CURTIS WINDOM v. STATE OF FLORIDA

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Supreme Court of Florida.

CURTIS WINDOM Appellant(s) v. STATE OF FLORIDA Appellee(s)

CASE NO.: SC16-1371

Decided: July 28, 2017

Curtis Windom, a prisoner under three sentences of death, appeals the circuit court's denial of his second successive motion for postconviction relief filed pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(1), Fla. Const. Windom was convicted of three counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted first-degree murder in 1992. He was sentenced to death for each of the three murders and to a consecutive term of twenty-two years' imprisonment for the attempted murder. Windom v. State, 656 So. 2d 432, 434 (Fla.), cert. denied, 516 U.S. 1012 (1995). We affirmed his convictions and sentences in 1995. Id. at 438, 440. He filed his initial motion for postconviction relief in 1997 and amended it in 2000, and we affirmed the denial of that motion in 2004, Windom v. State, 886 So. 2d 915, 918 (Fla. 2004).

We now affirm the summary denial of Windom's second successive postconviction motion. The single Brady 1 claim presented could have been discovered with due diligence more than one year before the date this motion was filed. See Franqui v. State, 118 So. 3d 807 (Fla. 2013) (table); see also Fla. R. Crim. P. 3.851(d)(1), (2)(A). Therefore, it is procedurally barred.

Even if this claim were not procedurally barred, we would affirm because the circuit court correctly determined that the claim does not satisfy the prejudice prong of a Brady claim, which requires showing “a reasonable probability that, had the evidence been disclosed to the defense, the result of the proceeding would have been different.” Mordenti v. State, 894 So. 2d 161, 170 (Fla. 2004) (quoting Strickler v. Greene, 527 U.S. 263, 280 (1999)). This standard is met when the alleged Brady material “could reasonably be taken to put the whole case in such a different light as to undermine confidence in the verdict.” Id. (citing Allen v. State, 854 So. 2d 1255, 1260 (Fla. 2003)).

The claim at issue concerns Windom's discovery that State witness Jack Luckett was arrested two weeks before Windom's trial and had a pending felony charge at the time. At Windom's trial, Luckett's testimony was relevant to show that Windom shot and killed Johnnie Lee, his first in a series of four shooting victims, in a cold, calculated, and premeditated manner. See Windom, 656 So. 2d at 435, 439. Essentially, Luckett testified that Windom made statements in advance of the shooting indicating that he was going to kill Lee because Lee owed him money and had not paid it. Id. at 435. Luckett further testified that he saw Windom shoot Lee within a few hours of making that statement. See id. Luckett's testimony was largely corroborated by other witnesses, some of whom saw Windom shoot Lee multiple times, one of whom heard Windom reference his money as he began to shoot Lee, and another of whom testified that Windom calmly purchased ammunition minutes before the shooting. Id.; Windom, 886 So. 2d at 924. While Windom did not know that Luckett had a pending charge when he testified, he did know that Luckett had been convicted of three prior felonies, and he used those felonies as impeachment material.

Windom argues that, if he had known of Luckett's 1992 arrest, he could have more effectively impeached Luckett, which would have changed the strength of the State's case to such an extent as to create a reasonable probability of a different outcome in both the guilt and penalty phases. We disagree. Luckett was already impeached with prior felony convictions, and it is undisputed that if Windom had further impeached him with the new arrest and then-pending charge, then the State could have introduced prior consistent statements to rehabilitate him. Further, the additional impeachment evidence would not have changed the fact that Luckett's testimony was corroborated in significant part by other witnesses, who independently provided sufficient evidence to support Windom's convictions and sentences. In sum, Luckett's 1992 arrest and then-pending charge could not “reasonably be taken to put the whole case in such a different light as to undermine confidence in” the outcome. See Mordenti, 894 So. 2d at 170 (citing Allen, 854 So. 2d at 1260); Waterhouse v. State, 82 So. 3d 84, 107-08 (Fla. 2012) (holding that new impeachment evidence did not undermine confidence in the verdict when considered in light of the “other evidence of [the defendant's] guilt”); cf. Ponticelli v. State, 941 So. 2d 1073, 1086 (Fla. 2006) (finding no reasonable probability that the jury would have doubted a witness' testimony based on additional impeachment evidence where other trial evidence corroborated the witness' claim that the defendant confessed).

For the foregoing reasons, we affirm the summary denial of Windom's second successive postconviction motion.

NOT FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF FILED, DETERMINED.

A True Copy

Test:

John A. Tomasino Clerk, Supreme Court

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Served:

ERIC CALVIN PINKARD

SCOTT A. BROWNE

ALI ANDREW SHAKOOR

ANN MARIE MIRIALAKIS

HON. RENEE A. ROCHE, JUDGE

KENNETH SLOAN NUNNELLEY

HON. TIFFANY MOORE RUSSELL, CLERK

HON. FREDERICK JAMES LAUTEN, JR., CHIEF JUDGE

FOOTNOTES

1.   Brady v. Maryland, 373 U.S. 83 (1963).

LABARGA, C.J., and LEWIS, CANADY, POLSTON, and LAWSON, JJ., concur. PARIENTE and QUINCE, JJ., concur in result.