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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
Lucas Harold 058279CCRC-MCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
4/13/2004USDC04-222State's Response filed
4/13/2004USDC04-222Habeas Corpus petition filed
6/21/2004USDC04-222Reply filed
9/5/2008USDC04-222Habeas Petition denied
10/3/2008USCA08-15761Habeas Petition Appeal filed
9/16/2010USCA08-15761Reply brief filed

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 change and maynot reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied uponfor statistical or legal purposes.


LUCAS, Harold Gene (W/M)

DC#    058279

DOB: 10/31/51


Twentieth Judicial Circuit, Lee County, Case# 76-588 CF

Sentencing Judge, Trial: The Honorable Thomas Sands

Sentencing Judge, Resentencing I:  The Honorable ThomasSands

Sentencing Judge, Resentencing II:  The HonorableThomas S. Reese

Sentencing Judge, Resentencing III:  The HonorableThomas S. Reese

Sentencing Judge, Resentencing IV:  The HonorableThomas S. Reese

Attorney, Trial: Gene S. Taylor – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Resentencing I:  Dennis Erdley – AssistantPublic Defender

Attorney, Resentencing II:  Kinley Engralson –Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Resentencing III:  Robert Jacobs – AssistantPublic Defender

Attorney Resentencing IV:  Robert Jacobs – AssistantPublic Defender

Attorneys, Direct Appeal I:  David S. Bergdoll &W.C. McLain – Assistant Public Defenders

Attorneys, Direct Appeal II:  Douglas A. Lockwood &Douglas M. Midgley – Assistant Public Defenders

Attorney, Direct Appeal III:  W.C. McLain – AssistantPublic Defender

Attorney, Direct Appeal IV:  Robert F. Moeller –Assistant Public Defender

Attorneys, Collateral Appeals:  David Hendry & MarkGruber – CCRC-Middle


Date of Offense: 08/14/76

Date of Sentence: 01/14/77

Date of First Resentence: 03/03/80

Date of Second Resentence: 05/08/85

Date of Third Resentence: 05/07/87

Date of Fourth Resentence: 05/14/91


Circumstances of the Offense:


Harold Lucas knew the victim, 16-year-old Jill Piper, forfour years and they also used to date. One witness testified that Lucas statedthey were going to get married. A week prior to the murder, Lucas was arrestedfor criminal trespassing at the Piper residence. After the arrest, Lucas, whoworked at the Piper family business, stopped going to work.


On 08/13/76, Lucas was in a park with his friend, HaroldSaunders, at 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. Lucas asked Saunders to go and ask Ms. Piper ifshe called the Sheriff’s Department. When Saunders questioned Ms. Piper, sheindicated that she did not call the police. During this time, witnessestestified that Lucas threatened Jill Piper. Other witnesses stated they did nothear Lucas threaten Ms. Piper. Sometime around 3:00 p.m., Lucas left the parkwith friends. They drove around and were characterized as “pretty buzzed.”Throughout the day, Lucas drank a total of two six-packs of 24-ounce beers,smoked 10 to 20 marijuana cigarettes, and consumed five dollars worth of THC.They returned to the park around 6:00 p.m.


They left the park again around 10:00 p.m. and drove to agas station. Ms. Piper and Eddie Kent, a man who Lucas had been in fights withbefore, were at the gas station. Mr. Kent insulted Lucas by saying “Hello,Turkey” and Lucas responded by starting a fight. Ms. Piper ran across thestreet to a pay phone and called the Sheriff’s Department. The argument ended,and Lucas got in the car to leave. As the car was pulling away, Mr. Kent threwa beer bottle at the car, shattering the bottle. The glass from the bottleentered the car and cut Lucas’ ear. Ms. Piper threw rocks and yelledprofanities at the car.  Mr. Kent and Terri Rice testified that Lucasthreatened to kill both of them.


Ms. Rice and Ms. Piper left the gas station and met RickyBird at the park around 11:00 p.m. They asked if he would spend the night atMs. Piper’s house for additional protection and he agreed. The three proceededto Ms. Piper’s house. They parked the car across the street. Once in the house,Ms. Piper took a 20-gauge shotgun and a .38 revolver, both loaded, out of a guncabinet in the house. She took the shotgun and gave the handgun to Mr. Bird. Asthe three talked, Ms. Piper decided that they should move the car into herdriveway. The three walked across the street and drove the car back.


Mr. Bird entered the house to make sure that no one had goneinside while they were moving the car. While the two women stayed outside ofthe house, Ms. Rice saw someone at the side of the house with a gun. Sheassumed that it was Mr. Bird, but upon closer inspection she realized that itwas Lucas. She testified that he raised a rifle and shot Ms. Piper, who wasstanding in front of Ms. Rice. Ms. Rice ran into the house and told Mr. Birdwhat had just occurred and the two ran into a back bedroom. Ms. Rice testifiedthat she never saw Ms. Piper inside the house after she was shot.


Mr. Bird testified that he had heard three shots outside,and then saw Ms. Rice enter the house. After Ms. Rice entered, Ms. Piperstumbled into the house. She had two wounds in her back and stated, “That sonof a bitch shot me.” He stated that he and Ms. Rice then ran into a backbedroom and locked the door. Both testified that they heard Ms. Piper screamingand begging and then heard three more shots. Lucas then shot the bedroom dooropen and shot Mr. Bird in the stomach and then physically attacked Ms. Rice inthe bathroom. As Lucas was leaving, he fired a shot through the bathroom doorthat hit Ms. Rice in the hip. Ms. Piper’s body was found outside of the house.


Lucas testified that he remembers getting high on the nightof 08/13/76, and that he lost consciousness and woke up in the woods. He statedthat he did not have gun with him when he woke up. When he began walking home,a friend picked him up and told him that there was a newspaper article aboutthe incident and that Lucas was named as the primary suspect. Lucas went backto the woods and, when law enforcement attempted to arrest him, he ran, but waseventually arrested.


Trial Summary:


08/30/76         Indicted as follows:

                                  Count I:          First-Degree Murder

                                   Count II:         AttemptedFirst-Degree Murder

                                   Count III:        Attempted First-DegreeMurder

10/08/76         Motion for a change of venue

10/26/76         Motion denied

01/14/77         Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

01/14/77         Jury recommended death by a vote of 12-0

02/09/77         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II:         AttemptedFirst-Degree Murder – 30 years

                                   Count III:        Attempted First-DegreeMurder – 30 years to be served consecutive to Count II

06/14/79         Case remanded to circuit court for resentencing by the Florida SupremeCourt              

03/03/80         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II:         AttemptedFirst-Degree Murder – 30 years

                                   Count III:        Attempted First-DegreeMurder – 30 years to be served consecutive to Count II

07/01/82         Case remanded to circuit court for a new sentencing hearing by the FloridaSupreme Court

08/24/84         Tenth Circuit Public Defenders’ Office withdrew ascounsel                  

03/15/85         Twentieth Circuit Public Defenders’ Office was appointed to represent Lucas

05/08/85         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II:         AttemptedFirst-Degree Murder – 30 years

                                   Count III:        Attempted First-DegreeMurder – 30 years to be served consecutive to Count II

07/03/86         Case remanded to the circuit court by the Florida Supreme Court for newsentencing proceedings before a new jury

05/03/87         Jury recommended death by a vote of 11-1

05/07/87         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:          First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II:         Attempted First-DegreeMurder – 30 years to be served concurrent with Count I

                                   Count III:        Attempted First-DegreeMurder – 30 years to be served consecutive to Count I and II 

09/20/90         Case remanded by the Florida Supreme Court to the Circuit Court forresentencing on Count I.

05/14/91         Defendant was resentenced to death


Appeal Summary:


Florida State Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 51135

376 So. 2d 1149


02/22/77         Appeal filed

06/14/79         FSC affirmed the conviction but remanded for resentencing

12/05/79         Rehearing denied

01/02/80         Mandate issued


Florida State Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 51135

417 So. 2d 250


03/11/80         Appeal filed

07/01/82         FSC remanded for resentencing

08/03/82         Mandate issued


Florida State Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 67,094

490 So. 2d 1986


05/30/85         Appeal filed

07/03/86         FSC remanded for new sentencing

02/12/86         Rehearing denied

08/18/86         Mandate issued


Florida State Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 70,653

568 So. 2d 18


06/05/87         Appeal filed

09/20/90         FSC remanded for resentencing

12/22/90         Mandate issued

Florida State Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 78,118

613 So. 2d 408


06/17/91         Appeal filed

12/24/92         FSC affirmed the sentence

03/05/93         Rehearing denied

04/05/93         Mandate issued


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari


510 U.S. 845


06/03/93         Petition filed

10/04/93         Petition denied


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 76-588 CF


10/04/94         Motion filed

06/22/01         Motion denied


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC# 01-1633

841 So. 2d 380 (2003)


07/30/01         Appeal filed

01/09/03         FSC affirmed denial of 3.850 Motion

01/09/03         Mandate issued


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC# 02-314

841 So. 2d 380 (2003)


02/11/02         Petition filed

01/09/03         Petition denied

01/09/03         Mandate issued

03/14/03         Rehearing denied

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

USDC# 04-CV-222


04/13/04         Petition filed

09/05/08         Petition denied


United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit – HabeasPetition Appeal

USCA# 08-15761



10/03/08         Appeal filed


Factors Contributing to the Delay in the Imposition ofthe Sentence:


The main delay has been that the Lucas was resentenced fourtimes, which lead to five Direct Appeal procedures. In addition, the 3.850Motion was pending in the Circuit Court for seven years.


Case Information:


Lucas filed a direct appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on02/22/77. He raised two issues in the appeal: the trial court committedreversible error by allowing an unrevealed rebuttal witness to testify withoutconducting an evidentiary hearing as to why the state was not complying withthe rules of discovery and the trial court erred in considering non-statutorialaggravating factors. The Court found that, because the defense did not objectto the rebuttal witness, the trial judge made no error. The Florida SupremeCourt found that the trial court erred in considering the heinousness of theattempted murders as a non-statutory aggravating factor. The Court affirmed theconviction, but remanded the case for resentencing “without the benefit of anew sentence recommendation by a jury” Lucas v. Florida (376 So. 2d 1149) on06/14/79. The rehearing was denied on 12/05/79, and the mandate was issued on01/02/80.


On 03/03/80, the Circuit Court judge sentenced Lucas todeath for the murder of Ms. Piper and to two thirty-year sentences for theattempted murders of Ms. Rice and Mr. Bird.


Lucas filed a direct appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on03/11/80. He asserted that the trial judge abused his discretion by notproperly reweighing and re-evaluating the valid aggravating and mitigating circumstances.The Court found that the judge erred by not impaneling an advisory jury duringthe resentencing, but did not fault the judge because he was following theprevious mandate issued by the Court. The Court remanded the case to the trialcourt for a new sentencing proceeding on 07/01/82. The mandate was issued on08/03/82.


Judge Shands passed away prior to the second resentencing;Judge Reese reviewed the trial transcript and the transcript of the previouspenalty proceedings. He again sentenced Lucas to death for the murder of Ms.Piper and to two 30 year terms for the attempted murder for both Ms. Rice andMr. Bird on 05/08/85.


On 05/30/85, Lucas filed another direct appeal to theFlorida Supreme Court. Lucas claimed that the trial court erred by not allowingthe presentation of additional evidence and not impaneling a new jury. TheCourt found that the trial judge did not error by not impaneling a new jury butthat both sides should have been able to present additional evidence. The Courtremanded the case to the trial court for a complete new sentencing proceedingbefore a newly impaneled jury on 07/03/86. The rehearing was denied on02/12/86, and mandate was issued on 08/18/86.


Lucas was given a new sentencing hearing in front of a newjury and, on 05/03/87, the jury recommended the sentence of death for themurder of Ms. Piper. On 05/07/87, Lucas was again sentenced to death for themurder of Ms. Piper and to 30 years for the attempted murders of Ms. Rice andMr. Bird.


On 06/05/87, Lucas filed a direct appeal to the FloridaSupreme Court. The Court stated that the trial court’s finding as toaggravating and mitigating factors must be unmistakably clear, and found thatthe sentencing order did not meet this requirement. The Court vacated theLucas’ sentence and remanded the case to the trial court for resentencing witha newly impaneled a jury on 09/20/90. The mandate was issued on 10/22/90.


On 05/14/90, Judge Reese again sentenced Lucas to death forthe murder of Ms. Piper. Lucas filled a direct appeal to the Florida SupremeCourt on 06/17/91.  The main issues raised by Lucas surrounded theaggravating and mitigating factors used by the judge to render a sentence ofdeath, but the Court found these to be meritless, a harmless error. The FloridaSupreme Court affirmed the sentence on 12/24/92. The rehearing was denied on03/05/93, and the mandate was issued on 04/05/93.


Lucas filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the UnitedStates Supreme Court on 06/03/93. The petition was denied on 10/04/93.


Lucas filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court on10/04/94. The motion was denied on 06/22/01.


Lucas filed a 3.850 appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on07/30/01.  In this appeal his main issue raised was receiving ineffectivecounsel.  The Court found no merit in his claims and affirmed the denialof his 3.850 Motion on 01/09/03.


Lucas also filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to theFlorida Supreme Court on 02/11/02, which was denied on 01/09/03.  TheMotion for Rehearing was denied on 03/14/03.


Lucas filed a Petition for Habeas Corpus to the UnitedStates Middle District Court on 04/13/04.  This petition was denied on09/05/08.


On 10/03/08, Lucas filed a Habeas Petition Appeal in theUnited States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit.  This appeal is currentlypending. 

Institutional Adjustment:


DATE            DAYS            VIOLATION                                    LOCATION       

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

07/20/78         60                   DISOBEYING ORDER                   FLORIDA STATE PRISON

02/08/83         0                     DISORDERLY CONDUCT            CENTRAL OFFICE      

01/06/99         0                     FIGHTING                                        UNION C. I.         




Report Date:  06/11/02          NMP

Approved:      07/17/02          WS

Updated:        03/09/09          AEH