FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE MOTION FOR REHEARING AND
DISPOSITION THEREOF IF FILED
appeal from the Circuit Court for Okaloosa County. Michael
Moore, The Moore Law Office, Crestview, for Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Tayo Popoola, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Cheri Parker appeals, on multiple grounds, her conviction for
aggravated battery with great bodily harm and with a weapon.
Of her claims, we write to address only the assertion that
the trial court committed reversible error in failing to
conduct an adequate Richardson hearing. See
Richardson v. State, 246 So.2d 771 (Fla. 1971). On this
point, we agree with Nicole Parker, and reverse and remand
for a new trial.
Parker's conviction is related to an incident that took
place at the residence of Candice Day. Nicole Parker was
convicted of cutting the throat of Wade Parker (her estranged
husband) during an altercation between Wade Parker and
another acquaintance, Donald Jesperson. Testimony from
eyewitnesses established that while Wade Parker was in a
fighting hold with Jesperson, Nicole Parker jumped on Wade
Parker's back. Subsequently, Wade Parker's throat was
cut with a knife. Conflicting testimony was presented at
trial as to who committed the offense.
Day testified at trial, that during the fight, Nicole Parker
came running into her bedroom, grabbed a knife, and ran out.
She also testified that Nicole Parker came back in the room
shortly after and said, "Candice, I swear to God I
didn't cut [Wade]." Day's trial testimony was
significantly different from the statement she gave to police
immediately following the incident. During cross-examination,
defense counsel established that Day's sworn statement to
the police did not include any mention of Nicole Parker
grabbing a knife from the bedroom, nor did it include the
statement upon re-entering the bedroom. Day confirmed that
her prior sworn statement did not allege these facts. She
emphasized the State became aware of the additional facts
during a pre-trial meeting. She testified:
I know what it says. And I talked to Ms. Torres (prosecutor)
about it. I was under the impression that I was going to be
questioned by investigators, like they did everybody else.
And at that point I was scared because she had not been
found. And it's better for me to tell my statement than
State did not notify defense counsel prior to trial of the
expected changes to Day's testimony.
cross-examination of Day, defense counsel timely objected and
argued the State committed a discovery violation by not
advising of the change in Day's testimony prior to trial.
In response, the trial court focused on whether Day had
recanted anything in her original statement or had merely
added to it at trial. Finding Day merely supplemented her
earlier testimony, the trial court denied defense
counsel's objection without further explanation or
notice of a potential discovery violation, the trial court
initiates the Richardson inquiry as follows: 1) the
court must determine whether a discovery rule has been
violated; and 2) if the court finds a violation, it must
assess whether the violation was inadvertent or willful,
trivial or substantial, and whether it has prejudiced the
opposing party's ability to prepare for trial.
Johnson v. State, 25 So.3d 662, 665 (Fla. 1st DCA
2010); Richardson, 246 So.2d at 775.
present case, defense counsel placed the trial court on
notice that a possible discovery violation had occurred,
which triggered a Richardson inquiry. Following a
brief discussion, the trial court denied defense
counsel's objection to Day's testimony. The trial
court did not address step two of the Richardson
analysis; thus, presumptively finding that the State did not
commit a discovery violation. "Where a trial court rules
that no discovery violation occurred, the reviewing ...