final until disposition of timely filed motion for rehearing.
Appeal from the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County, Miguel
de la O, Judge Lower Tribunal No. 14-24825 A
J. Martinez, Public Defender, and Robert Kalter and Jonathan
Greenberg, Assistant Public Defenders, for appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, and Jonathan Tanoos (Tampa),
Assistant Attorney General, for appellee.
SALTER, LINDSEY, and HENDON, JJ.
Benjamin Curry ("the Defendant") appeals from his
conviction and sentence for first degree murder. For the
reasons that follow, we affirm.
Defendant and his brother, Nathan Curry, were charged with
the first degree murder of Lonnie Reese ("victim").
At the time of the homicide, the Defendant was sixteen years
old and Nathan was fifteen years old. The Defendant and
Nathan were tried separately, and during both trials, the
State's position was that the Defendant actually
discharged the firearm and Nathan aided and abetted the
Defendant in committing the crime. At the Defendant's
trial, his defense was that Nathan was the actual shooter and
he (the Defendant) did not assist Nathan.
opening statement, defense counsel argued, in part, as
You will see there's no physical evidence, whether it was
raining that day or sunny that day. There is no DNA of any
type. There's no fingerprints of any type. There's no
nothing of any type which connect Benjamin Curry to the
No blood is ever found with Benjamin Curry. No firearm is
found at all for that matter by the police. You'll see
that the police investigation, especially early on, when the
shooting took place is not really very good.
You're going to see holes in the police investigation.
You're going to see problem in the police investigation.
You're going to see that after Mr. Reese passed away, the
homicide people from Miami-Dade Police Department took over
the case, and they went to begin their investigation. And it
wasn't very good either.
You're going to see the flaw in the police investigation
for a shooting that took place in that Brownsville
neighborhood is not very good, not very thorough, and that
the police really didn't do a whole lot in order to solve
State presented evidence that showed, among other things, the
Defendant's mother reported to the police that her
vehicle had been broken into and her firearm was stolen from
the vehicle. The vehicle was processed for fingerprints and
nine latent fingerprints were retrieved. Of the nine
fingerprints, six were of value. One fingerprint belonged to
the Defendant's mother and the remaining five did not
belong to the victim and could not be identified. A few days
after the firearm was stolen from the vehicle, the Defendant
and Nathan began to threaten the victim because they believed
he stole their mother's firearm. Five days ...