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
DouglasLuther 125172RegistryCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
5/17/2005CC00-15493.851 Motion
12/28/2005CC00-1549Amended motion filed
4/7/2006CC00-1549Huff hearing
1/26/2007CC00-1549Evidentiary Hearing
11/23/2009CC00-1549Motion denied
9/3/2010FSC10-1725Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus filed
3/4/2011FSC10-1725Oral Arguments set for 6/8/11
2/22/2010FSC10-3183.851 Motion Appeal
9/3/2010FSC10-318Initial brief filed
12/6/2010FSC10-318Answer brief filed
3/4/2011FSC10-318Oral Arguments set for 6/8/11

Current Attorney

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


Last NameCase NumberJudgeCountyCCRCOrder DateContract Date
Tassone, Jr.16-2000-CF-001549-AXXX-MADavisDuval 02/23/0909/30/09

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. 


DOUGLAS, Luther (B/M)

DC#    125172

DOB:   07/04/74


Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County Case # 00-1549

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Henry E. Davis

Attorney, Trial: Refik W. Eler – Private (Court-Appointed)

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Nada Carey – Assistant PublicDefender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Frank Tassone – Registry


Date of Offense:          12/26/99

Date of Sentence:        06/14/02


Circumstances of Offense:


On the evening of 12/25/99, Mary Ann Hobgoodleft her parents’ house with her friend, Misty Jones, in a car driven by Jones’boyfriend, Luther Douglas.  Douglas was driving a red Ford Escort, whichbelonged to the mother of one of Douglas’ children, JimelaDozier.  The three then stopped at a liquor store and bought a bottle ofrum and soda, which Douglas and Hobgood drank. They then went to several area bars and, when Douglas dropped Jones off at homearound midnight, he left with Hobgood in thecar. 


Douglas called Jones in the early hours of 12/26/99, firsttelling her that he had dropped Hobgood off at a barand then stating that he had taken Hobgoodhome.  When Jones saw Douglas later in the morning, she noticed scratchmarks on Douglas’ neck that had not been there the previous evening.  InDouglas’ presence, Jones called Hobgood’s home andwas informed that she had not returned home.  When Hobgood’ssister called Jones later in the day, Jones lied andtold her that they [Jones and Hobgood] had been outwith Jones’ ex-boyfriend, Timothy Hightower, the previous evening.  Joneslater stated that she lied to Hobgood’s sisterbecause Douglas was listening to the conversation.  Jones then confrontedDouglas regarding Hobgood’s whereabouts, while thetwo were driving in the red Ford Escort.  During the drive, Jones noticedthat the car was clean, inside and out, whereas it had been dirty and clutteredwith trash on the previous evening.  Douglas admitted beating Hobgood and throwing her out of the car.  Douglas alsotold Jones that if she was questioned about the crime, she should implicateHightower, or else she would end up like Hobgood


When police questioned Jones about Hobgood’swhereabouts, she told them the same story that she had told Hobgood’ssister – she and Hobgood had gone out withHightower.  Jones recanted that statement when police again questioned herin January of 2000. 


On the afternoon of 12/26/99, Hobgood’sbody was found along a set of railroad tracks.  She was found on her backin a shrub line, with her legs stretched out in front of her.  Hobgood’s body was nude from the waist down, and her knittop and black bra were torn and pushed up to her shoulders.  Near thebody, police found a lug wrench, a rubber car part (later determined to be fromthe red Ford Escort), and a blood-soaked maroon jacket, that was laterdetermined to have belonged to Douglas.  Forensic investigation determinedthat Hobgood died as the result of blunt head trauma,with ten blows to the face, seven blows to the back of the head, and seven toten blows to her hands and arms.  Additionally, her jaw and nose werebroken, several of her teeth had been knocked out and her right shoulder wasdislocated.  An autopsy showed that additional, extensive injury wasreceived post-mortem, most likely the result of being run over by a car. A rape kit indicated the presence of semen, later determined to be Douglas’, inthe vagina of Hobgood.  Forensic testing in thered Ford Escort yielded traces of blood in, on, and under the car that matched Hobgood’s blood. 


When questioned by police, Douglas initially claimed thatthe blood found in the car belonged to a friend, Eric Ransom, but police laterdetermined that Ransom was incarcerated at the time of the murder.  Policethen arrested Douglas for the rape and murder of Hobgood. While in jail awaiting trial, Douglas implicated himself in the crimes to afellow inmate. 


Trial Summary:


03/02/00         Indicted as follows:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Murder

                                  Count II:           SexualBattery

                                   Count III:         Kidnapping

03/15/02         Jury returned guilty verdicts for Counts I and II of the indictment

                       State nolle prossed CountIII of the indictment

04/05/02         Jury recommended death by a vote of 11-1

06/14/00         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II:           SexualBattery – Life Imprisonment


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 02-1666

878 So.2d 1246


07/25/02         Appeal filed

05/06/04         FSC affirmed convictions and sentences

06/15/04         Rehearing denied

07/15/04         Mandate issued


U.S. Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC# 04-6881

543 U.S. 1061


10/13/04         Petition filed

01/10/05         USSC denied Petition


Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC# 00-1549


05/17/05         Motion filed

12/28/05         Amended motion filed

11/23/09         Motion denied


Florida SupremeCourt – 3.851 Motion Appeal

FSC# 10-318



02/22/10          Appealfiled


Florida Supreme Court– Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

FSC# 10-1725


09/03/10 Petition filed


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition ofSentence:


The case progression appears to be within acceptable timeparameters.


Case Information:


Douglas filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Courton 07/25/02, citing the following errors: allowing crime scene and autopsyphotographs into evidence; failing to find mitigating circumstances; findingthe aggravating circumstance of heinous, atrocious, or cruel murder;disproportionate death sentence; and Florida’s unconstitutional death penaltystatute.  On 05/06/04, the FSC affirmed the convictions andsentences. 


Douglas filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with theU.S. Supreme Court on 10/13/04 that was denied on 01/10/05.


Douglas filed a 3.851 Motion with the Circuit Court on 05/17/05that was denied on 11/23/09.   


Douglas filed a 3.851 Motion Appeal with the Florida SupremeCourt on 02/22/10, which is pending.


Douglas filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with theFlorida Supreme Court on 09/03/10, which is pending.


Institutional Adjustment:





DATE           DAYS             VIOLATION                                    LOCATION      

06/22/05         60                  DISOBEYINGORDER                     UNIONC.I.         




Report Date:  07/23/04          JFL

Updated:        10/26/10          JJK