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
WoodelThomas H06832CCRC-MCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
7/27/2005FSC05-1336Appeal (RS)
12/4/2007FSC05-1336Oral Argument held
5/1/2008FSC05-1336Disposition affirmed; Appeal denied
5/16/2008FSC05-1336Motion for Rehearing
6/26/2008FSC05-1336Rehearing denied
7/14/2008FSC05-1336Mandate issued
7/14/2008FSC05-1336CCRC-M appointed for postconviction proceedings
9/24/2008USSC08-6527Petition for Writ of Certiorari filed
11/17/2008USSC08-6527Petition denied
11/6/2009CC97-473.851 filed
12/10/2009CC97-47Status Conf.
4/16/2010CC97-47Amended 3.851 Motion
5/6/2010CC97-47State's answer
8/5/2010CC97-47Status conf. scheduled
10/28/2010CC97-47Status conf. scheduled
10/28/2010CC97-47Status conf. held
1/6/2011CC97-47Status conf. held
2/10/2011CC97-47Status conf. held
3/21/2011CC97-47Evidentiary Hearing held 03/21/11 and continued until 05/11-13/11

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. 


WOODEL, Thomas (W/M)

DC#    H06832

DOB: 04/17/1970


­­­Tenth Judicial Circuit, Polk County Case # 9700047

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Robert E. Pyle

Resentencing Judge: The Honorable Susan Roberts

Attorney, Trial: Allen Ross Smith & Gilberto Colon Jr. –Private

Attorney, Resentencing: Gil Colon – Private

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Robert Moeller – Assistant PublicDefender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Marie-Louise S. Parmer –CCRC-M


Date of Offense: 12/31/96

Date of Sentence: 01/26/99

Resentenced: 07/01/05


Circumstances of Offense:


On December 31, 1996, 79-year-old Clifford Moody and his74-year-old wife Bernice Moody were found dead. The couple resided in a mobilehome trailer on lot 533 at Outdoor Resorts of America in Polk County.  TheMoodys owned an adjoining trailer in lot 532, which was sometimes rented. The trailer was in the process of being cleaned and prepared to be rented.


The Moodys were found dead in the trailer on lot 532 alittle after 1:00 p.m. Clifford Moody was found lying on his back in the diningroom area.  His underwear and pants had been pulled down below his knees.The medical examiner testified that Clifford Moody died from internal bleedingcaused by eight stab wounds.


Bernice Moody’s body was found on a bed in the back of thetrailer.  She had on no clothing, except for one sock.  On the floornext to the bed was a nightgown and underwear tied in a knot.  Pieces of aporcelain toilet tank lid were discovered underneath her. The medical examinertestified that Bernice died in the early morning hours of December 31,1996.  She received 56 cut/stab wounds.  She also had blunt traumainjuries to her head, fractured nasal bones and a slit jugular vein.  Manyof her cut/stab wounds were located on her right arm, which suggested thewounds were received in self-defense.  No semen was detected on BerniceMoody.


On January 3, 1997, detectives searched the Outdoor Resortsdumpsters, retrieving three garbage bags containing pieces of the porcelaintoilet tank lid, Clifford Moody’s wallet containing his identification andcredit cards, bloody socks, and paperwork bearing the address of lot 301 andthe names of Thomas Woodel and his son, Christopher Woodel.


Detectives went to lot 301 where Thomas Woodel resided withhis girlfriend, son and other relatives.  Upon searching the premises,detectives discovered the knife used in the murder wedged between a dresser andwall.


Detectives then questioned Thomas Woodel, and he confessedto murdering both Clifford and Bernice Moody.  Woodel claimed that he hadnever previously met the couple. After drinking with friends in a lot near hiswork, he walked to Outdoor Resorts.  He admitted to entering the traileron lot 532 in the morning of December 31, 1996, with the intention of askingBernice Moody for the time.  She was alone in the trailer and upon seeinghim, attacked him with a knife.  Woodel confessed to stabbing BerniceMoody several times and hitting her over the head with a porcelain toilet tanklid one to three times, shattering the lid.


In his confession, Woodel declared that Clifford Moodyreturned home as he was leaving the trailer.  Woodel admitted to murderinghim.  Afterwards, he collected the pieces of the shattered toilet lid,knife, and Clifford Moody’s wallet and hid the items in a bucket.  Woodelalso said in his confession that he threw some items into a canal in the mobilehome park, threw some items away in his garbage, and hid the knife behind adresser.


Trial Summary:


01/16/97         Indicted as follows:

CountI:           First-DegreeMurder (Clifford Moody)

CountII:         First-Degree Murder(Bernice Moody)

CountIII:        Armed Robbery

Count IV:       Armed Burglary         

12/04/98         Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment.

12/07/98         Jury recommended death by a vote of 9 to 3 for the murder of Clifford Moody and12 to 0 vote for the murder of Bernice Moody.

01/26/99         Sentenced as follows:

CountI:           First-DegreeMurder (Clifford Moody) – Death

CountII:         First-Degree Murder(Bernice Moody) – Death

CountIII:        Armed Robbery – Life

CountIV:        Armed Burglary – Life

12/01/01         The Florida Supreme Court affirmed Woodel’s convictions, but remanded the casefor resentencing.

07/19/04         Upon resentencing, a new advisory jury, by a 7 to 5 majority, voted for theimposition of the death penalty for the murder of Bernice Moody.

07/01/05         The defendant was resentenced as follows:

CountI:           First-DegreeMurder – Life

CountII:         First-Degree Murder – Death


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 95,110

804 So. 2d 316 (Fla. 2001)


03/18/99         Appeal filed

12/20/01         FSC affirmed the convictions, but vacated Woodel’s two death sentences andremanded the case to the Circuit Court for a new penalty phase proceeding.

01/22/02         Mandate issued


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal, Resentencing

FSC# 05-1336

985 So.2d 524


07/27/05         Appeal filed

05/01/08         FSC affirmed the disposition of the State Circuit Court

05/16/08         Motion for Rehearing filed

06/26/08         Rehearing denied

07/14/08         Mandate issued


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC# 08-6527

129 S.Ct. 607


09/24/08         Petition filed

11/17/08         Petition denied


Circuit Court – 3.851 Motion

CC# 97-47


11/06/09          3.851 filed

04/16/10          Amended 3.851 filed



Case Information:


On 03/18/99, Woodel filed a Direct Appeal in the FloridaSupreme Court.  Woodel contended that he was denied due process of law andeffective assistance of counsel.  He argued that he was subjected to crueland unusual punishment by the trial court completing the penalty phase in oneday. Woodel also argued that there was insufficient evidence to prove his guiltand that error occurred in his indictment being constructively amended in orderto submit the felony-murder theory to the jury.  Woodel contended that thecourt erred in refusing to grant a mistrial after evidence that the statepresented in their opening statement was held inadmissible. His final argumentswere that there was insufficient evidence to prove that the killings took placeduring the acts of burglary, or that the victims were vulnerable due to age ordisability, and that the court did not give proper treatment to the mitigatingcircumstances. On 12/20/01, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the convictions,but vacated Woodel’s two death sentences and remanded the case to the CircuitCourt for a new penalty phase.


On 07/01/05, Woodel was resentenced to death for Count II ofthe original conviction of the murder of Bernice Moody.


On 07/27/05, Woodel filed a Direct Appeal in the FloridaSupreme Court.  Woodel contended the Circuit Court’s resentencing ofdeath, citing the following issues: (1) the court erred in excusing for causetwo jurors who were not sufficiently fluent in English to participate inWoodel’s penalty trial without the aid of an interpreter, in violation of theSixth, Eighth, and Fourteenth Amendments to the Constitution of the UnitedStates and Article I, sections 2, 9, 16, and 22 of the Constitution of thestate of Florida, (2) the appellant’s jury should not have been permitted tohear and consider irrelevant and prejudicial testimony from state witnessArthur White, (3) the evidence presented was insufficient to prove that BerniceMoody was particularly vulnerable due to advanced age or disability, (4) thesentence of death is not proportionally warranted, (5) the appellant isentitled to life imprisonment because the Florida death penalty statuteviolated his due process right and right to a jury trial, which requires that adeath-qualifying aggravating circumstance must be found by a jury beyond areasonable doubt, and (6) execution by lethal injection constitutes cruel andunusual punishment.  On 05/01/08, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed theState Circuit Court’s disposition of the sentence of death.  On 05/16/08,Woodel filed a Motion for Rehearing, which was denied on 06/26/08.  On07/14/08, The Florida Supreme Court issued the mandate in this case.


On 09/24/08, Woodel filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorariin the United States Supreme Court.  This petition was denied on 11/17/08.


On 11/06/09, Woodel filed a 3.851 Motion in the circuitcourt, which is pending. An amended 3.851 Motion was filed on 04/16/10.




Institutional Adjustment:


















Report Date:  12/01/04          DDK

Approved:      06/30/08          RM

Updated:        05/04/10         MJH