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 Escambia County. J. Scott
Thomas, Public Defender, and Barbara J. Busharis, Assistant
Public Defender, Tallahassee, for Appellant.
Moody, Attorney General, Tallahassee, for Appellee.
Barbara Craig Rice appeals her judgment and sentence for
first-degree murder and accessory after the fact to
first-degree murder. Rice's ill-fated love affair with a
former inmate led to an eight-day, multi-state crime spree
that caused the death of four women and Rice's conviction
of these crimes. We agree with appointed counsel that the
record contains no reversible error and affirm. See
Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738 (1967).
early morning hours of January 31, 2017, a guest of the
Emerald Sands Inn heard six gunshots and called security.
Security investigated and found two women-J.M. and A.G.-dead
from gunshot wounds. The police officers investigating the
murders suspected William Boyette was involved. Boyette and
A.G. were involved in a tumultuous on-again, off-again
relationship. A week before her murder, Boyette allegedly
attacked A.G. and held her against her will because he
believed that she stole drugs and money from him. The
officers' suspicion that Boyette was involved in the
shooting was confirmed after a witness reported that she saw
Boyette outside J.M.'s and A.G.'s room right before
hearing gunshots. Police also learned that Boyette's
mother rented a dark-colored SUV seen at Emerald Sands on the
night of the murder.
investigating the Emerald Sands murders, the police
discovered a connection between Rice and Boyette. The two
became pen pals while Boyette was in jail. After his release,
witnesses saw Boyette at Rice's home and said the two
were romantically involved. The day after the Emerald Sands
murders, Rice told a family member that she had left town and
was okay. The police obtained surveillance video of Rice at a
Wal-Mart in Crestview, Florida two days after the murders.
Rice bought two boxes of ammunition, hand warmers, and a
sleeping bag. While Rice was inside the Wal-Mart, the police
believed Boyette was waiting for her in a car outside.
days after the Emerald Sands murders, Boyette and Rice
traveled to Lillian, Alabama, where a third woman, P.B., was
murdered. Surveillance video from that day shows Boyette and
Rice driving around town, first in a dark-covered SUV and
later in a white Concorde. Boyette and Rice were observed
driving those same vehicles near the home of P.B. Neighbors
testified that they heard a loud pop before they saw the
Concorde and the SUV drive away from the area near P.B.'s
home. P.B's father-in-law found her lifeless body outside
on the ground near where she parked her car. P.B. died from a
gunshot wound to her face. The police learned that the
Concorde observed on the surveillance video and by the
witnesses belonged to P.B. Police found the dark-colored SUV
abandoned about three miles from P.B.'s home.
days after P.B.'s murder, Boyette and Rice were spotted
in Pensacola, Florida, where the fourth woman, K.C., was
murdered. A witness saw Boyette and Rice in the woods about a
mile from Beulah Road where K.C.'s house was located. The
day after Boyette and Rice were seen near K.C.'s house,
K.C. did not report to work. And she did not drop her
eighteen-month-old son off at daycare as scheduled.
K.C.'s mother was worried and went to K.C.'s house to
check on her daughter. She found K.C. leaning against a
dresser in her son's nursery, facing the crib where the
child was still sleeping. K.C.'s hands were bound with
shoelaces and a white rope encircled her waist and hands to
prevent her from moving her hands. K.C. suffered a gunshot
wound to her head. Although she was still breathing when her
mother found her, K.C. died the next day as a result of her
injuries. Officers investigating K.C.'s murder found the
Concorde owned by the third victim, P.B., abandoned three
miles from K.C.'s home. And they discovered that
K.C.'s car, a white Chevy Cobalt, was missing. Later that
morning, witnesses saw Rice driving the Chevy Cobalt.
after K.C.'s murder, police found the Chevy Cobalt parked
at the West Point Motel in West Point, Georgia. The police
found Rice and Boyette at the motel. Rice surrendered.
Boyette did not. Moments after Rice surrendered, the police
heard a gunshot from the motel room. They entered the room
and found Boyette dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to
was arrested and interviewed by police. She stated that after
the Emerald Sands murders, Boyette showed up at her home
covered in blood and carrying a small gun. Rice claimed that
Boyette then forced her to leave with him in a dark-colored
SUV. Rice alleged that Boyette forced her to comply with his
demands by hitting her, holding her at gun point, and
threatening to kill her. She denied any involvement in
P.B.'s death or that she was at the scene of the murder.
Instead, she claimed that Boyette duct-taped her to a tree in
a wooded area on the outskirts of town. Some time later,
Boyette returned driving P.B.'s car. Rice admitted that
she was present when Boyette shot K.C. Rice entered