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WilliamsRonald 076275CCRCCase Summary

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2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

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WILLIAMS, Ronald Lee (B/M)

DC #076275

DOB: 02/26/63


First Judicial Circuit, Escambia County, Case #90-3515

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Nicolas P. Geeker

Attorney, Trial: Randall J. Etheridge, Esq.

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Spiro T. Kypreos, Esq.

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Joseph McDermott, Esq. –Registry


Date of Offense: 09/20/88

Date of Sentence: 06/21/91


Circumstances of Offense:


Defendant Ronnie Lee Williams was the leader of the “MiamiBoys,” a drug-trafficking ring that ran from Miami to Pensacola.  One ofhis Pensacola employees, Bruce Frazier, had just broken up with his girlfriendand was afraid that she would inform police about the drug ring. Worried,Frazier and Michael McCormick, a street-level employee, moved a safe containingdrugs and money from the apartment used by the drug ring to McCormick’sapartment.  Shortly after the safe was moved, Williams called Frazier fromMiami and instructed him to get the money that McCormick owed him. Frazier went to McCormick’s apartment and was told by McCormick that both themoney and the safe had been stolen, despite the absence of any visible signs offorced entry.


On 09/18/88, Williams ordered three of his Miami-basedemployees – Timothy Robinson, Darrell Frazier (brother of Bruce Frazier), andMichael Coleman – to go to Pensacola to recover money and drugs stolen fromMcCormick.  McCormick and Bruce Frazier met the three men from Miami at ahotel in Pensacola.  The five men obtained weapons from McCormick andbroke into his neighbor’s apartment looking for the missing goods. Darlene Crenshaw, Amanda Merrill, Derek Hill and Morris Alfonso Douglas wereall inside the apartment when the men broke in.  Mildred Baker,McCormick’s girlfriend, was brought in soon after.  The five men orderedHill, Merrill, Douglas and Baker to undress and lie on the floor, where theywere bound and gagged. The five men began interrogating them about thewhereabouts of the safe.  When no one would answer his questions, Robinsonbegan stabbing Derek Hill.  Darlene Crenshaw spoke up that she knew wherethe safe was and that McCormick was involved in the theft.  After hearingthis, the four men instructed McCormick to undress, and he was bound along withthe others.  McCormick was then stabbed several times. 


Bruce and Darrell Frazier took Darlene Crenshaw to herapartment, where the safe, money and drugs were hidden.  The Frazierbrothers recovered the stolen goods and returned to Hill’s apartment, leavingCrenshaw alive. 


Meanwhile at Hill’s apartment, Robinson and Colemanrepeatedly raped Mildred Baker and Amanda Merrill.  They also stabbed andslashed McCormick, Hill, and Douglas.  When the Frazier brothers returned,Robinson and Coleman began to kill the prisoners.  Amanda Merrill survivedafter having her throat slit several times and being shot in the head. Douglas, Baker, Hill, and McCormick, were all pronounced dead at the scene.


Ronnie Lee Williams remained in Miami while the murders werecarried out.  It was undisputed that he never stabbed or shot any of thevictims himself.



Codefendant Information:


Michael Coleman was sentenced to death for his part in themurders.  Coleman was convicted of First-Degree Murder, Attempted Murder, ArmedKidnapping, Armed Sexual Battery, Armed Robbery, Armed Burglary and Conspiracyto Traffic.


Bruce Frazier was convicted of Second-Degree Murder,Attempted Murder, Armed Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, Armed Burglary, andConspiracy to Traffic.  Frazier was sentenced to 30 years for Traffickingand 50 years for each of the other convictions.


Darrell Frazier was convicted and sentenced to life forFirst-Degree Murder, Second-Degree Murder, Armed Kidnapping, Armed Robbery, andArmed Burglary.  He was sentenced to 30 years for Second-Degree Murder andConspiracy to Traffic.  


Timothy Robinson was sentenced to death for his part in themurders on 09/20/89.

Robinson was convicted of First-Degree Murder, AttemptedMurder, Armed Kidnapping, Armed Sexual Battery, Armed Robbery, Armed Burglaryand Conspiracy to Traffic.


Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:


Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Prison Sentence Length


















3Y 0M 0D






30Y 0M 0D


Trial Summary:


07/24/90          Thedefendant was indicted on the following charges:

                                    CountI:           First-Degree Murder (Derek Hill)

                                    CountII:         First-Degree Murder (Morris Douglas)

                                    CountIII:        First-Degree Murder (Michael McCormick)

                                    CountIV:        First-Degree Murder (Mildred Baker)

                                    CountV:         Attempted Murder (Amanda Merrell)

                                    CountVI:        Kidnapping (Derek Hill)

                                    CountVII:      Kidnapping (Morris Douglas)

                                    CountVIII:     Kidnapping (Michael McCormick)

                                    CountIX:        Kidnapping (Mildred Baker)

                                    CountX:         Kidnapping (Amanda Merrell)

                                    CountXI:        Kidnapping (Darlene Crenshaw)

05/10/91          The jury found the defendantguilty of all counts charged in the indictment.

05/11/91          Uponadvisory sentencing, the jury voted for life imprisonment.

06/21/91          Thedefendant was sentenced as follows:

                                    CountI:           First-Degree Murder (Derek Hill) - Death

                                    CountII:         First-Degree Murder (Morris Douglas) - Death

                                    CountIII:        First-Degree Murder (Michael McCormick) - Death

                                    CountIV:        First-Degree Murder (Mildred Baker) - Death

                                    CountV:         Attempted Murder (Amanda Merrell) - Life

                                    CountVI:        Kidnapping (Derek Hill) - Life

                                    CountVII:      Kidnapping (Morris Douglas) - Life

                                    CountVIII:     Kidnapping (Michael McCormick) - Life

                                    CountIX:        Kidnapping (Mildred Baker) - Life

                                    CountX:         Kidnapping (Amanda Merrell) - Life

                                    CountXI:        Kidnapping (Darlene Crenshaw) – Life

            * Williams was later resentenced to 30 years onCounts VI-XI, each count to run concurrent.

01/10/08          FSCreduced sentence to life (non-final, pending Mandate)

07/28/08          Mandateentered, reducing sentence to life.    



Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court - Direct Appeal

FSC #78,249

622 So. 2d 456 (Fla. 1993)


07/10/91         Appeal filed.

04/22/93         The Florida Supreme Courtaffirmed Williams’ convictions and sentence of death.

07/01/93         Rehearing denied.

08/11/93         Mandate issued.


United States Supreme Court - Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC #93-6404

510 U.S. 1000 (U.S. 1993)


09/29/93         Petition filed.

11/29/93         Petition denied.


State Circuit Court - 3.850 Motion

CC #90-3515


03/24/97         Motion filed.

08/05/02         Motion amended.

01/10/05         Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC# 05-226


02/02/05          Appeal filed.

01/10/08          Sentence reversed and remanded to Life inPrison (non-final).

01/25/08          Motion for Rehearing.

07/11/08          Rehearing denied.

07/28/08          Mandate issued.


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC# 05-1579


08/31/05         Petition filed.

01/10/08         Petition denied.


Factors Contributing to the Delay in the Imposition of Sentence:


On 03/24/97, Williams filed a 3.850 Motion in the State CircuitCourt which took almost eight years to receive a ruling in 2005. 


Case Information:


On 07/10/91, Ronald LeeWilliams filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court.  In thatappeal, he argued that the trial judge erred by rebuking defense counsel’sattempt to impeach witness Darrell Frazier and by admitting evidence regardingtwo attempted murders in Jacksonville, which Williams allegedly ordered. Williams also claimed that the trial court erred by allowing the State toperemptorily challenge a potential black juror solely on the basis ofrace.  The Florida Supreme Court found no merit to the claims Williamsraised regarding the guilt phase.  Pertaining to the penalty phase,Williams claimed that the trial court erred in its application of severalaggravating circumstances.  The Florida Supreme Court agreed that theavoid-arrest factor and the heinous, atrocious and cruel factor wereunsupported by the record.  Lastly, Williams argued that the trial judgeerred in overriding the jury recommendation of a life imprisonment.  TheFlorida Supreme Court affirmed Williams’ convictions and sentence of death on04/22/93.  Williams’ sentences for attempted murder and kidnapping werevacated and remanded with instructions that he be resentenced to 30 years oneach count.


On 09/29/93, Williamsfiled a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United State Supreme Court thatwas denied on 11/29/93.


Williams filed a 3.850Motion in the Circuit Court on 03/24/97, which was denied on 01/10/05.


On 02/02/05, Williamsfiled a 3.851 Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court.  On 01/10/08, TheFlorida Supreme Court affirmed the circuit court's denial of the 3.851 motionas to the guilt phase issues but reversed the trial court's ruling on the claimof ineffectiveness at the penalty phase and remanded the defendant's sentencesbe reduced to life in prison.  At this time, this reversal is non-finaluntil time expires to file a motion for rehearing.  The State filed aMotion for Rehearing on 01/25/08 which was denied on 07/11/08.  The Mandate wasissued 07/28/08.


On 08/31/05, Williamsfiled a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Florida Supreme Court, whichwas denied on 01/10/08.


Institutional Adjustment:  RONALD LEE WILLIAMS DC #076275


DATE            DAYS            VIOLATION                                LOCATION      

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

07/04/93         0                    POSS OF NARCOTICS                    FSP 

03/26/97         180                UNAUTH USE OF DRUGS UNION C.I.           




Reported         11/26/02          EW

Approved        12/02/04          WS

Updated          08/11/08          AEH