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In re Lambrix

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

January 14, 2015


Page 790

Application for Leave to File a Second or Successive Habeas Corpus Petition 28 U.S.C. Section 2244(b) by a Prisoner in State Custody.

For In re: CARY MICHAEL LAMBRIX, Petitioner: William McKinley Hennis III, Capital Collateral Regional Counsel - South, Fort Lauderdale, FL.

For Secretary, Florida Department of Corrections, Successive Habeas Respondent: Scott A. Browne, Sara Elizabeth Macks, Attorney General's Office, Tampa, FL.

Before: ED CARNES, Chief Judge, TJOFLAT and HULL, Circuit Judges.


Page 791


Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 2244(b)(3)(A), Cary Michael Lambrix has filed, through counsel, an application seeking an order authorizing the district court to consider a second or successive petition for a writ of habeas corpus. For the reasons below, we deny Lambrix's application for leave to file a second or successive habeas petition.


In Florida state court in 1984, Lambrix was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder and received two death sentences for his 1983 murders of Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant. Our prior decisions regarding Lambrix describe his criminal conduct and his dozens of state and federal petitions and motions. See Lambrix v. Sec'y, Florida Dep't of Corr., 756 F.3d 1246, 1256 (11th Cir.) (" Lambrix III" ), cert. denied sub nom., Lambrix v. Crews, 135 S.Ct. 64, 190 L.Ed.2d 61 (2014); Lambrix v. Singletary, 72 F.3d 1500, 1508 (11th Cir. 1996) (" Lambrix I" ). For purposes of the instant successive application, we recount some of that history below.

On February 5, 1983, Lambrix brutally killed Moore and Bryant outside of his home by choking and stomping Bryant and hitting Moore over the head with a tire iron. Lambrix III, 756 F.3d at 1250. Lambrix then ate dinner with his girlfriend, Frances Smith; cleaned himself; borrowed a shovel; buried Moore's and Bryant's bodies in shallow graves; and used Moore's car to dispose of the tire iron and his own bloody shirt in a nearby stream. Id.; In re Lambrix, 624 F.3d 1355, 1358-59 (11th Cir. 2010) (" Lambrix II" ). Following her arrest on unrelated charges, Smith advised law enforcement authorities about the murders and eventually led them to the buried bodies, the tire iron, and Lambrix's bloody shirt. Lambrix II, 624 F.3d at 1359. Smith was the State's key witness at Lambrix's trial. Id. at 1358. Smith offered the bulk of the damaging evidence against him, and her story was corroborated by the physical evidence. Id. at 1359. Moreover, other witnesses corroborated different parts of Smith's testimony, including neighbor John Chezem's testimony that Lambrix borrowed a shovel. Id. Witnesses Preston Branch and Deborah Hanzel testified that Lambrix told them he killed Moore and Bryant. Id.

Lambrix's first trial ended in a mistrial. Id. At Lambrix's second trial, a jury convicted him of two counts of first-degree murder, and the state trial court imposed two death sentences. Id. Lambrix's convictions and death sentences were affirmed on direct appeal. Lambrix v. State, 494 So.2d 1143 (Fla. 1986). Lambrix filed a motion for post-conviction relief under Florida Rule of Criminal Procedure 3.850, which the state trial court denied. See Lambrix II, 624 F.3d at 1357. In 1988, the Florida Supreme Court, in separate opinions, affirmed the denial of Lambrix's Rule 3.850 motion and denied his state habeas petition. See Lambrix v. State, 534 So.2d 1151 (Fla. 1988) (affirming the denial of Lambrix's Rule 3.850 motion); Lambrix v. Dugger, 529 So.2d 1110 (Fla. 1988) (denying Lambrix's state habeas petition).

Also in 1988, Lambrix filed a 28-claim § 2254 habeas petition in federal district court. The district court denied Lambrix's § 2254 petition, and this Court affirmed. Lambrix I, 72 F.3d at 1508. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed our judgment.

Page 792

Lambrix v. Singletary, 520 U.S. 518, 117 S.Ct. 1517, 137 L.Ed.2d 771 (1997).

Lambrix also has filed multiple successive state motions for postconviction relief, all of which were denied by the state trial court. The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the denial of each of these successive postconviction motions. See, e.g., Lambrix v. State, 139 So.3d 298 (Fla.), cert. denied, 135 S.Ct. 174, 190 L.Ed.2d 124 (2014); Lambrix v. State, 124 So.3d 890 (Fla. ...

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