final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
from the Circuit Court for the Fifteenth Judicial Circuit,
Palm Beach County; Glenn Kelley, Judge; L.T. Case No.
Haughwout, Public Defender, and Timothy Wang, Assistant
Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.
B. Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Alexandra A.
Folley, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for
Lewis Franklin, appeals his convictions and ten-year sentence
for fleeing or attempting to elude causing serious bodily
injury; leaving the scene of a crash involving serious bodily
injury; resisting an officer without violence; leaving the
scene of a crash involving property damage; and driving while
license suspended. We write only to address Appellant's
challenge to Florida Standard Jury Instruction (Criminal)
3.6(k)6., as applied to his affirmative defense of duress. On
that argument and all others raised, we affirm.
State presented the following evidence at trial. A Riviera
Beach police officer saw Appellant's vehicle fail to come
to a complete stop at a stop sign. The officer activated her
lights and siren, and the vehicle pulled over but did not
stop; it then returned to the road. A pursuit ensued, during
which Appellant's car reached 70 miles per hour
("mph") in a 25 mph speed zone. Appellant drove
through five stop signs until "t-boning" another
car in an intersection and then veering off the road and
crashing into a Popeye's restaurant.
after the crash, Appellant climbed out of the driver's
side window and ran across the street, running into a police
car as he fled. Appellant kept running away from the accident
scene as uniformed officers told him to stop. Appellant did
not stop until an officer "tased" him. The driver
of the car that was hit by Appellant's vehicle was
transported away in a coma. He sustained a traumatic brain
injury and is now disabled.
State's theory of the case was that Appellant fled
because he was on probation and driving on a suspended
license. Appellant's theory of defense was that he acted
out of duress. He testified that his front seat passenger,
who he knew only as "Black," compelled him to flee
at gunpoint. He claimed to have fled the scene after the
crash because Black was still pointing a gun at him.
son, the son's fiancée, and another woman were in
the backseat. The fiancée testified that Black said he
had guns, but admitted she failed to so inform the police
when questioned after the crash. The State submitted police
dash-cam video which shows that the backseat passengers were
much slower to exit the SUV than Appellant and they did not
flee. An individual matching Appellant's description of
Black was seen running from Appellant's vehicle. He was
never located by police.
the charge conference, defense counsel affirmatively agreed
to the standard jury instruction on duress, requesting only
one additional sentence (italicized below). The trial court
so instructed the jury on duress as follows:
An issue in this case is whether LEWIS DARREN FRANKLIN acted
out of duress in committing the crimes of Fleeing or
Attempting to Elude (Serious Injury or Death) and/or Leaving
the Scene of a Crash Involving Serious Bodily Injury and/or
Resisting Officer Without Violence and/or Leaving the Scene
of a Crash with Damage.
It is a defense to the crimes charged if the defendant acted
out of duress. The defense of duress should be considered
for each of these charged crimes independently. In order
to find the defendant committed the charged crimes out ...