final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,
Broward County; Martin J. Bidwill, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Emily Ross-Booker, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Rachael Kaiman,
Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.
Richard Taffe, appeals the trial court's order revoking
his probation and sentencing him to fifteen years as a
Habitual Felony Offender. Appellant argues that this Court
should reverse because: 1) the evidence was insufficient to
support the trial court's finding that Appellant violated
his probation by committing the offense of witness tampering,
and 2) one of the offenses for which the trial court found
Appellant in violation, armed kidnapping, was not alleged in
the charging affidavit. We affirm the revocation of
Appellant's probation but remand for modification of the
order to remove the armed kidnapping finding as discussed
pleaded no contest to one count of felon in possession of a
firearm and was sentenced to three years of probation. As a
condition of his probation, Appellant was required to live
without violating the law. While on probation, Appellant was
arrested and charged with several offenses stemming from an
armed robbery and kidnapping. Based on the foregoing, the
State filed an Affidavit of Violation of Probation (VOP)
which alleged that Appellant violated his probation by
committing the new law offenses of: robbery with a firearm,
aggravated assault with a firearm, armed false imprisonment,
felony battery, burglary of a conveyance, grand theft, and
VOP hearing, the State's evidence established that
Appellant and two other men set up a bogus electronics
transaction with a cellular phone store owner and, during the
process, kidnapped and held the victim at gunpoint. While
holding the victim hostage in a car, Appellant and one of his
co-defendants discussed what they should do with the victim.
Appellant stated that they should kill the victim to keep him
from talking to the police. The co-defendant objected and
told the victim that they would let him live, but threatened
that they would kill the victim and his family if he ever
spoke to the police. The co-defendant then took the
victim's driver's license from his wallet before
shoving the victim out of the car and onto the side of a
the foregoing evidence, the court revoked Appellant's
probation, finding that he committed all of the new law
violations alleged in the State's affidavit of VOP as
well as the offense of armed kidnapping.
The Witness Tampering Finding
appeal, Appellant argues that the court erred in finding that
he violated his probation by committing the offense of
witness tampering. Section 914.22 provides, in pertinent
part, that a person commits the crime of witness tampering
when that person:
(1) [K]nowingly uses intimidation or physical force, or
threatens another person, or attempts to do so, or engages in
misleading conduct toward another person, or offers pecuniary
benefit or gain to another ...