FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND
DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED
appeal from the Circuit Court for Columbia County. Leandra G.
Thomas, Public Defender, and Pamela D. Presnell, Assistant
Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Quentin Humphrey, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
raises four issues in this direct appeal from his conviction
and sentence for first-degree murder, burglary of a dwelling,
and grand theft auto. We affirm in all respects and write
only to address Lindsey's argument that the trial court
abused its discretion by denying his pretrial motion to sever
the burglary charge from the murder and theft charges.
Because there was a meaningful relationship between all of
the charges, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in
trying them together. Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure
3.150(a) provides that "[t]wo or more offenses . . . may
be charged in the same indictment" when the offenses
"are based on the same act or transaction or on [two] or
more connected acts or transactions." Fla. R. Crim. P.
3.150(a). If the indictments involve "related
offenses"-i.e. "if they are triable in the same
court and are based on the same act or transaction or on
[two] or more connected acts or transactions"-they
"shall be consolidated for trial on timely
motion by a defendant or by the state." Fla. R. Crim. P.
3.151(a)-(b) (emphasis added).
must be a 'meaningful relationship' between or among
the charges before they can be tried together." Lugo
v. State, 845 So.2d 74, 93 (Fla. 2003) (citation
omitted). Practically speaking, a meaningful relationship
requires that "'the crimes in question must be
linked in some significant way.'" Id.
(citation omitted); see also Fletcher v. State, 168
So.3d 186, 202 (Fla. 2015). The state can establish the
necessary connection by demonstrating (1) an uninterrupted
crime spree or (2) a causal link irrespective of the passage
of time. Ellis v. State, 622 So.2d 991, 1000 (Fla.
1993). In determining whether crimes are connected,
"[c]ourts may consider whether the acts or transactions
are temporally or geographically associated, the nature of
the crimes, and the manner in which they are committed."
Fletcher, 168 So.3d at 202. "[E]ven where there
is a significant lapse of time, if there is a causal link-one
crime is used to induce the other-then consolidation is
it may be difficult to determine whether separate crimes are
factually related, the abuse of discretion standard applies
to our review of a decision to consolidate or sever charges.
Crossley v. State, 596 So.2d 447, 450 (Fla. 1992)
("We recognize that sometimes it is difficult to decide
whether two separate crimes are related. For this reason, we
have held that the standard of review for cases involving the
consolidation or severance of charges is one of abuse of
Lindsey claims that the trial court abused its discretion in
denying his pretrial motion to sever the burglary charge
because the alleged burglary occurred three days after the
murder and the theft and involved an unrelated residence and
an unconnected victim. However, contrary to Lindsey's
assertion, there was a meaningful relationship between the
burglary, the murder, and the grand theft charges because (1)
Lindsey was hiding in the burglarized residence to evade
arrest for the murder and the grand theft charges; (2) bloody
clothing worn by Lindsey on the night of the murder and theft
was found inside the residence; (3) the stolen vehicle was
found six-tenths of a mile from the burglarized residence;
and (4) defense counsel conceded that the state could elicit
testimony that the investigation took law enforcement to the
residence, that they saw signs of forced entry, that law
enforcement made contact with Lindsey inside the residence,
and that they recovered evidence from the residence.
Moreover, even though Lindsey argues that he was prejudiced
by the presentation of the burglary charge to the jury,
"some prejudice exists during any trial in which
multiple offenses are tried together, " and, as
recognized by the Florida Supreme Court, "this
'garden variety' [of] prejudice is not sufficient to
justify [a] severance." Fletcher, 168 So.3d at
203 (citation omitted).
these circumstances, the trial court did not abuse its
discretion by denying Lindsey's motion to sever. See
id. ("After the murder, Fletcher stole her vehicle
in a continued effort to avoid re-arrest. . . . The crimes
were causally connected, and each crime committed subsequent
to the escape cannot be fully understood without this
context. These events were all part of a single and
uninterrupted criminal spree, and occurred within a close
temporal and geographic proximity. Accordingly, the crimes
have a meaningful relationship, are linked in a significant
way, and were properly consolidated."); Fotopoulos
v. State, 608 So.2d 784, 790 (Fla. 1992) (holding that
the defendant's motion for severance was properly denied
where the charges of first-degree murder, attempted
first-degree murder, solicitation to commit first-degree
murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, and
burglary of a dwelling were clearly connected in an episodic
sense and, even if there had been separate trials, evidence
of each offense would have been admissible at trial of the
other to show a common scheme and motive as well as the
entire context out of which the criminal action occurred);
Cousin v. State, 859 So.2d 577, 579 (Fla. 5th DCA
2003) (holding that a sufficient causal link existed between
the charges of carjacking, aggravated assault, attempted
felony murder, and burglary of a dwelling where the first set
of crimes gave the defendant a reason to flee and a motive
for entering second victim's house either to hide or lie
in wait for a resident to return with a vehicle and the
evidence of the first set of crimes would have been
admissible in the trial on the second set of crimes).
ROBERTS, C.J., and ...