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Michael Bernard Bell - Florida Death Row
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Thread: Michael Bernard Bell - Florida Death Row

  1. #1
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    Michael Bernard Bell - Florida Death Row




    Summary of Offense:

    Michael Bell was sentenced to two death sentences for the murders of Jimmy West and Tamecka Smith on December 9, 1993. Earlier in 1993, Michael Bell’s brother was killed by Theodore Wright. The shooting was deemed as justifiable homicide because Wright claimed he fired in self-defense. Bell vowed revenge for his brother’s death and swore to friends and family that he would kill Wright. On the night of December 9, 1993, Bell noticed Wright’s car in the area. He gathered two of his friends and an AK-47 assault rifle he had purchased the day before, and returned to the area where he had previously spotted Wright’s car. Bell was unaware that Wright had sold the car to his half-brother Jimmy West. Bell saw the car in the parking lot of a liquor lounge and waited for West to exit the club. After a while, West, Smith, and another female left the lounge and started to enter the car. Bell proceeded to the driver’s side of the car, opened the door, and fired at point-blank range. West died immediately from 12 bullet wounds, and Smith died from four bullet wounds while in route to the hospital. The other female managed to duck away from the spray of the bullets. Bell fired at a crowd of onlookers waiting outside the club before he fled to his aunt’s house.

    Bell was sentenced to death in Duval County on June 2, 1995.

    NOTE: Bell was convicted of the following murders subsequent to the December 9, 1993 murders for which he was convicted and sentenced to death:
    On September 25, 1989, Bell shot and killed Lashawn Cowart and her two-year-old son Travis. The three were driving together when Bell stopped, exited the vehicle and opened fire on the mother and son. Afterwards, an accomplice vehicle came and picked up Bell.
    On August 18, 1993, Bell shot and killed Michael Johnson, the boyfriend of Bell’s mother. After the couple had an argument, Bell went to Johnson’s house and shot him to death on the front porch.

  2. #2
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    On August 16, 2010, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit reversed a Certificate of Appealability granted to Bell by the Federal District Court.

    Opinion is here:

    http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinion...0910782ord.pdf

  3. #3
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    Factors Contributing to the Delay in the Imposition of the Sentence:

    Bellís 3.850 Motion Appeal was remanded to the Circuit Court for an amended motion. The 3.850 Motion Appeal was pending from 08/02/02 Ė 06/07/07. Additionally, Bellís Habeas Petition has been pending in the United States District Court since 09/10/07

    Case Information:

    On 07/19/95, Michael Bell filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court. In his appeal, Bell argued that his court-appointed counsel was incompetent and that the court failed to allow him to represent himself under Faretta v. California[1]. Bell also contended that the court falsely applied the cold, calculated and premeditated (CCP) aggravating factor and failed to recognize certain mitigating factors. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentences of death on 07/17/97. The mandate was issued on 10/17/97.

    On 12/08/97, Bell filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on 02/23/98.

    On 06/01/99, Bell filed a 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court. That motion was denied on 01/13/00.

    Bell appealed the ruling on the 3.850 Motion in the Florida Supreme Court on 01/28/00. The Florida Supreme Court remanded the case to the State Circuit Court on 04/26/01, allowing an amended motion to be filed. An amended 3.850 motion was filed on 10/03/01, which was denied on 05/31/02. Bell filed an appeal of that decision in the Florida Supreme Court on 08/02/02. On 06/07/07, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the denial of the motion on 06/07/07. The mandate was issued on 09/17/07.

    Bell filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Florida Supreme Court on 04/08/05 that was denied on 06/07/07. The mandate was issued on 09/17/07.

    Bell filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on 08/28/07 which was denied on 11/05/07.

    On 09/10/07, Bell filed a Petition for Habeas Corpus in the United States District Court. On 01/15/09, the Stateís motion for summary judgment was granted. Bellís certificate of appealability was granted on 03/20/09.
    Bell filed a habeas appeal in the United States Court of Appeals on 02/10/09. That appeal was dismissed on 07/02/09 and was reinstated on 09/01/09. On 09/29/09, the United States Court of Appeals vacated the District Courtís granting of certificate of appealabilty without prejudice against Bellís future applications for certificate of appealability.

    On 10/25/10, Bell again filed an application for certificate of appealabilty in the United States District Court which was granted on 01/21/11.

    On 12/02/10, Bell filed a 3.850 motion in the Circuit court. That motion was denied on 02/28/11.

    On 04/11/11, Bell filed an appeal of the denial of his 3.850 motion in the Florida Supreme Court. That appeal is pending.

  4. #4
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    BELL V FLORIDA ATTORNEY GENERAL

    In an opinion dated February 7, 2012, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals AFFIRMED the district court's DISMISSAL of Bell's federal habeas petition on timeliness grounds.

  5. #5
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    In today's United States Supreme Court orders, Bell's petition for writ of certiorari and motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis was DENIED.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/Search.a...es/13-8415.htm

  6. #6
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    On April 19, 2016, Bell filed a subsequent appeal before the Eleventh Circuit.

    https://dockets.justia.com/docket/ci.../ca11/16-11791

  7. #7
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    "You can't get rich in politics unless you're a crook." - Harry Truman

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