cab.  When Reaves tried to retrieve the gun,the deputy stepped on his hand.  A struggle ensued, with Reaves eventuallygrabbing Deputy Raczkowski by the throat and wrestling the gun away fromhim.  Deputy Sheriff Richard Raczkowski stepped away from Reaves askinghim not to kill him, and then he turned and ran.  Reaves shot the deputyfour times in the back as he was running.  A witness, who found thedeputy, reported that he saw a black man in red shorts and a white t-shirtrunning away.  The deputy died later in the morning.


Reaves went to the home of Eugene Hinton, who was a friendof Reaves.  He reported to Hinton that he had just shot a cop. Reaves told Hinton that the cop begged him to not to kill him.  Hintonalso reported that Reaves appeared to be in full control.  Reaves claimedthat he emptied the gun at the officer as he ran away because he was high oncocaine and panicked.  A firearm expert testified that the type of gunused by Reaves has to have the trigger pulled each time to fire.  Anotherwitness testified that Reaves had been wearing red shorts and a white t-shirtthe afternoon of the homicide and did not appear to have been using drugs oralcohol.


The police were informed that Reaves would be departing fromthe bus station at 11:30 p.m. on 09/26/86.  Officers attempted to arrestReaves who struggled with the officers.  During the struggle, a firearmdischarged within the bus station.  Reaves was brought under control bythe officers.  He was arrested and found to be carrying cocaine in adepartment store bag. 


Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:


In 1973, Reaves was sentenced to eight years for Robbery andserved four years.  In 1979, he was sentenced to five years for GrandTheft and served four years.  In 1984, Reaves was sentenced to three yearsand six months for involvement in the selling of heroin and served less thantwo years.


On 09/30/91, Reaves committed Battery upon a Law EnforcementOfficer (Indian River County Circuit Court #91-1081).  He was sentenced totwo and one-half years for this offense.


Trial Summary:


09/26/86         Reaves arrested.

10/09/86         Reaves was indicted on the following counts:

CountI:           First-Degree Murder

CountII:           Possession of aFirearm by a Convicted Felon

CountIII:         Trafficking in Cocaine ofan amount in excess of 28 grams, but less than 400 grams

10/29/86         Reaves entered a not guilty plea.

09/02/87         Reaves was found guilty on Count I.

                                   Counts IIand III were Nolle Prossed.

09/02/87         Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 12 to 0 majority, voted for the deathpenalty.

09/02/87         Reaves was sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

02/25/92         During the second trial, Reaves was found guilty on Count I.

02/28/92         Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 10 to 2 majority, voted for the deathpenalty.

03/06/92         Reaves was sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:           Murder in the First-Degree – Death


Appeals Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal (First Trial)

FSC #71,148

574 So. 2d 105


09/17/87         Appeal filed.

01/15/91         FSC reversed the conviction and sentence and remanded the case to the trialcourt for a new trial.

02/27/91         Rehearing denied.

04/01/91         Mandate issued.


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal (Second Trial)

FSC #79,575

639 So. 2d 1


03/26/92         Appeal filed.

04/07/94         FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence.

06/10/94         Rehearing denied.

07/01/94         Mandate issued.


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC #94-5980

513 U.S. 990


09/08/94         Petition filed.

11/07/94         USSC denied the Petition.


Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #86-729


02/15/96         Motion filed.

02/17/99         Amended Motion filed.

02/10/00         Motion denied.


Florida State Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC #00-840

826 So. 2d 932


04/17/00         Appeal filed.

06/20/02         FSC affirmed the denial of Reaves’ 3.850 Motion in part and in part remandedfor an evidentiary hearing on the claim of ineffective counsel.

09/09/02         Rehearing denied.

10/09/02         Mandate issued.

Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC #02-015

837 So. 2d 396


01/03/02         Petition filed.

01/09/03         Petition denied.


Florida State Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC #04-891

942 So. 2d 874


05/24/04         Appeal filed.

09/14/06         FSC affirmed Reaves’ conviction and sentence.

11/02/06         Rehearing denied.

11/20/06         Mandate issued.


Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC #86-729


12/21/06         Motion filed.

12/11/07         Amended motion filed.

07/01/08         Second amended motion filed.

09/18/08         Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Appeal

FSC# 08-1985

27 So.3d 661


10/23/08         Appealfiled.

11/04/09         FSCaffirmed the denial of the 3.851 Motion.

11/19/09          Motion for Rehearing filed.

02/04/10          Motion for Rehearing denied.


United States District Court, Southern District –Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

USDC# 10-14046



02/16/10          Petition filed.


State Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC# 86-729


11/29/10            Motion filed.

02/09/11            Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Appeal

FSC# 11-512



03/16/11            Appeal filed.




Factors Contributing to the Delay in Execution ofSentence:


The first Direct Appeal and the 3.850 Motion were bothpending for three years prior to a decision being rendered.  The 3.850Appeal was remanded to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing.


Case Information:


Reaves filed his first Direct Appeal in the Florida SupremeCourt on 09/17/87.  Reaves raised several issues in the appeal.  Thefirst issue addressed was that the prosecutor was at one time Reaves’ defenseattorney.  Reaves also raised the issue that the court refused to offerthe jury instructions about finding Reaves guilty of Third-Degree murder. Reaves also argued was that the trial court did not inquire into the state’spreemptory challenge of a black juror.  Reaves further argued that thestate misrepresented evidence to support the aggravating factor of a priorconviction for a violent felony. Furthermore, Reaves argued that he had movedto disqualify the prosecutor before trial, and the court did not grant thismotion.  The Florida Supreme Court found that the trial court had erred inallowing the prosecutor, Bruce Colton, who had defended Reaves in a criminalmatter previously in the role of defense attorney, to the case.  TheFlorida Supreme Court reversed the conviction and sentence and remanded thecase to the trial court for a new trial on 01/15/91.   


Reaves filed his second Direct Appeal in the Florida SupremeCourt on 03/26/92.  Reaves argued that statements made by Hinton beforeand during the trial were inconsistent.  Another issue raised by Reaveswas that there were errors in the jury selection process.  Finally, Reavesargued that the State Attorney’s office should not have been allowed toprosecute him during the second trial because Mr. Colton, Reaves’ previouspublic defender, was now a prosecutor for the state.  The Florida SupremeCourt did not find errors that warranted reversing the conviction or sentence. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and sentence on 04/07/94.


Reaves filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the UnitedStates Supreme Court on 07/08/94.  The petition was denied on 11/07/94.


Reaves filed a 3.850 Motion in the Indian River CircuitCourt on 02/15/96.  The motion was denied on 02/17/99.


Reaves filed a 3.850 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on04/17/00.  He addressed claims of ineffective counsel since counsel deniedthe right to interview jurors or to confront witnesses.  Reaves alsocontended that he was innocent of First-Degree Murder and that the deathpenalty was unconstitutional.  Reaves argued that error occurred in thatthe Florida Supreme Court affirmed the 3.850 Denial in all aspects except forReaves claim of ineffective counsel for which the Florida Supreme Courtremanded the case to the trial court for an evidentiary hearing. Rehearing was denied on 09/09/02.  A mandate was issued on 10/09/02.


Reaves filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in theFlorida Supreme Court on 01/03/02.  The Florida Supreme Court denied thepetition on 01/09/03.


Reaves filed a 3.850 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on05/24/04.  On 09/14/06, the FSC affirmed Reaves’ conviction and sentence.


Reaves filed a 3.851 Motion in the Circuit Court on 12/21/06and then an Amended 3.851 Motion on 12/11/07.  A second amended motion wasfiled on 07/01/08.  The final order denying the 3.851 Motion was enteredon 09/18/08.


On 10/23/08, Reaves filed a 3.851 appeal in the FloridaSupreme Court.  The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the denial of the 3.851motion on 11/04/09. A Motion for Rehearing was filed on 11/19/09, and wasdenied on 02/04/10.


Reaves filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in theUnited States District Court, Southern District on 02/16/10. This petition iscurrently pending.


Reaves filed a 3.851 Motion in the State Circuit Court on11/29/10. This motion was denied on 02/09/11.


On 03/16/11, Reaves filed a 3.851 Appeal in the FloridaSupreme Court. This case is currently pending.



Institutional Adjustment:


DATE            DAYS             VIOLATION                                  LOCATION     

--------           ----                ----------------------------               -------------------

03/14/95         0                    DISOBEYING ORDER                   UNION C. I.       

01/07/00         0                    POSS OFCONTRABAND              UNION C. I.       




Report Date:    12/21/01          SQ

Approved:       01/06/02          WS

Updated:         03/21/11          EMJ