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Tedder v. State

Supreme Court of Florida

November 19, 1975

No. 46267

Opinion

 [*909]  This case is here on direct appeal from the Hernando County Circuit Court. Appellant was convicted by a jury of first degree murder and sentenced by the trial judge to death. We have jurisdiction pursuant to Article V, § 3(b)(1) of the Florida Constitution (1973).

On January 17, 1974, appellant's wife and mother-in-law were laying a sidewalk outside the trailer where they resided. Appellant and his wife had recently separated. Without advance warning of any sort, appellant stepped from behind a tree and fired a shot in the direction of the women and appellant's infant son. All fled toward the trailer, where appellant's wife ran with the baby to a back bedroom in order to obtain a shotgun. She succeeded in locking the bedroom door behind her, but while loading the shotgun she heard more shots and the scream of her mother.  [**2]  Appellant then broke open the bedroom door and, gun in hand, took away the shotgun and told his wife to bring the baby and come with him. As they left, his wife saw her mother lying on the floor in a hallway. Appellant would not permit his wife to examine the body. The next morning appellant was arrested at a farm owned by his father. On February 14, appellant's mother-in-law died from gunshot wounds.

Appellant's trial resulted in a conviction for first degree murder. ] Pursuant to Section 921.141, Fla.Stat. (1973), a second jury trial was held to determine whether appellant should be sentenced to death or life imprisonment. No additional evidence was presented to the jury during this second trial except appellant's age (20 years), and after deliberating for 16 minutes the jury returned a recommendation of life imprisonment.

On the following day the trial judge conducted a hearing on which to base his  [*910]  recommendation for appellant's sentence. The only evidence considered which had not been before the jury was a pre-sentence investigation report showing that appellant had been convicted on one prior occasion of breaking and entering with intent to commit a misdemeanor [**3]  (petit larceny). At the conclusion of this hearing the trial judge recommended a sentence of death, complying with Section 921.141(3) by listing three aggravating circumstances and finding none in mitigation. The aggravating circumstances identified by the trial judge were (1) that appellant knowingly created a great risk of death to many persons, (2) that the crime was committed while the defendant was engaged in the commission of kidnapping, and (3) that the crime was especially heinous, atrocious or cruel.

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322 So. 2d 908 *; 1975 Fla. LEXIS 4392 **

Mack Reed TEDDER, II, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee

CORE TERMS

sentence, trial judge, death sentence, recommendation, murder

Criminal Law & Procedure, Sentencing, Capital Punishment, Bifurcated Trials, Murder, First-Degree Murder, Penalties, Imposition of Sentence, Evidence, Felony Murder, General Overview, Use of Weapons, Simple Use, Elements, Homicide, Manslaughter & Murder, Acts & Mental States, Mens Rea, Specific Intent, Evidence, Types of Evidence, Circumstantial Evidence, Trials, Burdens of Proof, Prosecution, Cruel & Unusual Punishment, Capital Murder