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
FreemanJohn 072746RegistryCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
12/29/2004USDC03-668Habeas Corpus
7/10/2007USDC03-668COA granted in part
10/24/2007USCA07-11658Habeas Appeal
7/31/2008USCA07-11658Habeas denial affirmed
10/28/2008USSC08-7018Certiorari petition

Current Attorney

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


Last NameCase NumberJudgeCountyCCRCOrder DateContract Date
Tassone, Jr.16-1986-CF-11599-AXXX-MAMoranDuvalNorth-P02/09/0906/08/09

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. 


FREEMAN, John D. (W/M)

DC#     072746

DOB:   11/05/62


Fourth Judicial Circuit, Duval County Case # 87-3527

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Donald Moran

Attorney, Trial: Patrick McGuiness & Ann Finnell – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Paula Saunders – Assistant PublicDefender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Frank Tassone, Jr. – Registry


Date of Offense:          11/11/86

Date of Sentence:        11/02/88


Circumstances of Offense:


Leonard Collier caught John Freeman burglarizing his home on11/11/86.  A struggle ensued, and a neighbor heard a gunshot and the twostruggling over the gun.  The neighbor witnessed Freemangain control of the gun and repeatedly strike Collier as he attempted tocrawl away from the attack.  Collier had no bullet wounds, but was struckin the head ten to twelve times with the gun and later died from hiswounds.     


Freeman was later found hiding under a dock and was takeninto police custody.  A man at the dock told police that Freeman told himthat he [Freeman] had been in a fight and police were looking for him.  Atthe police station, Freeman waived his Miranda rights and admitted to the burglary,but claimed that Collier pointed a gun at him and threatened to shoothim.  Freeman admitted to striking Collier with the gun twice and thenfleeing the scene. 


Additional Information:


On 10/20/86, Alvin Epps came home to find Freeman burglarizinghis home, and Freeman stabbed Epps to death before fleeing the scene. Property stolen from Epps’ residence was later found in Freeman’s residence byFreeman’s girlfriend. Relatives and acquaintances of Freeman reported seeingFreeman in possession of property that was later determined to be Epps’.


On 12/04/86, Freeman was indicted for the First-DegreeMurder of Alvin Epps

(Case# 86-11599), which was committed on 10/20/86.  Thejury recommended a sentence of life imprisonment, but the judge overrode thejury’s recommendation and sentenced Freeman to death on 12/11/87. 


On Direct Appeal, the Florida Supreme Court affirmedFreeman’s conviction, but ordered Freeman’s death sentence reduced to lifeimprisonment. 


Trial Summary:


04/23/87         Indicted as follows:

                                   Count I           First-Degree Murder

                                   Count II           ArmedBurglary

09/15/88         Jury returned guilty verdicts on both counts of the indictment

09/16/88         Jury recommended a death sentence by a vote of 9-3

11/02/88         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I           First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II           ArmedBurglary – 9 years


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 73,299

563 So.2d 73


11/10/88         Appeal filed

05/31/90         FSC affirmed convictions and sentences

07/27/90         Rehearing denied

08/27/90         Mandate issued


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

USSC# 90-6029

501 U.S. 1259


10/22/90         Petition filed

06/28/91         USSC denied Petition


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC# 79,651

761 So.2d 1055


04/07/92         Petition filed

11/02/98         Petition amended

06/08/00         FSC denied Petition

07/10/00         Mandate issued


Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 87-3527


04/12/92         Motion filed

10/26/94         Motion amended

07/28/96         Circuit Court denied Motion


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Motion Appeal

FSC# 89,199

761 So.2d 1055


10/28/96         Appeal filed

06/08/00         FSC remanded for evidentiary hearing

07/10/00         Mandate issued


Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion (on remand)

CC# 87-3527


07/17/01         Evidentiary hearing held

07/24/01         Circuit Court denied Motion


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Motion Appeal

FSC# 01-2007

852 So.2d 216


09/12/01         Appeal filed

07/11/03         FSC affirmed denial of 3.850 Motion

11/25/03         Rehearing denied

12/29/03         Mandate issued


Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 87-3527


06/19/03         Motion filed

09/15/03         Circuit Court dismissed Motion


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

USSC# 03-1196

921 So.2d 598


02/20/04         Petition filed

04/26/04         USSC denied Petition


U.S. District Court, Middle District – Petition forWrit of Habeas Corpus

USDC# 03-668

536 F.3d 1225


12/29/04         Petition filed

10/23/06         Petition denied

05/03/07         Application for certificate of appealability

07/10/07         Order granting in part certificate of appealability


United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit- HabeasAppeal

USCA# 07-11658

536 F.3d 1225


10/24/07         Appeal filed

07/31/08         Habeas denial affirmed 


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

USSC# 08-7018

129 S. Ct. 921


10/28/08         Petition filed

01/12/09         Petition denied



Death Warrant Information:


03/12/92         Governor Lawton Chiles signed death warrant

04/10/92         FSC granted stay of execution


Clemency Hearing:


12/03/91         Clemency hearing held (denied) 


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition ofSentence:


A Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus was pending from04/07/92 – 06/08/00 and a 3.850 Motion was pending from 04/12/92 –07/28/96. 


Case Information:


Freeman filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Courton 11/10/88, citing the following errors: improper admission of testimonialevidence; improper comments by the prosecutor during closing arguments;improper and unconstitutionally vague jury instructions for the heinous,atrocious, or cruel aggravating factor; and disproportionate application of thedeath penalty in this case.  On 05/31/90, the FSC affirmed the convictionsand sentences. 


On 10/22/90, Freeman filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorariwith the U.S. Supreme Court that was denied on 06/28/91.


On 04/07/92, Freeman filed a Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus with the Florida Supreme Court, citing issues of ineffective assistanceof counsel.  On 06/08/00, the FSC denied the Habeas Petition. 


On 04/12/92, Freeman filed a 3.850 Motion in the CircuitCourt that was denied on 07/28/96. 


On 10/28/96, Freeman filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with theFlorida Supreme Court, citing issues of ineffective assistance of counsel andwithholding of exculpatory evidence by the State.  On 06/08/00, the FSCremanded the case to the Circuit Court for an evidentiary hearing on theineffective assistance of counsel claim. 


On 07/17/01, the Trial Court held an evidentiary hearing onthe ineffective assistance of counsel claim and then denied the Motion on07/24/01. 


On 09/12/01, Freeman filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with theFlorida Supreme Court.  On 07/11/03, the FSC affirmed the denial of the3.850 Motion.

On 06/19/03, Freeman filed a 3.850 Motion with the CircuitCourt that was dismissed on 09/15/03.


On 02/20/04, Freeman filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorariwith the U.S. Supreme Court that was denied on 04/26/04. 


On 12/29/04, Freeman filed a Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus with the U.S. District Court, Middle District.  That petition wasdenied on10/23/06.  Freeman filed an application for certificate of appealability on 5/03/07, which was granted in part on07/10/107.


Freeman filed a Habeas Appeal in the United States Court of Appeals,11th Circuit on 10/24/07. On 07/31/08, the USCA affirmed the denial of theHabeas Appeal.


Freeman filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with theU.S. Supreme Court on 10/28/08 that was denied on 01/12/09.



Institutional Adjustment:





DATE    DAYS    VIOLATION                                       LOCATION      


11/18/90    30                      POSS OFNEGOTIABLES                  FLORIDA STATE PRISON

04/14/98   180                     REFUSED SUB. ABUSE TEST         FLORIDA STATE PRISON

08/13/98   180                     UNAUTH USE OF DRUGS               CENTRAL OFFICE     

04/20/03    30                      POSS OFCONTRABAND                FLORIDA STATE PRISON

07/08/04   180                     UNAUTH USE OF DRUGS               FLORIDA STATE PRISON

03/22/05    30                      POSS OFCONTRABAND                FLORIDA STATE PRISON




Report Date:  07/17/03          JFL

Approved:      09/02/03          WS

Updated:        01/14/11          JJK