FINAL UNTIL TIME EXPIRES TO FILE REHEARING MOTION AND, IF
Appeal from the Circuit Court in and for Hillsborough County,
Michelle Sisco, Judge - Case No. 291998CF017084000AHC
Vincent Viggiano, Jr., Capital Collateral Regional Counsel,
Ann Marie Mirialakis and Ali A. Shakoor, Assistant Capital
Collateral Regional Counsel, Middle Region, Temple Terrace,
Florida, for Appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, Florida, and Scott
A. Browne, Senior Assistant Attorney General, Tampa, Florida,
Seth Crain, Jr., appeals the postconviction court's
denial of his successive motion for postconviction relief. We
have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(1), Fla. Const.
Crain's motion sought relief based on the United States
Supreme Court's decision in Hurst v. Florida,
136 S.Ct. 616 (2016), and this Court's opinions in
Hurst v. State (Hurst), 202 So.3d 40 (Fla.
2016), cert. denied, 137 S.Ct. 2161 (2017), and
Perry v. State, 210 So.3d 630 (Fla. 2016). For the
reasons fully explained below, we affirm the postconviction
court's denial of relief.
1999, a jury convicted Crain of first-degree murder and
kidnapping with intent to commit or facilitate the commission
of a homicide. Crain v. State, 894 So.2d 59, 62
(Fla. 2004), cert. denied, 546 U.S. 829 (2005). On
direct appeal, this Court explained the facts underlying
Willie Seth Crain, a then fifty-two-year-old Hillsborough
County fisherman and crabber, was charged with the September
1998 kidnapping and first-degree murder of seven-year-old
Amanda Brown. At the time, Amanda was three feet, ten inches
tall and weighed approximately forty-five pounds. . . . .
[On the night of the crimes, ] Crain mentioned that he had a
large videotape collection and invited [the victim's
mother, ] Hartman and Amanda to his trailer to watch a movie.
Amanda asked if he had "Titanic, " which she stated
was her favorite movie. Crain stated that he did have
"Titanic" and Amanda pleaded with her mother to
allow them to watch the movie. Hartman was initially
reluctant because it was a school night, but she finally
agreed. Crain drove Hartman and Amanda approximately one mile
to his trailer in his white pickup truck.
At [one] point in the evening, Hartman asked Crain if he had
any medication for pain. Crain offered her Elavil and Valium.
. . . Hartman elected to take five, five-milligram Valium
tablets. Crain took one Valium tablet.
Eventually, Hartman decided that it was time to leave. Crain
drove Hartman and Amanda back to their residence and
accompanied them inside. . . .
According to Hartman, she told Crain, who appeared to be
intoxicated at that time, that he could lie down and sober up
but she was going to bed. The time was approximately 2:30
a.m. Within five minutes of Hartman going to bed, Crain
entered Hartman's bedroom and lay down on the bed with
Hartman and Amanda. Hartman testified that she neither
invited Crain to lie in her bed nor asked him to leave. Crain
was fully clothed and Amanda was wearing a nightgown. Amanda
was lying between Hartman and Crain.
Penny Probst, a neighbor of Hartman, testified that at
approximately 12 midnight on September 10-11, 1998, she saw a
white truck parked immediately behind Hartman's car in
Hartman's driveway. In the early morning hours of
September 11, Probst observed the truck parked at the side of
Hartman's residence with lights on and ...