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
SmithLawrence R24256CCRCCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action

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. 


SMITH, Lawrence (W/M)

DC #    R24256

DOB:   07/06/77


Sixth Judicial Circuit, Pasco County, Case #99-3110

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Maynard F. Swanson, Jr.

Attorney, Trial: Daniel M. Hernandez – Special PublicDefender

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Paul C. Helm – Assistant PublicDefender

Attorney, Resentencing: Keith Hammond – Private


Date ofOffense:         09/14/99

Date of Sentence:      08/17/01

Date of Resentence:    04/22/08


Circumstances of Offense:


Lawrence Smith was convicted and sentenced to death for themurder of Robert Crawford.


On 09/13/99, Faunce Pearce gavemoney to Ken Shook, Stephen Tuttle, Robert Crawford, and Amanda Havner to acquire drugs for him.  The four returned tothe home of Shook’s stepfather, Bryon Loucks, withoutthe money or the drugs because the money had been stolen.  Pearce foundout that the money had been stolen before the four arrived and was waitingoutside for them with a gun.  Pearce forced Shook, Tuttle, Crawford, Havner, and Loucks into Loucks’ home at gunpoint.  Pearce eventually allowed Havner to leave. 


Pearce contacted Theodore Butterfield and asked him to bringLawrence Smith to Loucks’ home.  Heath Brittingham accompanied Butterfield and Smith to Loucks’ home.  The three men were armed when theyarrived at Loucks’ home. 


Pearce ordered Tuttle and Crawford into his car atgunpoint.  Pearce demanded that the boys show him who stole themoney.  Pearce told Loucks that he was going todrive the boys down the road, hit them in the mouth and make them walkhome.  Loucks would not let Pearce take Shook, Loucks’ stepson, with them.  Pearce, Smith,Butterfield, Brittingham, Tuttle and Crawford left inPearce’s car.  Pearce was driving, and Smith was in the front passenger’sseat.  Butterfield and Brittingham were sittingon either side of the backseat with Tuttle and Crawford sitting in themiddle. 


Pearce drove for a short period of time.  According toButterfield, Pearce and Smith exchanged guns during the drive because Smithsaid that his gun tended to jam.  Pearce stopped the car and told Tuttleto get out.  Smith exited car through the passenger’s side and let Tuttle outof the two-door car from the backseat.  As Tuttle was getting out of thecar, Pearce told Smith to hit Tuttle in the face.  Instead, Smith shotTuttle in the back of the head.  Pearce asked if Tuttle was dead, andSmith answered in the affirmative.  Pearce then drove further up theroad.  He stopped the car and told Crawford to get out of the car. Smith exited the car and let Crawford out of the car.  Smith then shotCrawford once in the head and once in the chest.


Smith threatened to kill Butterfield and Brittinghamif they told.  Pearce, Smith, Butterfield, and Brittinghamdrove to restaurant where Pearce and Smith ate.  Pearce and Smith thendropped Brittingham and Butterfield off at a grocerystore and told them to stay there until they got back, which was about 40minutes to an hour later.  After picking up Butterfield and Brittingham from the store, Pearce drove to a bridge. Smith wrapped the gun in newspaper and threw the gun into the water from thebridge.  The gun was eventually recovered from Tampa Bay.


Tuttle survived the gunshot to the head and was able to flagdown help.  Crawford died at the scene.


Smith was arrested on 09/14/99 as he attempted to leavetown.  Butterfield and Brittingham eventuallyacted as state’s witnesses.


Codefendant Status: FauncePearce (Pasco County Circuit #99-3110)


Pearce was convicted of First-Degree Murder and AttemptedSecond-Degree Murder.  On 09/14/01, Pearce was sentenced to Death forFirst-Degree Murder and 25 years for Second-Degree Murder.


Trial Summary:


09/14/99          Smithwas arrested.

09/17/99          Smithwas indicted on the following charges:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder (Robert Crawford)

Count II:         Attempted First-Degree Murder (StephenTuttle)

09/17/99         Smith entered a plea of not guilty.

05/03/01         Smith was found guilty on allcounts charged in the indictment.

05/04/01         Upon advisory sentencing, thejury, by an 8 to 4 majority, voted for the death penalty.

08/17/01         Smith was sentenced as follows:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder (Robert Crawford)– Death

Count II:         Attempted First-Degree Murder (StephenTuttle) – Life

03/01/04         Smith’s death sentence was remanded to the Circuit Court for a resentencing hearing.

04/22/08         Jury voted, by a 7 to 5 majority, for the death penalty.

04/22/08         Taking the jury’s recommendation under advisement, Judge Lynn Tepper resentenced Smith as follows:

                                                CountI:           First-Degree Murder (RobertCrawford) – Life                              

Appeal Summary:


Florida SupremeCourt – Direct Appeal

FSC #SC01-2103

866 So. 2d 51


09/19/01          Appealfiled.

01/29/04          FSC affirmed Smith’s convictions andlife sentence but reversed Smith’s death sentence and remanded for resentencingdue to the trial court’s statement that the death penalty was required for thecrime, which could have been either a misstatement of the law by the judge or amisunderstanding of the law by the judge. 

03/01/04          Mandateissued.


FactorsContributing to the Delay in the Imposition of the Sentence:


Smith’s case was remanded to the trial court forresentencing hearing.


Case Information:


On 09/19/01,Smith filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court.  Smith arguedthat the trial court erred in denying motions for a mistrial when Butterfieldtestified that Smith said he had killed other people and when the prosecutorslammed the gun on the table during closing arguments.  Smith furtherargued that the trial court erred in instructing the jury about cold,calculated, and premeditated aggravating factors and by finding the crime to becold, calculated, and premeditated.  In addition, Smith argued thatreversible errors occurred because there was not a record of whether the venirewas sworn and because the prosecutor misled the jury and court about the legalstandard for determining aggravating and mitigating circumstances.  Finally,Smith argued that Florida’s death penalty is unconstitutional.  On01/29/04, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed Smith’s convictions and lifesentence but reversed Smith’s death sentence and remanded for resentencing dueto the trial court’s statement that the death penalty was required for thecrime, which could have been either a misstatement of the law by the judge or amisunderstanding of the law by the judge.  A mandate was issued on03/01/04.



Report Date:   07/01/04          SQ

Approved:       07/08/04          EW

Updated:         07/08/08          AEH