Corrections Offender Network Inmate Population Information Detail
(This information was current as of 9/01/2007)
DC Number: 123846 Name: HAMILTON, RICHARD E Race: WHITE Sex: MALE Hair Color: BROWN Eye Color: BROWN Height: 5'11'' Weight: 222 lbs. Birth Date: 02/16/1963 Initial Receipt Date: 06/12/1995 Current Facility: UNION C.I. www.dc.state.fl.us/facilities/region2/213.html Current Custody: MAXIMUM Current Release Date: DEATH SENTENCE
Special Note: See Detainer Section
Mad Dog Scumbag Hamilton
Aliases: RICHARD E HAMILTON, RICHARD EUGENE HAMILTON, RICHIE
Scars, Marks, and Tattoos: Type Location Description TATTOO OTHER - MULTI.TATTOOS BOTH ARMS
Current Prison Sentence History: Offense Date Offense Sentence Date County Case No. Prison Sentence Length 04/27/1994 ROBB. GUN/DEADLY WPN 06/01/1995 HAMILTON 9400150 SENTENCED TO LIFE 04/27/1994 KIDNAP;COMM.OR FAC.FELONY 06/01/1995 HAMILTON 9400150 SENTENCED TO LIFE 04/27/1994 SEX BAT/ WPN. OR FORCE 06/01/1995 HAMILTON 9400150 SENTENCED TO LIFE 04/27/1994 1ST DG MUR/PREMED. OR ATT. 06/12/1995 HAMILTON 9400150 DEATH SENTENCE
Detainers: (Further information may be obtained by contacting the detaining agency) Detainer Date Agency Type Date Canceled 01/09/1997 N.C. DEPT OF CORR. DETAIN 01/09/1997 RALEIGH, NC DETAIN
Incarceration History: Date In-Custody ~ Date Out-of-Custody 06/12/1995 - Currently Incarcerated
Condemned Prisoner Hamilton was sentenced to: 1 Death Sentence & 3 Consecutive Life Sentences
Third Judicial Circuit, Hamilton County Case # 94-150
(Venue changed to Clay County)
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable E. Vernon Douglas
Attorney, Trial: Jimmy E. Hunt & David M. Valin – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal: David A. Davis – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: George W. Blow, III – Registry
Date of Offense: 04/27/94
Date of Sentence: 06/12/95
Circumstances of Offense: Richard Hamilton and Anthony Wainwright escaped from a North Carolina prison, stole guns and a Cadillac, and traveled to Florida. When the car overheated on 04/27/94 in Lake City, FL, they kidnapped Carmen Gayheart at gunpoint from a Winn-Dixie parking lot and stole her Ford Bronco. The two raped, strangled, and shot Gayheart twice in the back of the head.
Codefendant Information: Wainwright was also convicted of the charges and sentenced to death.
Trial Summary: 07/15/94 Indicted on the following counts:
Count I First-Degree Murder
Count II Armed robbery
Count III Armed kidnapping
Count IV Armed sexual battery
08/12/94 Entered not guilty plea
05/30/95 Jury returned guilty verdict on all counts
06/01/95 By a vote of 10-2, jury recommended death sentence
Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus
875 So.2d 586
11/12/02 Petition filed
11/27/02 Petition amended
06/03/04 FSC denied Petition
08/26/04 Mandate issued
U.S. District Court, Middle District – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus USDC# 05-813
08/26/05 Petition filed
06/20/07 Amended petition filed
07/07/08 Petition denied
United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit – Habeas Appeal USCA# 08-14836
10/06/08 Appeal filed
Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence: The Direct Appeal was pending from 07/10/95 to 02/09/98.
Case Information: On 07/10/95, Hamilton filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, citing the following nine errors: denying a mistrial, allowing the State to impeach its own witnesses, allowing the State to elicit testimony indicating Hamilton lied to the police, refusing to instruct the jury that Hamilton withdrew from the plan to commit murder, overruling defense objections to prosecutorial statements, admitting testimony concerning the victim’s children, admitting several statements obtained in violation of his right to cut off police questioning, admitting evidence which the State had failed to prove, giving unconstitutional jury instruction on an aggravating circumstance (CCP). The FSC affirmed the conviction and sentence of Hamilton on 10/23/97.
On 04/07/98, Hamilton filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court that was denied on 06/26/98
On 11/08/99, Hamilton filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court and amended the Motion on 06/30/00. The Motion was denied on 05/29/02.
On 06/28/02, Hamilton filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel. On 06/03/04, the FSC affirmed the denial of the 3.850 Motion.
On 11/12/02, Hamilton filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Florida Supreme Court. On 11/27/02, he amended the Petition, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel and Ring issues. On 06/03/04, the FSC denied the Petition.
On 08/26/05, Hamilton filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the U.S. District Court, Middle District that was amended on 06/20/07. This petition was denied on 07/07/08.
On 10/06/08, Hamilton filed a Habeas Appeal with the United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit. This appeal is pending.
Recently North Carolina prison escapee kidnapper, rapist, killer Anthony Wainwright, DC# 123847 exhausted all his appeals to his just death sentence. He murdered Carmen Gayheart in 1994, fifteen LONG years ago!
Carmen was a 23 year old wife, loving mother of two & a nursing student at the Lake City Community College.
Wainwright and his co-defendant, NC prison escapee Richard Hamilton, DC# 123846 (also under a sentence of death) kidnapped the young mother in broad daylight at approx., 12 noon in the Winn-Dixie grocery store parking lot in Lake City, FL. The date was April 27, 1994.
Please sign Mr. Wainwright's death warrant as soon as possible. This request I'm sending to you is also going to the victim's family, some law enforcement personnel, and friends who wish that justice can be finally served...
Prison Escapees Sentenced To Death In Rape, Murder Of Ex-Broward Woman-- June 13, 1995
JASPER - — Carmen Tortora Gayheart should have been showing off a new nursing diploma and cheering on 6-year-old Jessica and 4-year-old Chad as they learned to swim this spring.
Instead, a stone angel marks the scrub oak thicket in rural Hamilton County where Gayheart, 23, begged in vain for her life.
Flowers of pink, purple and white dot the lonely spot where she was raped, strangled and shot in the back of the head by two prison escapees from North Carolina.
On Monday, Richard Eugene Hamilton, 32, and Anthony Floyd Wainwright, 24, were sentenced to die in Florida's electric chair for those crimes. Circuit Court Judge E. Vernon Douglas, following jury recommendations in imposing the sentences, called the two men's actions "conscienceless, pitiless."
When the death penalties were announced, Carmen's father, Richard Tortora of Plantation, punched the air with his right fist. Her mother, Joanne Tortora of Oakland Park, wept quietly.
"It was way too much for anyone to go through. That terror. It breaks my heart," Joanne Tortora said. "And Carmen was such a sweetheart. She'd pick up a bug and put it out the door so I wouldn't kill it. That this should happen to her is unbelievable."
Five years ago, Carmen and her husband, Ricky, left the Fort Lauderdale area - where both grew up - to raise their young family in what they thought was a safer place. (IT IS A WHOLE LOT SAFER THAN WHERE THEY CAME FROM. PERHAPS 1 MURDER PER YEAR VICE MORE THAN 50 ON AVERAGE DOWN YONDER IN BROWARD COUNTY). They built a brick home on 10 acres near the Ichetucknee River south of Lake City.
But on April 27, 1994, in a busy Winn-Dixie parking lot in Lake City, she was abducted at midday - just moments before she was due to pick up her two children at a day care center. She was killed within hours, though her body wasn't found for a week.
For a while, her distraught husband drove day after day to the murder site, about halfway between Tallahassee and Jacksonville near the Georgia border. Now he holds his pain within, except for an occasional flash of anger.
"Not until they die in the electric chair - not until then will justice be done," Ricky Gayheart, 28, said after the sentencing. "And then, never. It takes eight seconds to die in an electric chair. Look what Carmen went through."
Four days before the murder, Hamilton walked away from his job outside the gates of Carteret Correctional Center in North Carolina and Wainwright jumped the fence.
Aided by their girlfriends, and stealing a car and guns along the way, they headed south. Later, one of them would claim to have killed a girl in Daytona Beach on the trip, though no body was ever found.
Lake City was an accidental destination and Carmen's death a heartbreaking coincidence. The killers' stolen Cadillac had a broken water pump, so they wanted a new vehicle. They spotted a slim, brown-eyed, brown-haired woman coming out of a convenience store and began to follow her.
Some of the ugliest and saddest details of the crime surfaced as Hamilton and Wainwright tried to blame each other for the murder: that Carmen Gayheart was brutally raped almost immediately, that she begged for mercy so she could see her daughter and son again, that they discussed how to kill her while she lay nearby, that she quivered while being strangled with a towel.
Hamilton and Wainwright were arrested the next day after a gun battle with a Mississippi trooper.
Wainwright, back in jail, bragged about the murder to other inmates. Throughout the trial, neither Hamilton nor Wainwright showed remorse. Hamilton sometimes smirked and even blew kisses.
Neither testified. But Hamilton read a statement on Monday that blamed the political system for subjecting him to the death penalty.
Earlier Monday, Hamilton may have been planning yet another escape from jail. He talked of it in a note he tried to send paper airplane-style to his accomplice.
When the death sentences were read, the killers' faces were chillingly blank.
Carmen and Ricky's parents, sisters, half-brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends - a loving group of more than two dozen - often sat through the trial together. Many made the long trip from Fort Lauderdale over and over.
On Monday, they drove to the isolated spot where Carmen died to say a communal Lord's Prayer. They brought a statue of the Virgin Mary, a role Carmen played at age 4 in a Christmas pageant.
A butterfly, brown with white markings, fluttered by and rested on the Virgin Mary and the stone angel.
"It's Carmen," said her sister, Maria.
But peace is hard to come by for this grieving family.
Chad, Carmen's son, once pleaded for someone to dig up his mother. He then started tearing up the dirt with his own hands.
And Jessica, Carmen's daughter, told her grandmother, Gale Gayheart of Fort Lauderdale: "My heart hurts so bad I can't breathe. It's never going to stop hurting, is it?''