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
HunterJames 115624CCRC-SCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
1/29/2007FSC07-1613.851 Appeal
5/22/2007FSC07-161Initial brief
5/8/2008FSC07-161Oral Arguments
2/27/2009USSC08-10230Certiorari petition
9/29/2009USSC08-10230Status Conference
10/5/2009USSC08-10230Petiton denied
9/21/2009FSC09-17483.850 Appeal
1/19/2010FSC09-1748Initial Brief
6/1/2009CC92-341703.850 Motion
8/18/2009CC92-34170Status Conference

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 this informationregularly. This information, however, is subject to change and may not reflectthe latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied upon forstatistical or legal purposes.


HUNTER, James E. (B/M)

DC #    115624

DOB:   12/17/70


Seventh Judicial Circuit, Volusia County Case # 92-34170

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Gayle Graziano

Trial Attorney: George Burden – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Direct Appeal: George Burden – Assistant PublicDefender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Paul Kalil – CCRC-S


Date of Offense:          09/17/92

Date of Sentence:        08/18/93


Circumstances of the Offense:


James Hunter, Tammie Cowan, Cathy Woodward, CharlesAnderson, Andre Smith, and Lee Lewis (a.k.a. Eric Boyd) drove to DeLand fromSt. Augustine on September 16, 1992.  Cowan testified that Lewis andAnderson each carried black BB guns and Hunter had a silver handgun.  Theymade a brief stop in DeLand to visit Smith’s mother.  Cowan stopped thecar at about 11:45 p.m. to let Anderson, Lewis, Smith, and Hunter out. Hunter robbed a man on the street at gunpoint.  The four went back to thecar to reunite with the others and Cowan drove them to Daytona Beach. After they departed for Daytona Beach, a “be on the lookout” (BOLO) message wascirculated through the Volusia County area looking for the robbery suspects ina four-door gray car carrying at least five African-Americans, two of whom werefemale.


Hunter directed Cowan to drive to the Bethune-CookmanCollege area.  Hunter instructed Cowan to stop the vehicle when he sawfour young men outside of the “Munch Shop.”  Hunter, Lewis, Smith, andAnderson exited the vehicle and walked towards the four men.  Hunter wasstill carrying the firearm. 


Hunter directed the men to “give it up” and he and hiscompanions proceeded to rob the men at gunpoint.  Hunter shot each of themen in turn while they were lying on the sidewalk face down.  The last manto get shot, Wayne Simpson, died from his wound.  Hunter and hiscompanions fled the scene with the clothing and other possessions belonging tothe victims.  When they returned to the car, Hunter directed Cowan toleave and relayed to her that he fired the gun because a victim had attemptedto flee.  At 12:40am, Deputy Graves spotted a vehicle that matched theDeLand BOLO message.  Deputy Graves pulled the car over and Cowan admittedthat they had come from DeLand.  The victim of the DeLand robbery wasbrought to the stopped car and identified Hunter as the robber.  Thevictim also identified the vehicle as the one involved.  Cowan consented toa police search of the vehicle where officers discovered items stolen from bothrobberies as well as the two BB guns.  Investigators never recovered thegun used by Hunter in the robberies.


Codefendant Information:


Andre Smith is serving ten life sentences, Lee Lewis (a.k.a.Eric Boyd) is serving nine life sentences, and Charles Anderson is servingseven life sentences for their involvement in the robberies.


Additional Information:


At the time of sentencing for the current offenses, Hunterwas also convicted and sentenced to life incarceration for Armed Robbery inDeLand on 09/16/92

(Case # 92-1236).


Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:



Offense Date


Sentence Date


Sentence Length


Aggravated Battery with  a Deadly Weapon



3 Years 6 Months


Shoot Missile into a   Dwelling or Vehicle



3 Years 6 Months



Trial Summary


10/06/92         Defendant indicted with the following:

Count I:           First-DegreeMurder

                                   Count II:           AttemptedFirst-Degree Murder 

                                   Count III:         Attempted First-DegreeMurder 

                                   Count IV:         Attempted First-DegreeMurder                                                                    Count VI:        Attempted Robbery with a Firearm

                                  Count VII:        Attempted Robbery with aFirearm 

Count VIII:      Attempted Robbery with a Firearm 

08/06/93         Defendant was found guilty by the trial jury on all counts

08/13/93         The jury recommended Death by a vote of nine to three

08/18/93         Defendant was sentenced as follows:

                                 Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II:          Attempted First-DegreeMurder – life sentence

                                   Count III:        Attempted First-Degree Murder – lifesentence

                                   Count IV:        Attempted First-Degree Murder – lifesentence                                    Count VI:            AttemptedRobbery with a Firearm – life sentence

                                  Count VII:        Attempted Robbery with aFirearm – life sentence

                                   Count VIII:      Attempted Robbery with a Firearm – lifesentence  


*Please note, sentences are to run consecutively


Appeal Summary:


Florida State Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC #82,312

660 So. 2d 244


09/07/93         Appeal filed.

06/01/95         FSC affirmed convictions and sentences.

09/13/95         Rehearing denied.

10/13/95         Mandate issued.


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

USSC #95-7173

516 U.S. 1128


12/19/95         Petition filed.

02/20/96         USSC denied petition.


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #92-34170


03/31/97         Motion filed.

07/25/00         Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC #01-836

817 So. 2d 786


04/20/01         Petition filed.

04/04/02         Petition denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC #01-984

817 So. 2d 786


05/14/01         Appeal filed.

04/04/02         Affirmed trial court’s denial of motion.


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

USDC #02-660


06/06/02         Petition filed.

06/16/04         Petition denied.

U.S. Court of Appeal (11th Circuit) – Petition forWrit of Habeas Corpus Appeal

USCA #04-13574

395 F. 3d 1196


07/15/04         Appeal filed.

01/04/05         USCA affirmed denial of petition.

03/09/05         Mandate issued.


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

USSC #04-10479

126 S. Ct. 120


05/31/05         Petition filed.

10/03/05         USSC denied petition.


State Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC #92-34170


10/03/05         Motion filed.

01/11/06         Motion amended.

12/22/06         CC denied motion.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.851 Appeal

FSC# 07-161


01/29/07         Appeal filed.

09/25/08         Appeal denied.


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC# 08-10230


02/27/09         Petition filed.

10/05/09         Petition denied.


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #92-34170


06/01/09         Motion filed.

08/18/09         Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC# 09-1748


09/21/09         Appeal filed

10/05/10          Appeal denied


Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition ofSentence:


A 3.850 Motion was pending from 03/31/97 – 07/25/00.


Case Information:


A Direct Appeal was filed with the Florida Supreme Court(FSC) on 09/07/93.  Issues that were raised included whether the trialcourt erred in finding Hunter competent to stand trial and whether the trialcourt erred in allowing evidence from the stop and search of the vehicle to beadmitted in court.  Several mental-health and neurology experts examinedHunter and the trial court found Hunter competent to stand trial even thoughthe expert testimony was conflicting.  The Florida Supreme Court found allof the claims either without merit or harmless and affirmed the conviction andsentence of death on 06/01/95.


A Petition for Writ of Certiorari was filed on 12/19/95 anddenied on 02/20/96.


A 3.850 motion was filed with the circuit court on 03/31/97and denied on 07/25/00. 


A 3.850 Appeal was filed with the FSC on 05/14/01, and theFSC affirmed the trial court’s denial of post-conviction relief on04/04/02. 


A Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus was filed with theUnited States District Court on 06/06/02 and was denied on 06/16/04.


A Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Appeal was filed withthe United States Court of Appeal on 07/15/04, and the denial of the petitionwas affirmed on 01/04/05. 


A Petition for Writ of Certiorari was filed with the UnitedStates Supreme Court on 05/31/05 and was denied on 10/03/05.


A 3.851 Motion was filed with the Circuit Court on 10/03/05and was amended on 01/11/06.  On 12/22/06, the motion was denied. 


A 3.851 Appeal was filed with the Florida Supreme Court on01/29/07 that was denied 09/25/08.


A Petition for Writ of Certiorari was filed with the United StatesSupreme Court on 02/27/09. This petition was denied on 10/05/09.


A 3.850 Motion was filed with the Circuit Court on6/01/09.  This motion was denied on 8/18/09.


A 3.850 Appeal was filed with the Florida Supreme Court on09/21/09. This appeal was denied on 10/05/10.


Institutional Adjustment:





DATE    DAYS          VIOLATION                                                 LOCATION      

04/19/94     0                       DISOBEYING ORDER                        UNION C.I.-MED.FAC.

04/21/94     0                       SPOKEN THREATS                           UNION C.I.        

05/14/94     0                       DISORDERLY CONDUCT                 UNION C.I.        

06/21/95     0                       DISOBEYING ORDER                        UNION C. I.        

09/10/96     0                       DISORDERLY CONDUCT                 UNION C.I.-MED.FAC.

12/01/96     0                       DISOBEYING ORDER                        UNION C.I.-MED.FAC.

07/11/97     0                       DISRESP.TO OFFICIALS                  UNION C.I.-MED.FAC.

04/07/00    30                      LYING TOSTAFF                             UNION C. I.        

05/06/02     0                       DISORDERLY CONDUCT                 UNION C.I.        

11/07/03    30                       POSS OFCONTRABAND                UNION C. I.         



Report Date:     01/31/02         cc

Approved:       02/13/02          ws

Updated:         10/07/10          CAR