Volusia Prison Guard Murder Appeal Denied

By on February 19, 2019 in News Service of Florida
Enoch D. Hall (Florida Department of Corrections)

Washington, DC – The U.S. Supreme Court today refused to take up an appeal by a Florida Death Row inmate convicted in the 2008 murder of a prison guard at Tomoka Correctional Institution in Volusia County.

Justices, as is common, did not explain their reasons for declining to hear the appeal by inmate Enoch D. Hall. Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

Hall, now 50, was convicted of murdering corrections officer Donna Fitzgerald.

At the time of the murder, Hall worked as a welder in a Prison Rehabilitative Industries and Diversified Enterprises, or PRIDE, program at Tomoka Correctional Institution.

Fitzgerald was found stabbed to death in a PRIDE facility, and Hall admitted that he killed her, according to court documents.

Hall appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court last year after the Florida Supreme Court rejected his arguments. The appeal was rooted in a 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that found Florida’s death-penalty sentencing system was unconstitutional because it gave too much authority to judges instead of juries.

A subsequent Florida Supreme Court ruling said juries must unanimously agree on critical findings before judges can impose death sentences and must unanimously recommend the death penalty.

Hall’s attorneys pointed to an alleged error in how the 2016 U.S. Supreme Court ruling, in a case known as Hurst v. Florida, was carried out.

According to the Florida Department of Corrections, Hall was already serving two life sentences at the time he killed Fitzgerald for sex battery, aggravated battery and kidnapping. Those were based on crimes committed in Santa Rosa and Escambia counties, both in the western part of Florida’s Panhandle.

WNDB News contributed to this report.


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