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 Alachua County. William E.
Thomas, Public Defender, and M. J. Lord, Assistant Public
Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and Julian E. Markham, Assistant
Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Dominque Roberts appeals his convictions for robbery with a
firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Roberts argues that the trial court committed six reversible
errors. Finding no merit in any of these arguments, we
charges against Roberts arose from a failed drug transaction.
Roberts' sister, Ebony Young, arranged to purchase two
ounces of marijuana from the victim and agreed on a location
to meet the victim. Young arrived at the planned location
with Roberts. Roberts and the victim argued over the price
and the quality of the marijuana. The argument became
physical, and the victim suffered an injury to his face.
Roberts and Young took the marijuana without paying for it
and left the area. Roberts was arrested three weeks later.
trial, Roberts filed two motions in limine. First, he sought
to exclude evidence about the circumstances surrounding his
arrest. Defense counsel argued that the dramatic
circumstances of the arrest, which involved a SWAT team and
the Marshals Service, were not relevant to the charges
against Roberts and that admission of evidence about the
arrest would be highly prejudicial. The State responded that
the events surrounding Roberts' arrest were relevant
because they showed consciousness of guilt. The court denied
Roberts sought to prevent law enforcement officers from
opining that the injury to the victim's face appeared to
have been caused by a strike from the barrel of a shotgun.
The State proffered the testimony of Detective Tom Mullins to
establish that Mullins had detailed knowledge about shotguns.
The trial court denied the motion, ruling that Mullins could
testify about the size and shape of the injury, his personal
experience with shotguns, and the diameter of the barrels of
different gauges of shotguns. But the court barred the
prosecutor from asking Mullins if the wound to the
victim's face looked as if it had been caused by a strike
from the barrel of a shotgun.
the selection process, the State asked to use a preemptory
strike on Prospective Juror Beckman. Because she was the only
African American on the panel, defense counsel asked for a
race-neutral reason for the strike. The State responded that
it was striking Beckman because she did not understand a
hypothetical about the burden of proof and because of her
knowledge of marijuana prices. Defense counsel argued that
the State's reasons were not genuine because several
prospective jurors were knowledgeable about marijuana,
including a juror accepted by the State. Defense counsel
contended that proper jury instructions on the burden of
proof would resolve any confusion caused by the hypothetical.
The State replied that the purpose of the question concerning
the burden of proof was to determine whether a prospective
juror could follow the example and reach the correct
conclusion; Beckman was unable to do so. The trial court
found that the State provided a genuine race-neutral reason
for the strike.
victim testified that he had sold marijuana to Ebony Young in
the past and that he agreed to sell to her on the day in
question. Young arrived at the planned location with an
unknown male passenger. After the victim gave Young the
marijuana, the unknown male pulled out a shotgun and pointed
it at the victim's face. The victim tried to grab the
marijuana, but the man hit the victim in the face with the
barrel of the shotgun. The victim sustained a cut under his
eye from the strike. After the incident, the victim learned
that the man with Young was her brother, Cameron Roberts.
cross, the victim denied owning any firearms. He also
testified that he agreed to enter a no contest plea for his
probation violation in exchange for the State dropping three
felony charges against him. When defense counsel sought to
elicit testimony about the dropped charges, the prosecutor
objected. Defense counsel argued that the nature of the
offenses was relevant because the victim denied owning any
firearms, yet he was arrested for carrying a concealed
firearm. The court found that the victim's arrest for a
firearm offense was not relevant because it occurred five
days after the robbery.
Tom Mullins testified that he had professional training and
experience with firearms over the past twenty-two years of
his law enforcement career. He also had personal experience
with firearms because he started hunting at a young age and
owned several firearms. During an interview with the victim
nine days after the robbery, Mullins observed the injury to
the victim's face. He also reviewed photographs of the
injury taken on the night of the robbery. Mullins described
the injury as semicircular, like an arc. He explained that
the diameter of a twelve-gauge shotgun barrel was roughly the
size of a nickel or just under three-quarters of an inch and
that the diameter of the barrel would increase or decrease
based on the gauge of the shotgun. Mullins clarified that he
could not say that a shotgun caused the victim's injury.
State then called Ebony Young. Young remembered a
"stick-like figure" by Roberts' seat on the
night in question. She recalled that Roberts asked questions
about the victim during the drive, but she testified that she
could not remember the details of their conversation. The
prosecutor tried to refresh her recollection by using her
sworn statement, but Young insisted that she did not remember
what was said. Young agreed that her memory was better when
she gave a sworn statement at the prosecutor's office ten
days after the robbery, and she agreed that the statement she
gave then was truthful. Over defense counsel's objection,
the trial court allowed the ...