final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit,
Broward County; Ilona M. Holmes, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Webb, Coral Gables, for appellant.
Jo Bondi, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Mitchell A.
Egber, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for
Vassor appeals his conviction and life sentence for
first-degree murder. The state prosecuted appellant for
first-degree murder on dual theories of premeditation and
felony murder, based on allegations that appellant was a
lookout during a residential burglary that resulted in the
shooting death of the homeowner, Nelson Heck. We affirm as to
all issues raised and write to address appellant's
argument that the trial court erred in giving jury
instructions on premeditation because there was insufficient
evidence to support a premeditation theory for first-degree
along with co-defendants Jaquan Jean-Baptiste and Rivky
Tamar, was charged by indictment with first-degree murder for
killing Heck. The state alleged that the defendants acted
"with a premeditated intent to cause the death of Nelson
Heck and/or Nelson Heck's death occurred as a consequence
of and while [the defendants] were engaged in the commission,
or attempted commission of a burglary . . . ."
evidence at trial established the following facts. On the
evening of November 15, 2011, the victim's neighbor,
James Keefe, was home when he heard sounds like gunshots
nearby. He walked outside to his driveway, saw a car drive
by, and then noticed the victim's front door wide open
with the foyer light on. When Keefe walked over to the
victim's house, he saw the victim lying face up in a pool
of blood on the floor of the foyer. He contacted the Fort
their investigation, the police learned that another neighbor
had a surveillance system installed outside his residence in
an apartment complex less than a quarter mile from the
victim's house. The neighbor informed the police that he
recorded a video around the time of the incident. The
surveillance video showed two cars pull into the
complex's parking lot. The video showed two men getting
out of one car and entering the other car. At one point, the
interior light in one of the cars was illuminated, and the
neighbor saw the driver putting on gloves. The two cars then
left the area. Less than five minutes later, the video
captured the sound of gunshots.
Erik Good watched the video multiple times, noting the
physical characteristics and clothing of one occupant, later
identified as appellant, who was wearing Adidas shorts.
Officer Good also observed on the video a Ford Taurus or
Fusion and a dark-colored, two-door Nissan Altima.
Good patrolled the area in search of the vehicles and
occupants he had seen on the surveillance tape. About ninety
minutes after the initial call to police, and about five
miles from the victim's house, Officer Good stopped a
two-door, black Nissan Altima. The driver, appellant, matched
the description of the man wearing Adidas shorts in the
video. The officer handcuffed appellant and transported him
to the police station.
station, officers took appellant's belongings, including
his cellphone, and placed him in an interview room. One
officer noticed that someone named "Gator Tom" was
repeatedly calling appellant's phone, so the officer
wrote down the caller's name and phone number. The phone
was returned to appellant before his release from jail, and
the police used both video and audio surveillance to monitor
the calls he made while he was alone in the interview room.
next day, the police located the Ford Taurus. Christopher
Zetrenne's sister told the police that her brother had
rented the car, which he had cleaned earlier that day.
Zetrenne went to the police station, where detectives showed
him photos from the surveillance video. Zetrenne admitted
that he was the driver of the Ford and that appellant drove
the Altima. Zetrenne denied being involved in the burglary
and murder and said they were only there to smoke marijuana.
The police released him. Zetrenne later pled to accessory
after the fact and received probation.
obtaining search warrants, the police searched the Ford and
the Altima, finding the victim's blood inside both cars.
Through cell tower data, the police obtained records showing
numerous calls between appellant, Jean-Baptiste, Zetrenne,
and "Gator Tom"-later identified as Tamar-on the
day before the burglary and homicide. The records further
showed that on the day of the burglary and homicide, there
were more than forty calls between appellant and Zetrenne,
and more than twenty calls between appellant and Tamar. On