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Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Rape
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: January 16, 1994
Date of arrest: 7 days after
Date of birth: March 6, 1954
Victim profile: Keinya Smith, 19 (his stepdaughter)
Method of murder: Run over with car
Location: Broward County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on April 19, 1999

Florida Supreme Court

opinion SC95773

DC# 447891
DOB: 03/06/54   

Seventeenth Judicial Circuit, Broward County, Case #94-15182
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Daniel T. Andrews 
Attorney, Criminal Trial: Lisa Thomas, Esq. – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Richard B. Greene – Assistant Public Defender 
Attorneys, Collateral Appeals: D. Todd Doss – CCRC-S

Date of Offense: 01/16/94

Date of Sentence: 04/19/99

Circumstances of Offense:

Charles Anderson was convicted and sentenced to death for the 01/16/94 murder of Keinya Smith.

In 1980, Charles Anderson married Edwina.  Edwina had a five-year-old daughter from a previous relationship, Keinya Smith.  In 1992, authorities discovered that Anderson was sexually abusing Keinya.  Anderson was charged with 11 counts of Attempted Capital Sexual Battery and was sentenced to probation.  As a condition of his probation, Anderson was not to have any contact with Keinya.  If he violated this condition, Anderson faced the possibility of life imprisonment.

In violation of his probation, Anderson would continue to see Edwina and Keinya.  Witnesses reported that Anderson spent several nights a week at Edwina’s house. 

On 01/12/94, Keinya was late returning home from her job at Publix.  A fellow employee, Patrick Allen, gave Keinya a ride home.  After dropping Keinya off at home, Allen reported that he was followed by someone in an unidentified vehicle.  Allen was able to elude the vehicle that was following him, which he later identified from photographs as Anderson’s car.

On Friday 01/14/94, Allen drove Keinya home again after work.  As Keinya exited the car, Anderson darted toward Allen, which resulted in another chase.  Allen fired several gunshots at Anderson while being chased. 

After returning home, Anderson and Keinya got into boisterous verbal dispute.  One neighbor reported hearing Anderson exclaim “You told him.  Why was he shooting at me?” to which Keinya stated “I didn’t tell him nothing.”  Keinya’s cousin, who was there during the argument, reported seeing Anderson hit Keinya.  Keinya then grabbed a knife and called 911. 

Keinya quickly hung up the phone and, when the operator called back, there was no answer.  Keinya locked herself in her room and Edwina and Anderson intercepted the police officer who had been dispatched to their residence.  After convincing the officer that everything was all right, Anderson walked into the house where Keinya was hiding and threatened her.  He claimed that he was going to wait at Publix for 24 hours and, if he could not get Allen, then he would get her.  Keinya was scheduled to work Saturday 01/15/94, but did not go in because she was scared.

On 01/16/94, Keinya went to work.  Her time card reflected that she left work at 6:01 p.m.  Allen reported that he saw Anderson’s car waiting outside of Publix.

John Gowdy testified that, on that same evening, he saw someone in the grass median of U.S. 27 at 7:00 p.m.  Gowdy noticed the car in front of him pull a u-turn, which he followed.  Gowdy reported that the blue/gray four-door car swerved into the median and ran over the person.  Anderson owned a two-door dark blue car with a gray top.  Amelia Stringer, who was a passenger in Gowdy’s vehicle, also witnessed the car in front of them run over the individual in the median.

When authorities arrived at the scene, they found a Publix name badge, which read “Keinya,” some articles of clothing and blood on the pavement near the median.  Keinya’s body was found the next day by a fishing camp in the Everglades.

Anderson was interviewed by police about a week after the murder.  Initially, he admitted that he picked Keinya up from work on 01/16/94, but that he did not kill her.  Anderson later recanted that statement, claiming he was being “facetious.”  Anderson agreed to allow a search of his vehicle, even though authorities had already obtained a search warrant. 

One of the tires on Anderson’s car matched an impression left at the crime scene and there was damage to the radiator and splash guard.  Blood was detected on the undercarriage of the vehicle; however, investigators could not determine whether the blood was human or from an animal.  A spot of blood found inside the vehicle was determined to be Keinya’s through DNA analysis.  Additionally, several fibers found inside the vehicle matched the clothing that Keinya was wearing when her body was discovered. 

Trial Summary:

09/08/94          The defendant was indicted on the following charges:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder

02/11/99          The jury found the defendant guilty of First-Degree Murder and upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by an 8 to 4 majority, voted for the imposition of the death penalty.

04/19/99          The defendant was sentenced as followed:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

Case Information:

On 06/14/99, Charles Anderson filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court.  In that appeal, he argued that the evidence was insufficient to support a conviction for First-Degree Murder. 

The Florida Supreme Court noted, “although the trial court erred in denying the motion for acquittal as to felony murder, we find this error harmless since the jury properly convicted Anderson of First-Degree Murder under the theory of premeditation.”  Anderson also claimed that the trial court erred in admitting evidence of collateral crimes, citing the introduction of testimony concerning his probation for Attempted Sexual Battery. 

In reference to the penalty phase, Anderson argued the consideration and application of aggravating factors.  The Florida Supreme Court noted that the State failed to prove the “avoid arrest” aggravating factor and that the murder was committed during the course of a felony.  The State failed to prove that Keinya Smith was kidnapped by Anderson against her will.  After striking the two erroneously

applied aggravating factors, there were still three valid aggravating factors that proved applicable to Keinya Smith’s murder.  The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the conviction and sentence of death on 01/16/03.  

Anderson filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court on 08/08/03, which was denied on 10/14/03.

Anderson filed a 3.851 Motion with the Circuit Court on 10/23/04 and amended the motion on 05/06/06.  The motion is pending.


Charles L. Anderson



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