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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
TwilegarMark Y3288820th Circuit PDCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
8/29/2007FSC07-1622Direct Appeal filed
8/7/2008FSC07-1622Initial brief filed
11/12/2008FSC07-1622Answer brief filed
2/13/2009FSC07-1622Reply brief filed
6/2/2009FSC07-1622Oral Arguments held
1/7/2010FSC07-1622FSC affirmed conviction and sentence
1/22/2010FSC07-1622Motion for Rehearing filed
8/9/2010FSC07-1622Motion denied
8/25/2010FSC07-1622Mandate issued
11/8/2010USSC10-7463Petition for Writ of Certiorari filed
1/14/2011USSC10-7463Response filed
1/20/2011USSC10-7463Reply filed
2/22/2011USSC10-7463Petition 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# Y32888

DOB: 08/01/1964


20th Judicial Circuit, Lee County Case # 03-002151CF

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable James R. Thompson

Attorney, Trial: Neil McLoughlin – Public Defender’s Office

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Cynthia J. Dodge – PublicDefender’s Office

Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Suzanne Keffer – CCRC-S


Date of Offense: 08/07/02

Date of Sentence: 08/14/07



Circumstances of Offense:


Mark Twilegar was living in a tent in the backyard ofBritany and Shane McArthur’s house in Fort Myers during the Spring of 2002. Heworked as a handyman for the McArthur’s so he did not have to pay rent. In Juneof 2002, the McArthurs moved out. In September, Britany’s younger brother,Spencer Hartman, moved in.


Twilegar also occasionally worked as a handyman for DavidThomas, an attorney who also managed rental property. On 08/02/02, both Thomasand Twilegar traveled to Montgomery, Alabama, where Twilegar agreed to helpinstall a deck on a house Thomas owned. Thomas informed his wife that he andTwilegar would be gone six to eight weeks. On the morning of 08/06/02, Thomastook out $25,000 in cash from his account at a bank in Montgomery, which wassupposedly for buying a house at an auction, and rented a car. Thomas calledhis girlfriend, Valerie Bisnett Fabina, to inform her that he and Twilegarwould be returning to Fort Myers that night. Thomas and Twilegar were last seenby Thomas’s neighbor in Montgomery at 3:00 p.m. that afternoon.


On 08/07/02, Thomas visited with Fabina at her job around7:00 or 7:30 p.m. and returned to her the key card from the motel where theyhad spent the night the prior evening. Fabina noticed a large amount of cash inThomas’ wallet, and he explained that it was to be used to buy a truck forTwilegar to use while on the job in Montgomery. They arranged to meet laterthat night at the motel, but Fabina never saw or heard from him again. Thomasalso spoke with his wife, Mary Ann Lehman, around 9:00 p.m., and they had plansto speak again in the morning. She never heard from or saw him again either.


Later that night, Twilegar went to Jennifer Morrison’shouse, where his mother was staying. Morrison drove Twilegar to the 7-Elevenand Walmart to purchase cell phones and various supplies. Morrison went to bedupon their return to the house. Twilegar and his mother were gone the nextmorning.


Prior to Hartman’s moving in, he had been renovating hissister’s house. One afternoon he noticed Twilegar digging in the backyard onthe far side of his tent. Several minutes later, Twilegar informed Hartman thata man would be stopping by to drop off a couple of pounds of marijuana;however, the man would not come by if he saw Hartman there. Twilegar offeredhim an ounce of marijuana or $100 if he would not be present while the drop-offoccurred. Hartman left and returned the next day to find that Twilegar left him$100. Twilegar was gone with his possessions, including a shotgun, and Hartmanfound Twilegar’s tent smoldering in the incinerator in the backyard.


After the disappearance of Thomas and Twilegar had been madeknown to the public on 09/26/02, Hartman went to the spot where Twilegar hadbeen digging. Underneath a couch Twilegar had used to cover the area were palmfronds covering freshly dug dirt. Plywood, cinder blocks, and a car ramp wereall beneath the dirt. He dug several feet until he smelled a foul odor and thencalled the police who discovered Thomas’ body.


It was discovered that Thomas died from a single shotgunblast to his upper right back, which was fired at close range. Sand was foundin his larynx, indicating he was still breathing, but not necessarily consciousat the time he was buried. He was wearing the same clothes that he had on whenhe last saw Fabina; however, his wallet was missing. The date of death couldnot be determined, because the body had severely decomposed. The shotgun wasnever recovered, but the several 12-gauge shells and a shovel with a brokenhandle were found in the area. Thomas’ rental car key fob was found about 100feet from his body. The rental car had been found earlier, and it was burned ina remote area of Lee County.


Twilegar was found in a campground in Greenville, Tennessee,where he had been living since 08/21/02. He was apprehended on 09/20/02 for acharge unrelated to Thomas’ murder, but made several incriminating calls whileincarcerated that may have also aided in his conviction and sentence for themurder of Thomas.




Trial Summary:


04/03/03          Indictedas follows:

                                    CountI:           First-Degree Murder

01/17/07          Juryvote waived in Penalty Phase

01/26/07          Juryreturned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

08/14/07          Sentencedas follows by Judge James R. Thompson:

                                    CountI:           First-Degree Murder – Death




Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 07-1622


08/29/07          Appealfiled

01/07/10          FSCaffirmed conviction and sentence

01/22/10          Motionfor Rehearing filed

08/09/10          Motiondenied

08/25/10          Mandateissued


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC# 10-7463         


11/08/10          Petition filed

02/22/11          Petition denied



Case Information:


On 08/29/07, Twilegarfiled a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court, citing the followingissues: the trial court erred in concluding that the evidence was sufficient toprove that the appellant committed the crime; the trial court erred inconcluding that the evidence was sufficient to support premeditation; the trialcourt erred in denying the motion to suppress the evidence seized at theTennessee campground; the trial court erred in excluding evidence concerningthe victim; the trial court erred in admitting evidence of flight; the trialcourt erred in admitting the appellant‘s jailhouse phone calls; the trial courterred in admitting the appellants‘s receipts for retail purchases; the trialcourt erred in finding pecuniary gain and CCP as aggravators; the deathsentence is disproportionate to the nature of the crime; and trial court erredin allowing the appellant to waive a penalty phase jury and to waive both theinvestigation and presentation of mitigation. The Florida Supreme Courtaffirmed Twilegar’s conviction and sentence on 01/07/10. Twilegar filed aMotion for Rehearing on 01/22/10. This motion was denied on 08/09/10. A mandatewas issued on 08/25/10.


Twilegar filed a Petitionfor Writ of Certiorari on 11/08/10. This petition was denied on 02/22/11.


Institutional Adjustment:




Report Date:   01/14/10          EMJ

Approved:       01/19/10          RW

Updated:         03/10/11          EMJ