Thompson v. State, 66224

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Writing for the CourtPER CURIAM; McDONALD, C.J., and ADKINS; BOYD; BOYD
Citation494 So.2d 203,11 Fla. L. Weekly 485
Parties11 Fla. L. Weekly 485 Patrick James THOMPSON, Appellant, v. STATE of Florida, Appellee.
Docket NumberNo. 66224,66224
Decision Date18 September 1986

Page 203

494 So.2d 203
11 Fla. L. Weekly 485
Patrick James THOMPSON, Appellant,
STATE of Florida, Appellee.
No. 66224.
Supreme Court of Florida.
Sept. 18, 1986.

Max Rudmann of Martin Zevin, P.A., Boca Raton, and Robert P. Kundinger, Pompano Beach, for appellant.

Jim Smith, Atty. Gen., and Robert S. Jaegers, Asst. Atty. Gen., West Palm Beach, for appellee.


Patrick James Thompson appeals his conviction for first-degree murder and his sentence of death after a jury recommendation of life imprisonment. We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(1), Fla. Const. We reverse his conviction and death sentence and remand for a new trial because of improperly admitted evidence concerning a collateral crime committed by Thompson.

The record reflects that on the morning of January 21, 1983, the body of a 29-year-old woman was discovered inside a Panasonic stereo box in a dumpster behind the Stadium Pub in Fort Lauderdale. The victim had been strangled to death, and her body was extensively bruised. Lacerations on her hands indicated that she had resisted her attacker. She was clothed and wearing jewelry; however, her jeans were partially unzipped. A vaginal swab revealed the presence of sperm, but the victim's vagina showed no signs of trauma.

The victim's boyfriend testified that he initially met her in a lounge approximately one month before the murder, that he and the victim had sex on the night of January 19, and that he last saw the victim at approximately 6:00 p.m. on January 20. At that time the victim informed him that she was going to her uncle's house to pick up some personal items and would return later that evening. She left in his Cadillac which was found the next day stuck in the sand near the St. Helen's Church parking lot. The boyfriend also testified that the victim had been expecting to see her former boyfriend, and that she was planning to tell her former boyfriend that she no longer wanted to see him. No evidence was introduced to show that Thompson was the former boyfriend or had ever known the victim.

Page 204

Thompson was arrested for the victim's murder approximately one year after the body was discovered. The arresting detective testified that the warrant was issued when he found that the appellant's fingerprint matched a print taken from the Panasonic box containing the victim's body and that appellant lived two blocks from St. Helen's Church. At the time of his arrest, Thompson told the detective that he had no knowledge of the murder, that he had thrown two Panasonic speaker boxes into the dumpster at his apartment complex in late December or early January, and that he had not been to the Stadium Pub.

Conflicting testimony was introduced concerning Thompson's presence at the scene. One witness testified that he helped a man struggling to put a box into the dumpster, but that Thompson was positively not that man. Another witness claimed to have seen Thompson and the victim standing near the Cadillac stuck in the sand.

Over appellant's objection, the state introduced evidence of a collateral crime committed by appellant two years prior to this offense. The victim of the collateral crime testified that Thompson had abducted her at approximately 11:00 p.m., by accosting her, threatening...

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21 cases
  • Kight v. State, 65749
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • 9 July 1987 more than a "mere general similarity" between the facts of the McGoogin robbery and the Butler murder. Compare Thompson v. State, 494 So.2d 203 (Fla.1986); Peek v. State, 488 So.2d 52 (Fla.1986); Drake v. State, 400 So.2d 1217 (Fla.1981). The details of the two offenses are strikingly si......
  • Beasley v. State, 85-1859
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 12 March 1987 testify because the location, times, acts, and method employed on both girls were substantially the same. See Thompson v. State, 494 So.2d 203 (Fla.1986); Heuring v. State, 495 So.2d 893 (Fla. 1st DCA 1986). The similar fact evidence was relevant to show appellant had the opportunity to ......
  • Gray v. State, 91-3457
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 1 August 1994
    ...fact evidence does not meet the strikingly similar requirement found in Feller v. State, 637 So.2d 911 (Fla.1994), Thompson v. State, 494 So.2d 203 (Fla.1986), and Drake v. State, 400 So.2d 1217 (Fla.1981), cert. denied, 466 U.S. 978, 104 S.Ct. 2361, 80 L.Ed.2d 832 (1984), and goes only to ......
  • Padgett v. State, 88-1786
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • 9 November 1989 recede from the Williams proscription against propensity evidence in sexual abuse cases. See, e.g., Heuring; Thompson v. State, 494 So.2d 203 (Fla.1986); Peek v. State, 488 So.2d 52 (Fla.1986). 4 If a victim's testimony in regard to prior sexual assaults is not admissible for purposes of......
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