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Squire v. State

Florida Court of Appeals, Fourth District

July 17, 2019

RODNEY SQUIRE, Appellant,
v.
STATE OF FLORIDA, Appellee.

         Not final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.

          Consolidated appeal from the Circuit Court for the Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County; Bernard I. Bober, Judge; L.T. Case Nos. 09019699CF10A and 17000688 CF10A.

          Carey Haughwout, Public Defender, and Benjamin Eisenberg, Assistant Public Defender, West Palm Beach, for appellant.

          Ashley Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, and Georgina Jiminez-Orosa, Assistant Attorney General, West Palm Beach, for appellee.

          Taylor, J.

         In Case Number 4D18-313, Rodney Squire appeals his convictions and sentences for attempted first-degree murder with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.[1] We affirm as to all issues except one. We find merit in appellant's argument that defense counsel was ineffective on the face of the record for failing to move for a judgment of acquittal on the issue of whether appellant's discharge of a firearm caused great bodily harm to the victim.

         The evidence at trial showed that appellant and his brother fired multiple shots at the victim. When appellant and his brother started shooting, the victim "took off and ran." The victim was shot twice in each leg.

         The victim's right leg suffered an "entry wound" and a "through and through" wound. One of the shots to the victim's left leg was a graze wound; the other resulted in a bullet being lodged near the victim's left ankle. The bullet near the victim's left ankle was surgically removed.

         During a search of the home where appellant and his brother lived, the police found three firearms: (1) a revolver; (2) a 40-caliber semiautomatic pistol; and (3) a 22-caliber semiautomatic pistol. A ballistics expert determined that the bullet recovered from the victim's leg had been fired by the revolver. Additionally, a shell casing found at the scene of the shooting had been fired by the 40-caliber semiautomatic pistol found in appellant's home.

         The major DNA profile on the revolver belonged to appellant's brother. Appellant's DNA could not be linked to any of the firearms found in his home.

         The jury found appellant guilty of attempted first-degree murder as charged in the information. The jury made specific findings that appellant actually possessed a firearm, actually discharged a firearm, and actually inflicted great bodily harm as a result of discharging the firearm. Following the second phase of trial, the jury also found appellant guilty of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

         On the attempted first-degree murder charge, the trial court sentenced appellant as a habitual felony offender to 25 years in prison followed by 10 years of probation, with a 25-year mandatory minimum sentence under the 10/20/Life statute. On the charge for possession of a firearm, the trial court sentenced appellant to a concurrent term of 25 years in prison, with a 10-year mandatory minimum sentence under the 10/20/Life statute. The trial court also revoked appellant's probation and imposed sentence in a different case. This consolidated appeal followed.

         On appeal, appellant argues that defense counsel was ineffective on the face of the record for failing to move for a judgment of acquittal on the 10/20/Life issue of whether appellant's discharge of a firearm caused great bodily harm to the victim. Although appellant concedes that there was sufficient evidence to support a finding that he actually possessed a firearm and discharged it, he contends that there was insufficient evidence to prove that his personal discharge of the firearm actually caused great bodily harm to the victim. We agree with appellant's argument.

         A de novo standard of review applies to claims of ineffective assistance of counsel raised on direct appeal. Curtis v. ...


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