Blanco v. State, 83829

Citation702 So.2d 1250
Decision Date18 September 1997
Docket NumberNo. 83829,83829
Parties22 Fla. L. Weekly S570 Omar BLANCO, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida

Page 1250

702 So.2d 1250
22 Fla. L. Weekly S570
Omar BLANCO, Appellant,
STATE of Florida, Appellee.
No. 83829.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Sept. 18, 1997.
Rehearing Denied Dec. 17, 1997.

Page 1251

Todd G. Scher, Chief Assistant CCR, Office of the Capital Collateral Representative, Miami, for appellant.

Robert A. Butterworth, Attorney General, and Carolyn V. McCann, Special Assistant Attorney General, Fort Lauderdale, for appellee.

SHAW, Justice.

Omar Blanco appeals the denial of his rule 3.850 motion 1 following an evidentiary hearing. We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(1), Fla. Const. We affirm.

The facts are set out fully in our opinion on direct appeal. See Blanco v. State, 452 So.2d 520 (Fla.1984). Omar Blanco was convicted of first-degree murder for the January 14, 1982, slaying of John Ryan and was sentenced to death. We affirmed. Id. We denied Blanco's petition for writ of habeas corpus and affirmed the denial of his first rule 3.850 motion following an evidentiary hearing. Blanco v. Wainwright, 507 So.2d 1377 (Fla.1987). A federal district court subsequently vacated the death sentence due to ineffectiveness of penalty-phase counsel and remanded for a new penalty-phase trial. Blanco v. Dugger, 691 F.Supp. 308 (S.D.Fla.1988). 2

During the pendency of the resentencing proceeding, Blanco filed his second (the present) rule 3.850 motion, seeking to present newly discovered evidence. The trial court held an evidentiary hearing on February 24, 1994, and Blanco advanced the theory that another man, Enrique Gonzales, was the killer. Blanco presented two witnesses. Carmen Congora testified that on the night of the murder she saw Gonzales wearing a bloody shirt. She also stated, however, that she lives in a home for the mentally impaired, is easily confused, and did not remember the day or the year she saw the bloody shirt. The second witness, Roberto Alonso, testified that on the night of the murder he rode bicycles with Blanco and that Gonzales came in later wearing a bloody shirt. Alonso also admitted, however, that he has a criminal record, was currently in prison for murdering someone with a machete, and had seen Blanco while in prison.

Blanco additionally introduced a statement by his mother, Zenaida, who lives in Cuba, wherein she said that a woman named Mamita told her that Enrique Gonzales told Mamita in prison that he did the killing. Blanco introduced two letters, one by Mamita and one by Julio Guerra, saying that Gonzales was the killer. The State, on the other hand, presented three witnesses who had known Blanco while in jail and to whom Blanco had made incriminating statements. Finally, Thalia Vesos, the adolescent girl who had confronted the killer in her bedroom seconds before the shooting, was shown photographs of both Blanco and Gonzales and testified unequivocally that Blanco and not Gonzales was the man she had seen.

The court found that "the testimony of Carmen Congora and Roberto Alonzo is not worthy of belief," and denied Blanco's second 3.850 motion on April 27, 1994; Blanco appealed that order on May 25, 1994; and we held that appeal in...

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    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
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    ...likewise of the credibility of the witnesses as well as the weight to be given to the evidence by the trial court," Blanco v. State, 702 So.2d 1250, 1252 (Fla. 1997)(quoting Demps v. State, 462 So.2d 1074, 1075 (Fla. 1984)), but the court's application of law to facts is subject to de novo ......
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    ...the weight of the evidence for competent, substantial evidence . Melendez v. State, 718 So. 2d 746, 747–48 (Fla.1998) ; Blanco v. State, 702 So. 2d 1250, 1251 (Fla.1997). As with rulings on other post-convictions claims, we review the trial court's application of the law to the facts de nov......
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    ...Court has held there is no merit to the argument that an underlying felony cannot be used as an aggravating factor. See Blanco v. State, 702 So.2d 1250 (Fla.1997). Therefore, Freeman cannot demonstrate that the outcome of his trial was affected by defense counsel's failure to object to thes......
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