final until disposition of any timely and authorized motion
under Fla. R. App. P. 9.330 or 9.331.
appeal from the Circuit Court for Duval County. James Daniel,
Thomas, Public Defender, and Maria Ines Suber, Assistant
Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and Anne C. Conley, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Appellant, Quintae Davouris Hudson, was in jail awaiting
trial on a charge of shooting or throwing a deadly missile
into a vehicle, an eyewitness to the crime gave deposition
testimony identifying Hudson as the perpetrator. After the
deposition, but before trial, the eyewitness was shot and
State subsequently charged Hudson with first degree murder as
a principal, conspiracy to commit first degree murder, four
counts of witness tampering, and directing the activities of
a criminal gang, all in addition to the original charge of
shooting or throwing a deadly missile into a vehicle. The
jury convicted Hudson as charged, less one count of witness
tampering that was dismissed by the State, and the court
sentenced him accordingly.
now challenges his convictions, raising four issues. The
first concerns the trial court's denial of his motion for
judgment of acquittal on the first degree murder charge on
the basis that there was insufficient evidence to establish
that he aided and abetted the actual perpetrator of the
crime. The remaining issues address the trial court's
rejection of Hudson's hearsay objections to certain
witness statements. We affirm as to the hearsay issues
without additional comment. For the reasons explained below,
we also affirm the conviction.
investigation into the victim's murder revealed the
significance of his testimony in the underlying
missile-throwing case against Hudson. The State's theory
of the case on the murder charge was that Hudson arranged for
the victim's death by soliciting and assisting his fellow
gang members to prevent the victim from testifying. The State
established this through jailhouse phone recordings and
recording transcripts (the source of the hearsay objections),
phone records, and testimony from two of Hudson's
girlfriends and other witnesses (including investigators and
law enforcement gang experts).
close of the State's case, Hudson moved for a judgment of
acquittal "based on the State's failure to prove a
prima facie case" as to all counts, and at the
trial's end, Hudson renewed the motion, stating "I
would renew my motion for judgment of acquittal" arguing
that the State "has failed to prove . . . all of the
elements contained in each of the counts charged." The
trial court denied both motions.
appeal, Hudson for the first time argues he was entitled to a
judgment of acquittal because the State's circumstantial
evidence fell short of proving its theory of the case beyond
a reasonable doubt, and that his conviction as a principal
must therefore be reversed because a person cannot be
convicted of aiding and abetting an unknown perpetrator of a
crime. Hudson also argues (again for the first time) that a
conviction for a crime totally unsupported by evidence
constitutes fundamental error. Hudson asserts further that
the State failed to prove who actually killed the victim, or
that the victim was in contact with the shooter, much less
that Hudson assisted in committing the crime.
courts review a trial court's denial of a motion for
judgment of acquittal de novo. Rasley v.
State, 878 So.2d 473, 476 (Fla. 1st DCA 2004).
"[I]n moving for a judgment of acquittal, a defendant
admits not only the facts stated in the evidence, but also
every reasonable conclusion favorable to the state that the
trier of fact might fairly infer ...