Correll v. State, No. 68393

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM; McDONALD
Parties13 Fla. L. Weekly 271 Jerry William CORRELL, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Decision Date14 January 1988
Docket NumberNo. 68393

Page 562

523 So.2d 562
13 Fla. L. Weekly 271
Jerry William CORRELL, Appellant,
v.
STATE of Florida, Appellee.
No. 68393.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Jan. 14, 1988.
Rehearing Denied April 13, 1988.

Page 563

James R. Valerino, Orlando, for appellant.

Robert A. Butterworth, Atty. Gen. and Richard B. Martell, Asst. Atty. Gen., Daytona Beach, for appellee.

Page 564

PER CURIAM.

Jerry William Correll appeals his four death sentences imposed for the first-degree murders of his ex-wife, Susan Correll, her sister, Marybeth Jones, their mother, Mary Lou Hines, and the Corrells' five-year-old daughter, Tuesday. We have jurisdiction under article V, section 3(b)(1), Florida Constitution.

On the morning of July 1, 1985, the bodies of the four victims were discovered in Mrs. Hines's home in Orlando. All had been repeatedly stabbed and died from massive hemorrhages; the three older victims had defensive type wounds on their hands. A sheriff's department investigator was called to the crime scene and approximately an hour and a half after his arrival encountered Jerry Correll there. Correll was asked for a statement and subsequently went to the sheriff's department where he gave first an oral and then a tape recorded statement. In his statement, Correll indicated that on the night of the murders he had been drinking and smoking marijuana with a woman, who later drove with him to Kissimmee. While at the sheriff's department, Correll consented to having his fingerprints taken and having pictures of the scratches, cuts and bruises on his hands and forearms taken. The next day, Correll was again interviewed and subsequently arrested. After being advised of and waiving his Miranda rights, Correll gave another statement after his arrest. Several bloody fingerprints and palm prints found at the murder scene were later matched to Correll's. Evidence that he had previously threatened to kill his ex-wife was also admitted. In addition, he could not be ruled out as the person whose bloodstains were found at the scene and whose sperm was found in Susan Correll's vagina.

The jury convicted Correll of four first-degree murders and recommended the death penalty with respect to each of them. The trial court found the following aggravating factors: Correll had been previously convicted of another capital offense; the murder of Susan Correll was heinous, atrocious and cruel and was committed during a sexual battery; the murder of Marybeth Jones was committed during a robbery and for the purpose of avoiding arrest; the murder of Tuesday Correll was heinous, atrocious and cruel, committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner and was for the purpose of avoiding arrest; and the murder of Mary Lou Hines was heinous, atrocious and cruel. Finding no mitigating factors, the trial court sentenced Correll to death for all four murders.

Correll raises sixteen issues in this appeal, only six of which require discussion. * The first issue concerns the statements he made to police on July 1, 1985, prior to his arrest the following day. Correll contends that these statements should have been suppressed because he was not apprised of his Miranda rights before he gave the statements. Under the dictates of Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966), a suspect involved in a custodial interrogation by law enforcement officials is entitled to the procedural safeguard of the Miranda warning, the key being that the suspect must be in custody. The ultimate inquiry in determining whether a suspect is in custody is "whether there is a 'formal arrest or restraint

Page 565

on freedom of movement' of the degree associated with a formal arrest." California v. Beheler, 463 U.S. 1121, 1125, 103 S.Ct. 3517, 3520, 77 L.Ed.2d 1275 (1983) (quoting Oregon v. Mathiason, 429 U.S. 492, 495, 97 S.Ct. 711, 714, 50 L.Ed.2d 714 (1977)).

The record indicates that a sheriff's department investigator asked Correll to go to the sheriff's office so that elimination fingerprints could be taken. Correll agreed to this and was taken to the sheriff's office by his brother and sister-in-law. After his arrival, a detective interviewed Correll for approximately half an hour to one hour because he was a family member of the victims and had information which might have been useful in solving the crime. Correll was not under arrest and was free to leave the station at anytime. He never objected to any of the questions and did not refuse to talk. When the interview was over, Correll left the station the same way he arrived, with his brother and sister-in-law. Therefore, we conclude that Correll was not in custody for the purposes of Miranda and the police were not required to advise him of his constitutional rights. See Roman v. State, 475 So.2d 1228 (Fla.1985) (no requirement for Miranda warnings where suspect voluntarily accompanied investigators to the station house, was not handcuffed and was interrogated approximately three and one half hours prior to his confession), cert. denied, 475 U.S. 1090, 106 S.Ct. 1480, 89 L.Ed.2d 734 (1986).

The next issue for consideration relates to the admissibility of certain statements made by a witness concerning Susan Correll's fear of Jerry Correll prior to the murders. During Donna Valentine's testimony, the following colloquy occurred:

[STATE]: All right. Now, during this period of time, did she display or exhibit fear of the Defendant?

[VALENTINE]: Yes, she had.

[DEFENSE]: Your Honor, I'm going to object to this once again. This is basically hearsay testimony and doesn't go to any question of whether or not Jerry Correll committed these particular acts.

This is merely a characterization on part of the witness, and I don't think that this is the kind of thing that is anything more than hearsay testimony and opinion testimony on her part.

[STATE]: I asked her to describe what she saw exhibited, not anything that she might have said to her.

[DEFENSE]: That was not the way the question was phrased.

[THE COURT]: With that understanding, the question is: Did she in fact at any time display any fear to you?

[DEFENSE]: Once again, Your Honor, I think that is something that is hearsay and an opinion, and she can say exactly what she did provided it's not merely hearsay.

Whereupon, the court overruled the objection and the following then occurred:

[STATE]: The question was, did Susan Correll display or exhibit fear of the Defendant?

[VALENTINE]: Was she afraid of Jerry?

[STATE]: Did she display anything that appeared to you as fear of the Defendant?

[VALENTINE]: Yes, in language.

Susan Correll's statements, as related by Valentine, were hearsay. In the absence of an applicable exception, hearsay evidence is inadmissible. § 90.801, Fla.Stat. (1985). It is well settled that the state-of-mind exception to the hearsay rule allows the admission of extra-judicial statements only if the declarant's state of mind is at issue in a particular case or to prove or explain the declarant's subsequent conduct. § 90.803(3)(a), Fla.Stat. (1985). Because Susan...

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97 practice notes
  • Correll v. Sec'y, Dep't of Corr., Case No. 8:90-cv-315-T-23MAP
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • March 19, 2013
    ...Marybeth Jones (Susan's sister), and Mary Lou Hines (Susan's mother).3 Correll was sentenced to death for each murder.4 Correll v. State, 523 So. 2d 562 (Fla. 1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 871 (1988) ("Correll I"), affirmed each conviction and each death sentence. In 1990 Correll moved to v......
  • People v. White, No. 91SA248
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • January 10, 1994
    ...during the course of these years he may have a long history of significant criminal activity. Id. (emphasis added). In Correll v. State, 523 So.2d 562 (Fla.), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 871, 109 S.Ct. 183, 102 L.Ed.2d 152 (1988), the Florida Supreme Court rejected a defendant's argument that he......
  • Com. v. Gomes
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • August 17, 1988
    ...permits an investigator to type a blood sample with greater precision than is possible with the familiar ABO system, Correll v. State, 523 So.2d 562, 566 (Fla.1988), and results of the test may serve to establish a "strong association between the bloodstain and its possible donor or the exc......
  • Thomas v. State, No. 89-449
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 28, 1992
    ...of appellate review because defense counsel failed to object to such evidence when it was introduced at trial. In Correll v. State, 523 So.2d 562, 566 (Fla.1988), cert. den., 488 U.S. 871, 109 S.Ct. 183, 102 L.Ed.2d 152 (1988), habeas corpus den. 558 So.2d 422 (Fla.1990), a unanimous Florid......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
97 cases
  • Correll v. Sec'y, Dep't of Corr., Case No. 8:90-cv-315-T-23MAP
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • March 19, 2013
    ...Marybeth Jones (Susan's sister), and Mary Lou Hines (Susan's mother).3 Correll was sentenced to death for each murder.4 Correll v. State, 523 So. 2d 562 (Fla. 1988), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 871 (1988) ("Correll I"), affirmed each conviction and each death sentence. In 1990 Correll moved to v......
  • People v. White, No. 91SA248
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • January 10, 1994
    ...during the course of these years he may have a long history of significant criminal activity. Id. (emphasis added). In Correll v. State, 523 So.2d 562 (Fla.), cert. denied, 488 U.S. 871, 109 S.Ct. 183, 102 L.Ed.2d 152 (1988), the Florida Supreme Court rejected a defendant's argument that he......
  • Com. v. Gomes
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts
    • August 17, 1988
    ...permits an investigator to type a blood sample with greater precision than is possible with the familiar ABO system, Correll v. State, 523 So.2d 562, 566 (Fla.1988), and results of the test may serve to establish a "strong association between the bloodstain and its possible donor or the exc......
  • Thomas v. State, No. 89-449
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • April 28, 1992
    ...of appellate review because defense counsel failed to object to such evidence when it was introduced at trial. In Correll v. State, 523 So.2d 562, 566 (Fla.1988), cert. den., 488 U.S. 871, 109 S.Ct. 183, 102 L.Ed.2d 152 (1988), habeas corpus den. 558 So.2d 422 (Fla.1990), a unanimous Florid......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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