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
MorrisRobert 550026CCRC-MCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
7/12/2006USDC-M06-1289Habeas petition filed
11/22/2006USDC-M06-1289State's response
6/12/2007USDC-M06-1289Reply to response filed
9/30/2009USDC-M06-1289Petition denied
10/23/2009USCA09-15471Habeas Petition Appeal filed
9/30/2010USCA09-15471Initial brief filed
11/29/2010USCA09-15471Reply filed

Current Attorney


Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
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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.


MORRIS, Robert Dwayne (B/M)

DC#    550026

DOB:  03/03/63


Tenth Judicial Circuit, Polk County, Case# CF94-3961A1-XX

Sentencing Judge:  The Honorable Robert A. Young

Trial Attorney:  Rex Dimmig – Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Direct Appeal:  Steven L. Bolotin – AssistantPublic Defender

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Richard E. Kiley &James V. Viggiano – CCRC-M


Date of Offense:  09/01/94

Date of Sentence:  04/13/99


Circumstances of the Offense:


Violet Livingston’s son discovered her body on the morningof 09/02/94.  The body was found between two beds; both beds weredisheveled.  The bed sheets were wrapped tightly around her head. Blood was found on the walls and the victim’s walking cane was found onone of the beds.


The medical examiner testified that the cause of death wasmultiple injuries.  The victim had bruises, lacerations, rib fractures, abrain hemorrhage, and mechanical asphyxia due to suffocation.  Theinjuries on her neck were consistent with her being strangled. She also haddefensive wounds on her right forearm, hand, and knee.  Many of the woundswere consistent with being beaten with a cane.  The sequence of woundscould not be determined, but the medical examiner testified that the victim wasalive during the beginning of the attack.


Outside of the apartment a screen was leaning against thebuilding.  It had been taken off the kitchen window.  The window wasstill closed, but the glass had been broken to gain entry into the apartment. A yellow chair had been placed under the porch light and the cover of thelight had been taken off and placed on the ground.


Morris’ fingerprints were found on a partially unscrewedlight bulb that was outside of the apartment. Morris’ fingerprints did notmatch any that were found inside of the apartment.  Fluids containing DNAwere found in two locations on the victim’s body and on the curtain in thekitchen.  These samples matched Morris’ DNA.  Several of the victim’sbelongings were found in Morris’ possessions, some of which were coins from arare coin collection.  Witnesses testified that Morris made purchases withrare coins at a gas station near the victim’s residence.


When Morris took the stand, he admitted that he attempted tosteal a bicycle from the victim’s apartment complex, but denied murdering thevictim.  He also admitted that he unscrewed the light bulb and wentupstairs, because he had seen a bike at the top of the stairs.  He statedthat he was unable to take the bike because it was locked.


Additional Information:


At the time of the murder, Morris was on parole in the stateof Missouri for two robbery convictions.


Trial Summary:


09/29/94         Indicted as follows:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Murder

                                   Count II:           Burglary

                                   Count III:         Sexual Battery

                                   Count IV:         Armed Robbery

10/04/94         Defendant entered a plea of not guilty

09/25/97         Motion to sever Count III filed

10/03/97         Motion to sever was granted

12/30/98         Judgment of acquittal entered on Count III

03/04/99         Defendant was found guilty on all counts of the indictment

03/11/99         Jury recommended death by a vote of 8-4

04/13/99         Sentenced as follows:

                                   Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

                                   Count II:           Burglary– Life

                                   Count IV:         Armed Robbery – Life


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 95,653

811 So. 2d 661


05/19/99         Appeal filed

02/21/02         FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence

03/14/02         Mandate issued


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# CF94-3961A1-XX


03/03/03         Motion filed

07/12/04         Order denying relief


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC# 04-1594

931 So.2d 821


08/13/04         Appeal filed

04/20/06         FSC affirmed the trial court’s order denying Morris’s 3.850 Motion

06/02/06         Rehearing denied

06/19/06         Mandate issued


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC# 05-227  

931 So.2d 821


02/03/05         Petition filed

04/20/06         Petition denied

06/19/06         Mandate issued


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

USDC# 06-1289


07/12/06         Petitionfiled

09/30/09         Petition denied


United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit – HabeasAppeal

USCA# 09-15471



10/23/09         Appeal filed


Factors Contributing to the Delay in the Imposition ofthe Sentence:


It took the Florida Supreme Court three years to render a decisionon Morris’ direct appeal.


Case Information:


Morris filed a Direct Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on05/19/99.  Morris argued that the court should not have excluded thetestimony from one defense witness and that he should be granted a new trialdue to improper juror contact.  The Court found no error and affirmedMorris’ conviction and sentence on 02/21/02.  The mandate was issued on03/14/02.


On 03/03/03, Morris filed a 3.850 Motion to the CircuitCourt, which was denied on 07/12/04.


Morris filed a 3.850 Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on08/13/04.  On the 04/20/06, the Court affirmed the trial court’s orderdenying Morris’s 3.850 Motion.  Based on the Court’s conclusion, Morrishas failed to establish that any of the claims raised on appeal have merit orare not procedurally barred, and determine that Morris was not deprived of afundamentally fair trial.  Morris’s motion for a rehearing (filed in thiscase only) was denied on 06/02/06.  The mandate was issued on 06/19/06.


Morris filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to theFlorida Supreme Court on 02/03/05, which was denied on 04/20/06.  Themandate was issued on 06/19/06.


On 07/12/06, Morris filed a Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus to the United States District Court, Middle District, and it was deniedon 09/30/09. 


On 10/23/09, Morris filed a Habeas Corpus Appeal in theUnited States Court of Appeals. This appeal is currently pending.



Report Date:    06/24/02          NMP

Approved:        07/01/02         WS

Updated:         11/10/09          EMJ