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
PittmanDavid 351997RegistryCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
2/4/2008FSC08-1463.851 Appeal filed
12/23/2008FSC08-146Initial brief filed
2/11/2009FSC08-146Oral Argument
3/27/2009FSC08-146Answer brief filed
2/11/2010FSC08-146Oral Argument
12/29/2008FSC08-2486Petition for Habeas Corpus
2/11/2010FSC08-2486Oral Argument
11/2/2001CC90-2242A13.850 Motion amended
11/15/2001CC90-2242A1Response filed
3/24/2007CC90-2242A13.850 Motion filed
6/1/2007CC90-2242A12nd AMD to 2nd AMD 3.850 motion filed
6/22/2007CC90-2242A1Huff Hearing
11/5/2007CC90-2242A1Motion denied
11/27/2007CC90-2242A1Motion for Rehearing filed
12/17/2007CC90-2242A1Rehearing denied
4/11/2008CC90-2242A1SC set for 04/11/08

Current Attorney

Last NameFirst NameCityAddressZipPhoneEMail
McClainMartin J.Wilton Manors, FL141 N.E. 30th St.33334-1064305/984-8344Email


Last NameCase NumberJudgeCountyCCRCOrder DateContract Date

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.


PITTMAN, David (W/M)

DC# 351997

DOB:  12/10/61


Tenth Judicial Circuit, Polk County, Case# CF90-2242A1-XX

Sentencing Judge:  The Honorable Tim J. Strickland

Trial Attorney:  Robert A. Norgard – Assistant PublicDefender

Attorney, Direct Appeal:  A. Anne Owens – AssistantPublic Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Martin J. McClain –Registry



Date of Offense:  05/15/90

Date of Sentence:  04/25/91



Circumstances of the Offense:


David Pittman was convicted and sentenced to death for themurders of Clarence, Barbara, and Bonnie Knowles.


Clarence and Barbara Knowles’ daughter, Marie, was marriedto Pittman.  Marie initiated a divorce, which Pittman did not want. Duringthe course of the divorce, Pittman had threatened to harm both Marie and herfamily.


In the early morning hours of 05/15/90, witnesses phoned thefire department to report that the residence of Clarence and Barbara Knowles,Marie’s parents, was on fire. It was discovered, after the investigation, thatthe perpetrator had cut the phone line and after setting the fire stole the carof Bonnie Knowles, the couple’s other daughter.


The bodies of Clarence, Barbara, and Bonnie were found inthe home. The cause of death for all three was attributed to multiple stabwounds, which resulted in massive bleeding. Additionally, Bonnie Knowles’throat had been slit.


Another witness testified that on the same morning of05/15/90, he saw a car similar to Bonnie Knowles’ in a ditch on the side of theroad close to the Knowles’ home. This witness saw a truck, determined to belongto Pittman, pull beside the car.  The witness later noticed the car onfire. Another witness saw a man running from the burning car, and lateridentified the man as Pittman in a photo line-up.


A jailhouse informant testified that Pittman confessed tothe aforementioned crimes.


Prior IncarcerationHistory in the State of Florida:


Prior Prison History: (Note: Data reflected covers periods of incarceration with the Florida Dept. of Corrections since January of 1983)

Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Prison Sentence Length









4Y 0M 0D









2Y 6M 0D




GRAND THEFT,$300 LESS &20,000




4Y 6M 0D




Prior Community Supervision History: (Note: Data reflected covers periods of community supervision with the Florida Dept. of Corrections since January of 1983)

Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Community Supervision Length









2Y 0M 0D




GRAND THEFT,$300 LESS &20,000




0Y 0M 90D





Trial Summary:


07/12/90         Indicted as follows:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Murder (Clarence Knowles)

                                   Count II:          First-Degree Murder (Barbara Knowles)

                                   Count III:         First-Degree Murder(Bonnie Knowles)

                                   Count IV:         Arson

                                   Count V:          Burglary

                                   Count VI:         Grand Theft

                                   Count VII:        Arson

04/19/91         Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment with the

exception of CountV

04/25/91         Jury recommended death by a vote of 9-3

04/25/91         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II:          First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count III:         First-Degree Murder– Death

                                   Count IV:         Arson – 15 years

                                   Count VI:         Grand Theft – 5 years

                                   Count VII:        Arson – 15years                     



Appeal Summary:


Florida State Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 78,605

646 So. 2d 167 (Fla. 1994)


09/16/91         Appeal filed

09/29/94         FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence

12/19/94         Rehearing denied

01/23/95         Mandate issued


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC# 94-8589

514 U.S 1119; 115 S. Ct. 1982; 131 L. Ed. 2d 870 (US 1995)


03/20/95         Petition filed

05/15/95         Petition denied


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# CF90-2242A1-XX


03/24/97         Motion filed

11/02/01         Amended motion filed

09/15/05         Second Amended Motion filed

05/08/06         Evidentiary hearing held

03/08/07         Amended to 09/15/05 Motion

06/01/07         Second Amendment to Second Amended Motion filed

07/27/07         Evidentiary hearing held

11/05/07         Motion denied.

11/27/07         Motion for Rehearing filed.

12/17/07         Motion for Rehearing denied.


Florida State Supreme Court – 3.851 Appeal

FSC# 08-146



02/04/08         Appeal filed.


Florida State Supreme Court – Petition for Habeas Corpus

FSC# 08-2486



12/29/08          Petition filed.



Factors Contributing to the Delay in the Imposition ofthe Sentence:


Pittman filed a 3.850 Motion on 03/24/97, which wasdismissed one month later.  He then filed an interlocutory appeal on06/01/99, which was denied on 11/02/01.  Also on 11/02/01, Pittman filedan amended 3.850 Motion.  On 09/15/05, Pittman filed a second amendedmotion (under a new presiding Judge Kornstein), which has since been pendingwhile public records requests are handled. 


Case Information:


On 09/16/91, Pittman filed his Direct Appeal to the FloridaSupreme Court.  In his appeal, he contended that the court incorrectlyadmitted evidence of his past crimes.  Pittman also claimed that the trialcourt admitted identification testimony that was manipulated by suggestiveprocedures.  Some of Pittman’s other claims included hearsay evidence ofsomeone else’s involvement in the murder was not admitted and the judgerendered an insufficient sentencing order, which imposed three death sentences. The Court found no merit in any of Pittman’s claims and affirmed hisconvictions and sentences on 09/29/94.


On 03/20/95, Pittman filed a Petition for Writ ofCertiorari, which was subsequently denied on 05/15/95.


On 03/24/97, Pittman filed a 3.850 Motion to the CircuitCourt.  The motion was dismissed on 04/24/97.  Subsequently, he filedan amended 3.850 Motion on 11/02/01.  On 09/15/05, Pittman filed a secondamended 3.850 Motion.  On 05/08/06, the evidentiary hearing washeld.  The second motion was amended on 03/08/07, which is currentlypending.  On 06/01/07, a second amendment to the second motion was filed,which is currently pending.  An evidentiary hearing was held on07/27/07.  The order denying Pittman’s Second amended motion was enteredon 11/05/07.  Pittman filed a Motion for Rehearing on 11/27/07, which wasdenied 12/17/07.


On 02/04/08, Pittman filed a 3.851 Appeal in the FloridaSupreme Court.  This appeal is currently pending.


On 12/29/08, Pittman filed a Petition for Habeas Corpus.This petition is currently pending.



Institutional Adjustment:


  DATE    DAYS          VIOLATION                            LOCATION     

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

12/12/93        0        POSS OFCONTRABAND           UNION C.I.       

06/17/98     180       REF. SUB. ABUSE TEST             UNIONC. I.       

11/29/98        0        DISOBEYINGORDER               UNION C. I.   




Report Date:    07/14/03          EMC

Approved:       09/02/03          WS

Updated:         12/31/09          CAR