Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Rivet v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, First District

July 25, 2018

Nicholas Rivet, Appellant,
v.
State of Florida, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.

          On appeal from the Circuit Court for Duval County. Tatiana Salvador, Judge.

          Christopher E. Cosden, Fort Myers, for Appellant.

          Pamela Jo Bondi, Attorney General, and Samuel B. Steinberg, Assistant Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.

          PER CURIAM.

         Eddie Robb had just turned two when he was beaten to death. The police investigation immediately focused on the two adults home at the time of beating: Brandi Robb (the child's mother) and Nicholas Rivet (Brandi Robb's boyfriend). The three-mother, child, and Rivet-had lived together near Naval Station Mayport at the time of the beating.

         Suspicious of the mother, police asked Rivet to meet with her while wearing a wire and later to call her on a recorded line. Suspicious of Rivet, police also asked the mother to call Rivet on a recorded line. For a while, the investigation turned up no obvious answers. Indeed, more than three years passed with no arrest.

         The State eventually charged Rivet with second-degree murder. At his trial, the mother testified against Rivet, and Rivet's defense pointed back to the mother. Lawyers for both sides acknowledged that the death was a homicide and that it had to be either Rivet or the mother. The jury decided it was Rivet, convicting him as charged, and the court imposed a life sentence. Rivet now appeals.

         I.

         Many of the pertinent facts were essentially undisputed. Brandi Robb had two children, Eddie and Logan. After Robb separated from her husband, she and the children struggled financially, frequently staying with Robb's mother or others. For several weeks before Eddie's death, Robb and her children stayed with Rivet. Rivet, too, had recently separated from his spouse, and he needed help looking after his two children. Robb was not working, so she was able to watch all the children while Rivet, on active duty with the United States Navy, worked in port on the U.S.S. Simpson. Robb's car had been repossessed, so she drove Rivet's car to run errands and take Rivet to and from work.

         Rivet and Robb became romantically involved, but they kept it a secret. They were both going through divorces and dealing with child custody issues, and knowledge of their relationship could have complicated things. Plus, Rivet could have faced discipline from the Navy, which forbade adultery. So although they lived together as boyfriend and girlfriend, they told others the relationship was more like a single dad and a live-in babysitter.

         On January 25, 2010, Robb drove with the children to pick Rivet up from work. They returned home around 8:00 p.m., and Robb put Eddie to bed around 8:30. Robb and Rivet were together downstairs until after 9:00, when Rivet went upstairs to make sure the children were sleeping. When Rivet did not come down right away, Robb went upstairs as well. From outside Eddie's room, Robb heard Rivet telling Eddie to go to sleep. When Rivet left the room, he and Robb went back downstairs. After watching television for a while, the two decided to go to bed. Robb went to their bedroom while Rivet went to check on the children again.

         When Rivet reentered the children's room, it looked to him like Eddie was having a seizure. He immediately called for Robb, who called 911. Paramedics came, and Eddie was life-flighted to a pediatric trauma center. He died there days later.

         According to experts who testified at trial, Eddie suffered numerous injuries to his head and eyes, including a serious, fatal head injury. The overall injuries were so severe, the experts agreed, that they were certainly not caused by an accidental fall or anything similar. There was also expert testimony that immediately after the fatal trauma, it would have been obvious to anyone that Eddie was symptomatic, as he would have had an immediate altered level of consciousness and been unable to communicate normally. As one ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.