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  1. #1

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    William James Deparvine - Florida Death Row


    Richard and Karla Van Dusen




    Summary of Offense:

    The bodies of Richard and Karla Van Dusen were found on a dirt road in Hillsborough County on the morning of November 26, 2003. They both died of gunshot wounds to the head. Karla was also stabbed twice in the chest. The couple’s Jeep Cherokee was discovered in a parking lot approximately one mile away. DNA tests confirmed that the blood found on the vehicle’s steering wheel matched that of William Deparvine. In November of 2003, Richard Van Dusen began advertising his 1971 Chevrolet Cheyenne pickup truck for sale for $13,700. On November 25, 2003 Richard Van Dusen received a call on one of his two cell phones at 5:45 p.m. near downtown St. Petersburg, where Deparvine resided. He then made two calls on one cell phone at 5:50 and 5:55 p.m. that used the downtown St. Petersburg cell tower. Karla Van Dusen’s cell phone indicated that she began a call at 5:33 p.m. within a mile of the cell tower on Tierra Verde, and her next two calls used cell towers in downtown St. Petersburg. Karla’s last phone call on November 25th also used a cell tower in Oldsmar. One of Karla’s phone calls during this time was to her mother, Billie Ferris.

    Ms. Ferris testified that, while speaking with her daughter, she heard a car engine and asked Karla if she was in a car. Karla responded that she was “following Rick and the guy that bought the truck. He knows where to get the paperwork done.” Karla informed her mother that the purchaser was going to pay with cash. Chris Coviello, testified that he saw the Van Dusens leave their home on November 25, 2003 at approximately 5:45 p.m. Richard was driving the truck and Karla was following in the Jeep Cherokee. There were no other passengers in either vehicle. The Chevrolet Cheyenne truck was found on November 27, 2003. It was parked outside of Deparvine’s apartment complex. Deparvine had in his possession a signed bill of sale indicating a purchase price of $6,500. On November 25, 2003, Richard Van Dusen had his signature on the bill of sale notarized. Van Dusen’s co-worker, Peter Wilson, said that Van Dusen told him he was selling the vehicle for $13,000 but indicated $6,500 on the bill of sale so the buyer would pay less sales tax. Deparvine testified that he obtained the money to buy the truck by selling a Rolex watch that a terminally ill inmate gave to him while he was incarcerated.

    He said that he sold the watch for $7,000 in cash and stored the cash in his apartment. He also testified that during the test drive on November 23, 2003, the truck ran out of gas. He stated that he cut his hand while pouring gas on the carburetor, and then got into Van Dusen’s Jeep Cherokee and followed Van Dusen as he drove the Chevrolet truck to the gas station. He then offered to buy the truck for $6,500 cash, and gave Richard Van Dusen $1,500 as a deposit. He said that Richard Van Dusen agreed to the half-price offer because he was paying in cash. He said that the Van Dusens dropped off the truck at his apartment at approximately 5:30 p.m. on November 25, 2003. He said that another man in a red truck followed the Van Dusens and then gave Richard Van Dusen a ride afterward.

    Deparvine was sentenced to death in Hillsborough County on January 9, 2006.

  2. #2

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    August 14, 2009

    Fla. death row inmate sues to get victims' Chevy

    TAMPA, Fla. (AP) - A Florida death row inmate is suing to get a vintage Chevy pickup owned by the couple he is convicted of killing.

    William Deparvine was sentenced to death in 2006 for killing Richard and Karla Van Dusen.

    His lawsuit over their car has now dragged on for two years, the St. Petersburg Times reported.

    The dispute is over a red 1971 Chevrolet Cheyenne truck Van Dusen bought and refurbished in the late 1990s after he divorced.

    He went to weekend car shows with it and won trophies.

    After he remarried, however, he decided to sell the truck, and Deparvine responded to a classified ad he took out.

    On Nov. 26, 2003, the day after Deparvine met with Van Dusen, 58, and his wife, 49, their bodies were found in a dirt driveway in northwest Hillsborough County.

    Both had been shot in the head.

    Authorities said Deparvine planned to rob and kill the couple but wanted to make it look like he bought the truck and someone else shot them.

    He typed up a bill of sale indicating the truck had been sold for $6,500 and signed Richard Van Dusen's name.

    At trial, Deparvine, 57, claimed he was innocent, but jurors found him guilty and sentenced him to death.
    From his cell, he has claimed the bill of sale proves he owns the truck, and he has filed pages of handwritten court pleadings in his case.

    "I will have to give him credit," said Robert Vessel, an attorney for Richard Van Dusen's daughter.

    "He's one of the best jailhouse lawyers I've seen."

    It may not be enough to get the truck back. Van Dusen's daughter said her cousin helped her sell it soon after Deparvine's conviction.

    She was too scared to sell the truck on her own because of what happened to her father.

  3. #3

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    September 7, 2010

    Florida inmate loses appeal for victim's truck

    TAMPA, Fla.—A Florida appellate court has ruled against a death row inmate who was convicted of killing a couple and then petitioned to keep a vintage pickup that belonged to one of the victims.

    The ruling may end a legal battle that has dragged on seven years after the slayings of Richard and Karla Van Dusen in Tierra Verde, near St. Petersburg.

    William Deparvine was sentenced to death in 2006 for the killings, but continued to press his claim on a restored 1971 Chevrolet Cheyenne the slain man restored. Authorities say Deparvine forged a bill of sale for the truck, then killed the couple and tried to frame someone else.

    The St. Petersburg Times reported that an appellate court panel on Friday upheld a judge's finding that Deparvine had no claim to the truck.

    http://www.boston.com/news/nation/ar...victims_truck/

  4. #4
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    Case Information:

    On 01/23/06, Deparvine filed a direct appeal in the Florida Supreme Court, raising the following issues: hearsay testimony, failure to prove premeditation or felony murder, jury instructions, insufficient evidence of carjacking, victim impact evidence, juror selection, unconstitutionality of Florida’s capital sentencing, and lack of specification of mitigating factors. On 09/29/08, the Florida Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s conviction and sentence of death.

    On 02/05/10, Deparvine filed a 3.850 Motion in the Circuit Court, which is pending.

    Evidentiary hearing scheduled on 02/04/2011 in Circuit Court

    http://www.floridacapitalcases.state...Htm/256512.htm

  5. #5
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    WILLIAM JAMES DEPARVINE vs STATE OF FLORIDA, and WILLIAM JAMES DEPARVINE vs MICHAEL D. CREWS

    In today's opinions, the Florida Supreme Court AFFIRMED the postconviction courtís denial of relief on all claims and DENIED Deparvineís petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
    A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

  6. #6
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    On September 26, 2014, Deparvine filed a habeas petition in Federal District Court.

    http://dockets.justia.com/docket/flo...cv02443/302576

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