Lloyd Duest (the defendant) was convicted in the Circuit Court, Broward County, Patricia W. Cocalis, J., of first degree murder,
Lloyd Duest (the defendant) was convicted in the Circuit Court, Broward County, Patricia W. Cocalis, J., of first degree murder, for which the sentence of death was imposed, and the defendant appealed. The Supreme Court, Adkins, J., held that evidence was sufficient to support the conviction; and evidence was sufficient to support the findings on challenged aggravating circumstances. ADKINS, J
BOYD, C.J., and OVERTON, ALDERMAN, McDONALD, EHRLICH and SHAW, JJ., concur.
On February 15, 1982, the defendant was seen by witnesses carrying a knife in the waistband of his pants. Subsequently, he told a witness that he was going to a gay bar to “roll a fag.” The defendant was later seen at a predominantly gay bar with John Pope, the victim. The two of them then left the bar in Pope’s gold Camaro. Several hours later, Pope’s roommate returned home and found the house unlocked, the lights on, the stereo on loud, and blood on the bed. The sheriff was contacted. Upon arrival, the deputy sheriff found Pope on the bathroom floor in a pool of blood with multiple stab wounds. The defendant was found and arrested on April 18, 1982.
Defendant contends that there was insufficient evidence of premeditated murder to convict him as charged in the indictment. Premeditation, like other factual circumstances, may be established by circumstantial evidence. Such circumstantial evidence must not only be consistent with the defendant’s guilt, but must also be inconsistent with any reasonable hypothesis of innocence.
The record reflects that defendant had stated he gets his money by “rolling gay guys” and that he intended to do the same on the day that the victim was murdered. Defendant was seen with the victim at a gay bar immediately prior to the murder and was seen leaving the bar with the victim in the victim’s car. Shortly thereafter, defendant was seen driving the victim’s car alone. At that time, witnesses saw blood stains on the sleeve of his jogging suit. The victim’s stolen jewelry case was also seen in the car, which was being driven by defendant after the murder. Moreover, on the day of the murder, defendant had in his possession a seven-inch knife. The cause of death in this case was multiple stab wounds. We find that there was sufficient circumstantial evidence to sustain defendant’s conviction of premeditated murder.
1. How does the Court define “heinous, atrocious, or cruel”?
2. List the facts in the case that are relevant to deciding whether this was a “heinous, atrocious, or cruel” murder.
3. Summarize the arguments in favor of and against classifying this as a “heinous, cruel, and atrocious” murder.
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