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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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
PearceFaunce 741988CCRC-MCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
5/20/2009CC Resentenced
2/2/2007FSC07-2013.850 Appeal filed
5/4/2007FSC07-201Status report filed
9/6/2007FSC07-201State's Initial brief filed
11/30/2007FSC07-201Answer filed
1/29/2008FSC07-201Reply filed
6/13/2008FSC07-201OA scheduled
11/13/2008FSC07-201New penalty phase granted; Disposition for new trial reversed
12/4/2008FSC07-201Mandate issued

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. 


PEARCE, Faunce Levon (W/M)

DC# 741988

DOB:  03/20/62


Sixth Judicial Circuit, Pasco County Case# 99-3110

Sentencing Judge:  The Honorable Maynard F. Swanson, Jr.

Attorney, Trial:  Paul C. Helm – Private

Attorney, Direct Appeal:  Alfred J. Ivie, Jr. – Private

Attorneys, Collateral Appeals:  Richard E. Kiley &James V. Viggiano – CCRC-M


Date of Offenses:  09/14/99

Date of Sentence:  02/14/02

Date of Resentence: 05/20/09


Circumstances of Offense:


On 07/20/01, Faunce Levon Pearce was convicted of the murderof Robert Crawford and the attempted second-degree murder of StephenTuttle.  Pearce was sentenced to death for Crawford’s murder and sentencedto life for Tuttle’s attempted murder.


On the evening of 09/13/99, Pearce visited his place ofbusiness and sought his coworkers’ teenage stepson, Ken Shook, for LSD geltablets.  Shook and his friends, Stephen Tuttle and Robert Crawford,contacted Amanda Havner, who had a connection with an LSD saleswoman. Havner contacted Tanya Barcomb, who had close connections with an LSD supplier. Pearce gave Shook, Tuttle, Havner and Crawford $1,200 and sent them to purchasea book of LSD gel tablets from Barcomb’s apartment.  Before leaving topick up the drugs, Pearce warned them against returning without the drugs orthe money.


When the four teenagers arrived at the Barcomb’s apartmentcomplex, Barcomb and her boyfriend approached their car, took the $1,200, andtold them to stay in the car while they bring the LSD out to them. Barcomb and her boyfriend had planned on stealing the money upon their arrival. As Barcomb and her boyfriend entered the apartment complex, Barcomb’s boyfriendhid the money in his own shoe and punched himself in the mouth, to appear asthough he was mugged.  Minutes later, Barcomb and her boyfriend returnedto the car and claimed the drug supplier stole their money.  As a resultof Barcomb’s deception, the four teenagers had no choice but to return toPearce without his drugs or money.


Before the group of teens told Pearce about the situation,he received a call from Barcomb explaining that his money was stolen by thesupplier and, consequently, his drugs were not available for him.  Pearcebecame very angry and, once the teenagers arrived at his worksite, Pearcepointed his gun at them and ordered everyone to go into his office.  Accordingto witness testimony, Pearce’s mood became calm and threatening inside hisoffice.  Havner made phone calls in an attempt to recover Pearce’s money,but was unsuccessful.  Pearce slammed Havner’s head into the wall andthreatened to shoot her in the head.  Moments later, Havner was releasedwhen her brother arrived to pick her up.  Some time later, Pearce orderedTuttle to perform oral sex on him while at gun point.


Pearce later called his friend, Theodore Butterfield, andrequested that he bring weapons to his workplace.  On the way over,Butterfield was accompanied by Lawrence Joseph Smith and HeathBrittingham.  Pearce planned on beating and then interrogating Shook,Tuttle, and Crawford as to who had stolen his money.  Pearce’s coworker,however, refused to allow Pearce to handle his stepson in such a manner andoffered to drive Tuttle and Crawford home.  Pearce assured him that hejust wanted to “rough them up” a bit until he got his money.


Pearce, Butterfield, Smith, Brittingham, Tuttle, and Crawfordcrammed into Pearce’s two-door Trans Am, and were driven by Pearce to adeserted area.  Pearce ordered Tuttle out of the car and left it to Smithto “rough him up.”  Smith shot Tuttle in the back of his head with a.40-caliber pistol.  Afterwards, Pearce drove 200 yards down the road andstopped at another site.  Pearce ordered Crawford out of the car and,despite Crawford pleading for his life, he shot Crawford in the arm and thehead with the same pistol Tuttle was shot with.  Once the men left thescene, Smith threatened Butterfield and Brittingham that he would kill them ifthey “snitched.”


On the morning of 09/14/99, police located and interviewedButterfield and Brittingham.  Later in the day, Smith was arrested. Pearce was arrested a few weeks later.  Upon Pearce’s indictment,Butterfield and Brittingham agreed to cooperate with the State and testifyagainst Pearce and Smith for assurance that they would not be charged with anythe crimes related to these offenses.  In addition, Tuttle survived thegunshot wound to his head and also agreed to testify against Pearce and Smith.


Codefendant Information:

Lawrence Joseph Smith (DC# R24256)


Pearce and Smith wereindicted separately for the same offenses.  Smith was convicted offirst-degree murder and attempted murder and sentenced to death (CC# 01-2103).  On Direct Appeal, Smith’sconvictions and life sentence for attempted murder were affirmed by the FloridaSupreme Court.  Because of erroneous statements in the sentencing order,however, the Court remanded the case for resentencing for the first-degreemurder conviction.


Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:


Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Prison Sentence Length








2Y 0M 0D




Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Community Supervision Length








0Y 0M 11D








6Y 7M 29D








5Y 0M 0D








3Y 0M 0D








0Y 18M 0D




Trial Summary:


09/17/99          Indictedas follows:

                                    CountI:           First-Degree Murder with a Firearm

                                    CountII:         Attempted Second-Degree Murder with a Firearm

07/20/01          Juryreturned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

03/01/02          Juryrecommended death by a vote of 10-2

02/14/02          Sentenced as follows:

                                    CountI:           First-Degree Murder – Death

                                    CountII:         Attempted Second-Degree Murder – 25 years

12/01/06          JudgeLynn Tepper granted the 3.850 Motion and ordered a new trial

11/13/08          TheFlorida Supreme Court reversed the decision for a new trial, and affirmed the dispositionfor a new penalty phase

05/20/09          Resentencedas follows:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Life withoutParole.


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC# 01-2820

816 So. 2d 128 (2002)


12/20/01          Petitionfiled

03/14/02          Petitiondenied


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 02-476

880 So. 2d 561


02/28/02          Appealfiled

07/01/04          FSCaffirmed sentence and conviction

07/22/04          Mandateissued


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 99-3110CFAES


09/01/05          Motionfiled

12/01/06          CircuitJudge granted Pearce’s 3.850 Motion and ordered a new trial


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal (Filed by theState)

FSC# 07-201

994So.2d 1094


02/02/07          Appealfiled

11/13/08          Dispositionfor new trial reversed; Disposition for new penalty phase affirmed

12/04/08          Mandateissued



Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition ofSentence:


Pearce’s Direct Appeal took more than two years to settle, primarily because he hadundergone withdrawals of counsel at two different times.  On07/16/02, Pearce filed for a motion to withdraw counsel based onconflict.  On 08/09/02, the Circuit Court appointed Steven Herman ofZephyrhills, Florida, to represent Pearce.  On 07/22/04, a motion toappoint post-conviction counsel was filed.  The Circuit Court appointedcollateral attorneys, Bill Jennings and his assistants from CCRC-Middle torepresent Pearce.



Case Information:


Prior to Pearce’s Direct Appeal, Pearce filed aPetition for a Writ of Habeas Corpus to the Florida Supreme Court on 12/20/01,which was denied on 03/12/02.


On 02/28/02,Pearce filed a Direct Appeal to the Florida SupremeCourt, and there were many issues raised.  First, Pearce claimed the trialcourt erred by refusing to allow defense counsel to impeach Butterfield and Brittingham’sstatement that was previously videotaped.  Second, there was concern forthe issue of whether Crawford’s murder was premeditated, which also questionedthe jury recommendation of death.  Third, Pearce claimed there wasinsufficient evidence that supported the trial court’s finding of cold,calculated, and premeditated (CCP) aggravating circumstances.  Finally,Pearce claimed the death sentence was disproportionate.  On 07/01/04, the Florida SupremeCourt found the trial court did not err and affirmed Pearce’s convictions anddeath sentence. 


On 09/01/05, Pearce filed a 3.850 Motion to theCircuit Court.  On 12/01/06, Circuit Judge Lynn Tepper granted Pearce’s3.850 Motion and ordered a new trial.  Judge Tepper concurred thatPearce’s trial attorneys were ineffective in allowing the State to introduceevidence of sexual battery which was not a charge in Pearce’s trial, andPearce’s trial attorneys failed to offer any mitigating factors during thepenalty portion of the trial concerning his strict upbringing and mental healthproblems.


On 02/02/07, the State filed a 3.850 Appeal tothe Florida Supreme Court.  On 11/13/08, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed thedisposition ordering a new penalty phase but reversed the decision for a newtrial.  The Florida Supreme Court issued a mandate on 12/04/08.


On 05/20/09, Circuit Court Judge Lynn Tepperresentenced Pearce to life without the possibility of parole.


Institutional Adjustment:












Report Date:   11/05/04          NRC

Approved:       11/05/04          JFL

Updated:         08/17/09          EMJ