Williams v. State, SC16-2170

CourtUnited States State Supreme Court of Florida
Citation261 So.3d 1248
Docket NumberNo. SC16-2170,SC16-2170
Parties Malik Jimer WILLIAMS, Petitioner, v. STATE of Florida, Respondent.
Decision Date04 January 2019

261 So.3d 1248

Malik Jimer WILLIAMS, Petitioner,
STATE of Florida, Respondent.

No. SC16-2170

Supreme Court of Florida.

January 4, 2019

Christopher E. Cosden, Fort Myers, Florida, for Petitioner

Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, C. Suzanne Bechard, Bureau Chief, and Elba Caridad Martin, Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, Florida, for Respondent


Malik Jimer Williams seeks review of the decision of the Second District Court of Appeal in Williams v. State , 203 So.3d 1020 (Fla. 2d DCA 2016), on the ground that it expressly and directly conflicts with decisions of this Court on questions of law. We have jurisdiction. See art. V, § 3(b)(3), Fla. Const. For the following reasons, we approve in part and quash in part the decision of the Second District and remand with instructions to remand to the trial court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.


On the night of February 15, 2013, Williams and his cousin, Kito Felton, were riding Williams' bicycle home from a friend's house on 23rd Avenue in Tampa, Florida. Williams pedaled and Felton rode on the handlebars. Williams and Felton rode down 23rd Avenue, made a right on 34th Street, made a left on 22nd Avenue, made a right onto 37th Street and then made a left onto 21st Avenue heading towards 40th Street near where Williams resided with his brother at 46th and Sand Dune.

Also in the vicinity were Reginald Johnson and John Edward Brown, III. Johnson and Brown were leaving the residence of Rosa Santos on their "Big Ripper" bicycles

261 So.3d 1251

to go to Johnson's residence on 35th Street to prepare for a birthday party. Johnson stated that he would typically take 26th Avenue to cross 50th Street to get to 49th Avenue and 26th Street, where he would turn until he got to 21st Avenue and continue on 21st until he got to 35th Street. Johnson and Brown were heading west on 21st and stopped on Arrow, which was before 40th, still heading towards Johnson's mother's house. After stopping at Arrow to speak to Venda Hayward, Johnson and Brown went back the way they came. Johnson testified that he and Brown were "thinking about going to Shells" and that they wanted to go to that particular store rather than one closer to his mother's house "[b]ecause Shell is like a neighborhood store."

Williams testified that he saw Johnson and Brown at the intersection of 21st and 40th heading the opposite direction. He did not previously know Brown, but did know Johnson from middle school. Williams testified that Johnson asked them if they were straight and that he replied he did not want any problems. Williams testified that he knew they were from Grant Park and that Grant Park and his own neighborhood, Jackson Heights, do not get along. Williams told Felton to prepare to fight and "we fitting to get our ass whooped." Williams then testified that he saw Johnson and Brown turn their bikes around and that, eventually, Johnson maneuvered to cut Williams off and that Brown was behind him with a gun in his right hand in his lap.

Williams testified that, at this point, he slammed his brakes and jumped off his bike in an attempt to either run away or fight and that his maneuver caused Brown to fall off of his bike. Johnson testified that, after turning and returning eastbound and passing Williams and Felton, all the boys except Johnson fell off their bikes. Williams testified that Brown flipped over his handle bars and dropped the gun in front of the bicycle, that both he and Brown reached for the gun, that he was able to pick it up before Brown, and then they fought over it. All the testimony agrees, and video evidence corroborates, that however three of the boys ended up off their bikes, Johnson dismounted, ran back, and joined the altercation. Both Williams and Johnson testified that Johnson took Felton near the Hartline gate while Williams and Brown stayed in a relatively static location.

During the course of the altercation, Williams shot Brown twice—once in the head and once in the chest. Williams then turned and shot Johnson, who received one gun shot in his hand. Williams and Felton then fled, Felton taking Brown's bicycle and Williams on his own bicycle.

Williams testified that when he arrived at his brother's, his brother took him to their mother's house who then encouraged Williams to talk to the police.

The jury found Williams guilty of first-degree premeditated murder for the death of Brown. The jury did not convict Williams of robbery but did find that he was guilty of the lesser included offense of theft.

On direct appeal to the Second District Court of Appeal, the district court first issued a per curiam affirmance (PCA). Then, after the court denied Williams' motion to stay mandate and motion for reconsideration, on its own motion the court withdrew the PCA and substituted a written opinion. The court dispensed with Williams' claims on appeal in one sentence: "[Williams] raises two issues in this appeal, neither of which require reversal." Williams , 203 So.3d at 1021. The district court then explained that Williams' sentence for first-degree murder did not violate

261 So.3d 1252

Miller v. Alabama , 567 U.S. 460, 132 S.Ct. 2455, 183 L.Ed.2d 407 (2012), and that his sentence for the attempted first-degree murder did not violate Graham v. Florida , 560 U.S. 48, 130 S.Ct. 2011, 176 L.Ed.2d 825 (2010). The district court therefore affirmed Williams' convictions and sentences.


In his first issue on appeal, Williams argues that the trial court erred in denying his motion for judgment of acquittal. The Second District did not discuss the merits of this issue but we nevertheless address it here.

We review the denial of a motion for judgment of acquittal de novo; however, all evidence and inferences therefrom are viewed in a light most favorable to the State. McDuffie v....

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8 cases
  • Mace v. M&T Bank, Case No. 2D16-3381
    • United States
    • Court of Appeal of Florida (US)
    • March 25, 2020
    ...Meus, 499 So. 2d a 841 (citing 2 Charles Alan Wright, Federal Practice and Procedure § 461 (2d ed. 1982) ); compare Williams v. State, 261 So. 3d 1248, 1252 (Fla. 2019) ("A defendant who moves for a judgment of acquittal admits the facts in evidence and every conclusion favorable to the Sta......
  • Reese v. State, SC18-815
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • January 4, 2019
    ..., 536 U.S. 584, 122 S.Ct. 2428, 153 L.Ed.2d 556 (2002), as the cutoff for Hurst retroactivity results in unconstitutional arbitrariness. 261 So.3d 1248See Hitchcock , 226 So.3d at 220-21 (Pariente, J., dissenting); Asay V , 210 So.3d at 32-36 (Pariente, J., concurring in part and dissenting......
  • Pedroza v. State, SC18-964
    • United States
    • United States State Supreme Court of Florida
    • March 12, 2020
    ...267 So. 3d at 471-72. The remaining case on which Pedroza relies to establish the validity of the dicta in Kelsey is Williams v. State , 261 So. 3d 1248 (Fla. 2019). Although Williams was published and yielded a majority vote on the sentencing issue, that issue was expressly and exclusively......
  • McCullen v. Sec'y, Dep't of Corr., Case No. 8:16-cv-2092-T-02JSS
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 11th Circuit. United States District Court of Middle District of Florida
    • July 12, 2019
    ...pp. 486-89). This Court assumes that Mr. McCullen's testimony established a prima facie showing of self-defense. See Williams v. State, 261 So.3d 1248, 1252 (Fla. 2019) ("In order to establish a prima facie case of self-defense, a defendant must show that he (1) was attacked in a place wher......
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