Boyd v. State, s. SC13–244

Citation200 So.3d 685
Decision Date17 December 2015
Docket NumberNos. SC13–244,SC13–1959.,s. SC13–244
Parties Lucious BOYD, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee. Lucious Boyd, Petitioner, v. Julie L. Jones, etc., Respondent.
CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida

Neal Andre Dupree, Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, Southern Region, Suzanne Myers Keffer, Chief Assistant, Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, Southern Region, and Scott Gavin, Staff Attorney, Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, Southern Region, Fort Lauderdale, FL, for Appellant/Petitioner.

Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, FL, and Leslie T. Campbell, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, FL, for Appellee/Respondent.


Lucious Boyd appeals a final order of the circuit court denying his motion to vacate his conviction of first-degree murder and sentence of death filed under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851

. Boyd also petitions this Court for a writ of habeas corpus. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(1), (9), Fla. Const. For the reasons discussed below, we affirm the circuit court's denial of Boyd's rule 3.851 motion and deny relief on his petition for writ of habeas corpus.


Lucious Boyd was convicted for the first-degree murder, armed kidnapping, and sexual battery of Dawnia Dacosta and sentenced to the penalties of death, life imprisonment, and fifteen years' imprisonment, respectively. Boyd v. State, 910 So.2d 167, 176–77 (Fla.2005)


A. Trial and Direct Appeal Proceedings

On direct appeal, we set forth the relevant factual and procedural background as follows:

The evidence presented at trial revealed the following facts. In the early morning hours of December 5, 1998, Dawnia Dacosta's car ran out of gas while she was on her way to her home in Deerfield Beach, Florida, from a midnight church service. She had just exited from Interstate 95 (I–95) onto Hillsboro Beach Boulevard and pulled onto the shoulder. She then took a red gas can she kept in her car, walked about a block east to a nearby Texaco gas station, and bought a gallon of gas. At approximately 2 a.m., during the time she was at the gas station, Dacosta spoke with two other customers, Lisa Bell and Johnnie Mae Harris. She asked Bell for a ride back to her car, but Bell had walked to the station and so could not give Dacosta a ride. Bell and Harris then watched Dacosta speak with a black male in a van in the station's parking lot. Harris asked the man if he was going to help Dacosta, and the man nodded, indicating yes. Bell later told the police that the van she saw was greenish-blue in color, while Harris said that she thought the van was burgundy. Though somewhat unsure about the van's color, Harris was certain that she saw the word “Hope” on its side. In a photo lineup and at trial, Harris identified the man she saw in the van that night as Lucious Boyd.
Boyd spent the evening of December 4 with Geneva Lewis, his girlfriend, at her mother's home. Boyd left the house around 10 or 11 p.m., and Lewis did not see him again until the morning of December 5, at around 9 or 10 a.m. Lewis testified that on December 4 and 5, Boyd was driving a green church van with writing on its side and that the van belonged to Reverend Frank Lloyd of the Hope Outreach Ministry Church, for whom Boyd performed occasional maintenance work.
Dacosta's family began searching for her after she did not return home on December 5. They found her car at an I–95 exit and began circulating fliers with Dacosta's photograph, indicating that she was missing, throughout the area. Bell and Harris saw the fliers, recognized Dacosta as the woman with the gas can at the Texaco station on December 5, and contacted the police with their information.
On December 7, Dacosta's body was discovered in an alley behind a warehouse on 42nd Street in Deerfield Beach. The body was wrapped in a shower curtain liner, a brown, flat bed sheet, and a yellow, flat bed sheet. A purple duffel bag and two large black trash bags covered her head. It was determined that she had been dead for between thirty-six and seventy-two hours.
At trial, it was stipulated that Dacosta died due to a penetrating head wound

and that the bruising on her head was consistent with but not exclusive to the face plate of a reciprocating saw. Wounds to her chest, arms, and head were consistent with but not exclusive to a Torx brand torque screwdriver, and she had defensive wounds on her arms and hands. There was bruising to her vagina that was consistent with sexual intercourse, although the medical examiner could not determine whether the intercourse was consensual or nonconsensual. Dacosta had thirty-six superficial wounds on her chest, four on the right side of her head, and twelve on her right hand, some being consistent with defensive wounds and some being consistent with bite marks. One fatal wound to the head perforated the skull and penetrated Dacosta's brain.

On March 17, 1999, while Detectives Bukata and Kaminsky of the Broward County Sheriff's Office were investigating another crime unrelated to Dacosta's death, they saw a green van in the Hope

Outreach Ministry Church parking lot. The van had burgundy writing on it that read “Here's Hope.” Bell would later identify the church's van as the same van she had seen on the morning of December 5 at the Texaco station. The detectives decided to investigate, and their inquiries as to the owner of the van led them to Reverend Lloyd. When the detectives questioned Lloyd about the location of the van on the night of December 4, Lloyd's secretary, who was present at the questioning, remarked that Lucious Boyd had driven the van on that weekend. On December 4, Boyd had taken Reverend Lloyd to pick up a rental car in the church's green 1994 Ford van. Reverend Lloyd further testified that he instructed Boyd to take the van back to the church but that Boyd did not return the van until Monday, December 7. Reverend Lloyd also stated that when he left the van with Boyd, various tools owned by the church, including a set of Torx brand screwdrivers and a reciprocating saw, were in the van, as well as a purple laundry bag that the pastor used to deliver his laundry to the cleaners. When Reverend Lloyd returned on December 15, he discovered that the screwdrivers, the saw, and the laundry bag were missing.
Boyd was arrested for Dacosta's murder on March 26, 1999. Seminal fluid taken from Dacosta's inner thigh matched the DNA profile of Boyd. Tests also did not eliminate Boyd as a match for a hair found on Dacosta's chest. A DNA profile consistent with Boyd's was found in material taken from under Dacosta's fingernails. In addition, fingerprints taken from the trash bag found around the victim's head matched fingerprints of Boyd's girlfriend, Geneva Lewis, and her son, Zeffrey Lewis. Tire marks on a sheet covering the victim's body were consistent with the tires on the church van, although trial expert Terrell Kingery, a senior crime laboratory analyst for the Orlando Regional Crime Laboratory, testified that he could not say for certain that the van's tires made the marks because over 1.5 million tires could have made the tracks on the sheet. Dr. Steven Rifkin, a private dentist and a forensic odontologist with the Broward County Medical Examiner's Office, testified that bite marks on Dacosta's arm were, within a reasonable degree of certainty, made by Boyd's teeth.
On April 1, Detective Bukata obtained a warrant to search the apartment of Boyd and Lewis, which was a block east of the Texaco station. Detective Bukata arrived at the apartment and told Lewis to leave with her children for a few days so that the officers could fully search the apartment. The investigators found blood at various locations throughout the apartment. Blood found on the underside of the carpet and on the armoire matched Dacosta's DNA profile. The shower curtain rings were unsnapped, and there was no liner to the shower curtain. Carpet fibers taken from the yellow sheet in which Dacosta's body was wrapped matched characteristics of carpet samples taken from Boyd's apartment.
Lewis had previously lived with Boyd at his apartment but had moved out in October of 1998. While living with Boyd, Lewis had purchased a queen-size bed, which she left at the apartment when she moved. Lewis and her three children moved back in with Boyd in February of 1999 and discovered that the bed was no longer at Boyd's apartment. When she asked about it, Boyd told her that he had given it away but would get it back. When she inquired about it again, Boyd told her that she would not want that bed and that he would get her another one. Lewis also identified the flat bed sheets, one brown and one a “loud yellow,” that were found around Dacosta's body as similar to ones she had owned while living at Boyd's apartment but that she no longer knew where they were or if they were at Boyd's apartment or at her mother's home.
A jury convicted Boyd of first-degree murder, sexual battery, and armed kidnapping. The trial court subsequently conducted a penalty phase proceeding, during which both sides presented evidence. The jury unanimously recommended that Boyd be sentenced to death. The trial court followed the jury's recommendation and imposed a death sentence, finding and weighing two aggravating factors, one statutory mitigating factor, and five nonstatutory mitigating factors. State v. Boyd, No. 99–5809 (Fla. 17th Cir. Ct. order filed June 21, 2002) (sentencing order). The trial court also sentenced Boyd to fifteen years' imprisonment for the sexual battery and to life imprisonment for the armed kidnapping charges.

Id. at 174–77 (footnotes omitted). This Court affirmed Boyd's convictions and sentence of death. Id. at 194.

B. Postconviction Relief Proceedings

On February 14, 2007, Boyd filed a Motion to Vacate Judgment of Conviction and Sentences with Special Request for Leave to Amend, pursuant to Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.851

. He raised the following claims: (1) denial of access to public...

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