final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Alberto
Milian, Judge. Lower Tribunal No. 14-11822
J. Martinez, Public Defender, and Robert Kalter, Assistant
Public Defender, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Marlon J. Weiss, Assistant
Attorney General, for appellee.
EMAS, LOGUE and LUCK, JJ.
Garrard Burton murdered Carlos Figueroa during a botched
robbery. A jury convicted Burton of first degree murder, and
he was sentenced to a mandatory term of life in prison.
Burton appeals the trial court's decision to admit a
video recording of his confession where he was wearing jail
clothes and handcuffs. Because the trial court did not abuse
its discretion in finding that the unfair prejudice of the
jury seeing Burton in jail clothes and handcuffs did not
substantially outweigh the probative value of the video
confession, we affirm.
Background and Procedural History
murder. On the morning of November 6, 2002, Carlos
Figueroa was sitting outside his apartment with his son and
another man, Antonio Carrero, drinking coffee, when a car
pulled up. There were two people in the car - a driver and
his passenger. The passenger got out of the car and asked the
three men drinking coffee for directions. They gave the
passenger directions and the car went on its way.
returned a few minutes later. This time, the passenger got
out of the car holding a gun and yelled to the three men,
"don't move." The passenger pointed the gun at
Figueroa. Figueroa had trouble getting his wallet out of his
pocket, so the passenger hit Figueroa on the head with the
firearm three times. The passenger then pointed the gun at
Figueroa's son when, suddenly, Carrero ran away. The
passenger fired three shots at the fleeing Carrero, but they
passenger then turned to Figueroa and shot him in the
stomach. After this last shot, Figueroa's son struggled
with the passenger for the gun. The passenger grabbed the
son's wallet and cellular telephone, left the gun, and
ran for the car, which drove away.
died six weeks later from the gunshot wound to his stomach.
For over a decade, the passenger was not identified and the
case was cold.
cold case investigation. In 2013, detectives with the
Miami-Dade police department had the fingerprint examiner
resubmit a latent fingerprint that had been found at the
crime scene to the national database to see if there was a
match. This time there was - to Burton. The Miami-Dade
detectives met with Figueroa's son to conduct a
photograph lineup. The son identified Burton as the
then, Burton was serving a prison sentence in Pennsylvania.
The Miami-Dade detectives flew to Pennsylvania to meet with
Burton. Burton was willing to talk, waived his
Miranda rights, and gave a video recorded
statement. Burton told the detectives that his friend, George
Covington, picked him up in a stolen car and the two drove to
Figueroa's apartment. Covington got out of the car
holding a gun and Burton followed. Burton explained that
there was a physical altercation between Covington and the
other men. Covington asked Figueroa for ...