State v. McCall

Decision Date12 May 1988
Docket NumberNo. 70345,70345
Citation524 So.2d 663,13 Fla. L. Weekly 311
Parties13 Fla. L. Weekly 311 STATE of Florida, Petitioner, v. Travis Gene McCALL, Respondent.
CourtFlorida Supreme Court

Robert A. Butterworth, Atty. Gen., and W. Brian Bayly, Asst. Atty. Gen., Daytona Beach, for petitioner.

James B. Gibson, Public Defender and Michael S. Becker, Asst. Public Defender, Daytona Beach, for respondent.

EHRLICH, Justice.

We have for review McCall v. State, 503 So.2d 1306 (Fla. 5th DCA 1987), which expressly and directly conflicts with decisions of other district courts of appeal. We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(3), Fla. Const.

Travis McCall was charged by indictment with the first degree murder of Winston Bain. A jury trial was conducted and the jury rendered a verdict finding McCall guilty of second degree murder. The recommended guideline sentence was between twelve and seventeen years imprisonment. The trial court imposed a sentence of thirty years, which represented a three-cell departure from the presumptive guideline sentence, based on the following four reasons:

1. The defendant McCall used excessive force causing the victim to die a lingering death--crushing the victims [sic] head three or four times with concrete blocks and hitting the victim in the face with a board.

2. After the victim was dead or near death, the defendant, McCall, committed sexual battery on the victim by penetrating the victim's anus with a metal pipe.

3. After the victim was dead, or near death, the defendant robbed or took from the body of the victim, the victim's pants and the victim's wallet and over $100 in cash from the victim.

4. The defendant McCall, fled the State of Florida to avoid prosecution and attempted to elude authorities in Kentucky prior to his capture.

McCall appealed the thirty year sentence, contending that none of the reasons given by the trial court for departure from the guidelines sentence were valid. The district court below agreed and remanded the case to the trial court with instructions to sentence McCall within the guidelines. 503 So.2d at 1307.

The state now seeks review of the decision of the district court, arguing that the district court erred in determining that departure based upon the use of excessive force was invalid. The district court, relying on its recent decision in Holden v. State, 487 So.2d 1199 (Fla. 5th DCA 1986), stated that excessive use of force is not a valid reason for departure where death is the result of the criminal act for which the defendant was convicted. See also Hannah v. State, 480 So.2d 718 (Fla. 4th DCA 1986).

Factors already taken into account in calculating the guidelines score cannot support a departure sentence. Hendrix v. State, 475 So.2d 1218 (Fla.1985). Accordingly, in the present case, to the extent the trial judge was considering the injury suffered by the victim, departure would be improper because respondent McCall received twenty-one points on his scoresheet for "death or severe injury."

This Court has recently recognized, however, that a trial court may validly depart from the recommended guidelines sentence when the conduct of the defendant is so extraordinary or egregious as to be beyond the ordinary case. See Hall v. State, 517 So.2d 692 (Fla.1988); Vanover v. State, 498 So.2d 899 (Fla.1986). In Hall, the trial court based departure, in part, on the "[p]remeditated repetitive and long-lasting beatings of their children beginning at approximately age one and continuing for three years for the younger victim and five years for the older victim and resulting in the severe, permanent scarring and disfigurement of their tiny bodies." Id. at 694. After noting that the permanent scarring and disfigurement of the victims could not be a basis for departure because victim injury had already been scored, this Court stated that the departure was predicated on the conduct of the petitioners which rendered this a particularly extreme incident of aggravated battery, not upon the severe victim injury which had already been scored. This factor was held to be a proper reason for departure. Id. at 695.

We agree with Judge Sharp that the trial court's first stated reason for departure was predicated upon the highly extraordinary and extreme means by which the murder was perpetrated. 503 So.2d at 1308 (Sharp, J., concurring in part, dissenting in part)....

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30 cases
  • Wemett v. State
    • United States
    • Florida Supreme Court
    • 30 Agosto 1990
    ...circumstances exist to "reasonably justify aggravating ... the sentence." Fla.R.Crim.P. 3.701(d)(11). See, e.g., State v. McCall, 524 So.2d 663, 665 (Fla.1988); Hall v. State, 517 So.2d 692, 694-95 (Fla.1988); Vanover v. State, 498 So.2d 899, 900-01 (Fla.1986). It necessarily follows that a......
  • Williams v. State, 87-1599
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 13 Septiembre 1988
    ...trial court may base departure upon the egregious nature of the defendant's conduct in the perpetration of the offense. State v. McCall, 524 So.2d 663, 665 (Fla.1988); Hall v. State, 517 So.2d 692 (Fla.1988); McFadden v. State, 529 So.2d 351 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988); Washington v. State, The rec......
  • Small v. State, 94-1342
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 22 Septiembre 1995
    ...and heart muscle and sac surrounding the heart filled with blood ultimately causing his heart to fail and his death. In State v. McCall, 524 So.2d 663 (Fla.1988), the supreme court held in a first-degree murder case [A] trial court may validly depart from a recommended guidelines sentence w......
  • Jory v. State
    • United States
    • Florida District Court of Appeals
    • 3 Junio 1994
    ...court may depart from the sentencing guidelines when the conduct of a defendant is particularly egregious and heinous. In State v. McCall, 524 So.2d 663 (Fla.1988), a departure was upheld in a murder case when the evidence showed the defendant crushed the victim's head with repeated blows u......
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