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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
McWattersEugene K5350019th Circuit PDCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
12/4/2006CC04-957Sentenced to death
12/4/2006CC04-959Sentenced to death
12/4/2006CC04-961Sentenced to death
1/10/2007FSC07-51Direct Appeal filed
1/11/2008FSC07-51Initial brief filed
4/17/2008FSC07-51Answer brief filed
7/3/2008FSC07-51Reply brief filed
1/8/2009FSC07-51Oral Arguments held
3/18/2010FSC07-51FSC affirmed convictions and sentences
4/1/2010FSC07-51Motion for Rehearing filed
8/20/2010USSC10-6029Petition for Writ of Certiorari filed
9/22/2010USSC10-6029Response filed
11/1/2010USSC10-6029Petition denied

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 change and maynot reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not be relied uponfor statistical or legal purposes. 



DC# K53500

DOB: 06/20/1978


19th Judicial Circuit, Martin County Case # 04-000961-CF-MA,04-000959-CF-MA, 04-000957-CF-MA

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Larry Schack

Attorney, Trial: Bob Watson – Private

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Jeffrey L. Anderson – PublicDefender’s Office

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  TBA


Date of Offense: 05/31/04

Date of Sentence: 12/04/06



Circumstances of Offense:


Eugene McWatters was convictedof first-degree murder of and sexual battery upon Jackie Bradley, ChristalWiggins, and Carrieann Caughey in three separate cases.  The three cases wereconsolidated after the State’s Williams Rule motion was granted.


On 03/28/04, Thomas Field spentthe afternoon at the campsite where he lived drinking and talking with JackieBradley and several others. Eugene McWatters, who also lived at the campsitefor several days or weeks at a time, joined them before dark. Several people inthe group, including Field, witnessed McWatters offering his cousin’s house toBradley as a place where she could bathe. Field and Terry McElroy saw McWattersand Bradley leave the campsite together.


Bradley’s body was found on03/31/04 in a canal that connected two ponds, which was 100 feet away fromMcWatters’ cousin’s street. She was wearing a T-shirt and bra that were bunchedup into her armpits, and other clothes belonging to her were found nearby. Themedical examiner concluded that Bradley was killed by manual strangulation.


Joseph Herbert, Cyndi LynnKaman, Christal Wiggins, McWatters, and others were all at Donna Nicholson’shouse on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend in 2004. That night, between 9:00p.m. and midnight, Herbert suggested that they all go to his hotel room.McWatters was not invited, so Wiggins stayed behind with him. Herbert sawWiggins and McWatters walking to the Li’l Saints store when the rest of thegroup left. When the group returned from Herbert’s hotel room 45 minutes to anhour later, McWatters and Wiggins were not there.


Early Monday morning on MemorialDay weekend, Caughey was seen smoking crack cocaine with a man in his room atthe Heritage Inn in Hobe Sound. Jerry Arthur Prevatt confirmed that he had useddrugs with Caughey in his room at the Heritage between Sunday night and Mondaymorning. At approximately 2:45 or 3:00 a.m., he dropped Caughey off in the Li’lSaints parking lot. He saw McWatters approach her, and that was the last timehe saw her.


On 06/03/04, a body was found ina wooded area near Lincoln Street in Port Salerno. The body was identified as Caughey’s.She was nude from the waist down, her shirt and bathing suit top were pushed upinto the armpit area, and she was covered in dead vegetation and vines—similarto how Bradley’s body had been positioned. The medical examiner concluded thatCaughey had died by manual strangulation, and her body had been decomposing forfour days.


Another body was found on06/07/04, which was identified as Wiggins’. Her shirt and bra were also pulledup towards her neck like the bodies of Caughey and Wiggins. The medicalexaminer also concluded that her death was due to asphyxia by manualstrangulation, and she was most likely a victim of sexual battery or attemptedsexual battery.


A detective from the MartinCounty Sheriff’s Office interviewed McWatters on 06/07/04 and 06/18/04, and hedenied involvement in the murders of Bradley, Caughey, and Wiggins. On06/23/04, the detective and other law enforcement officers arrested him on anunrelated charge. He was interviewed again about the murders, and McWattersthen confessed to having killed all three women.




Trial Summary:


07/06/04          Indictedas follows:

                                    CountI:           First-Degree Murder (Jackie Bradley)

                                    CountII:         Sexual Battery

                                    CountIII:        First-Degree Murder (Christal Wiggins)

                                    CountIV:        Sexual Battery

                                    CountV:         First-Degree Murder (Carrieann Caughey)

                                    CountVI:        Sexual Battery

09/28/06          Juryreturned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

10/04/06          Jury recommended death by a voteof 10-2 (Wiggins), 9-3 (Bradley), 10-2 (Caughey)

12/04/06          Sentencedas follows:

                                    CountI:           First-Degree Murder – Death (Jackie Bradley)

                                    CountII:         Sexual Battery – Life in Prison

                                    CountIII:        First -Degree Murder – Death (Christal Wiggins)

                                    CountIV:        Sexual Battery – Life in Prison

                                    CountV:         First-Degree Murder – Death (Carrieann Caughey)

                                    CountVI:        Sexual Battery – Life in Prison


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 07-51

36So.3d 613


01/10/07          Appealfiled

01/08/09          OralArguments held

03/18/10          FSCaffirmed convictions and sentences

04/01/10          Motionfor Rehearing filed

06/02/10          Motiondenied


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC# 10-6029

131S.Ct. 510


08/20/10          Petitionfiled

11/01/10          Petitiondenied



Case Information:


On 01/10/07, McWatters filed a Direct Appeal in the FloridaSupreme Court citing the following issues: Motion to suppress; Collateral crimeevidence; Expert opinions on circumstantial evidence; Premeditation;  Sexualbattery convictions;  Disqualification of defense counsel and state attorney’soffice; Admissibility of evidence; Cold, calculated, and premeditatedaggravator; Cold, calculated, and premeditated aggravator jury instruction;Heinous, atrocious, and cruel aggravator;  Murder committed while in commissionof felony. On 03/18/10, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed his convictions andsentences. A motion for rehearing was filed on 04/01/10. The motion was deniedon 06/02/10.


McWatters filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in theUnited States Supreme Court on 08/20/10. This petition was denied on 11/01/10.






Report Date:   06/03/10          EMJ

Approved:       06/03/10          RM

Updated:         02/07/11          EMJ