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Dominick Anthony OCCHICONE





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Revenge
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: June 10, 1986
Date of birth: August 29, 1945
Victims profile: Raymond and Martha Artzner (the parents of his ex-girlfriend)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Pasco County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death November 9, 1987

Florida Supreme Court


opinion 1991

opinion 1993

opinion 2000


United States Court of Appeals
For the Eleventh Circuit


opinion 05-12502


DC# 226426
DOB:  08/29/45

Sixth Judicial Circuit, Pasco County Case# 86-1355
Sentencing Judge:  The Honorable Lawrence E. Keough
Attorneys, Trial:  Bruce S. Boyer – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal:  Douglas S. Conner – Assistant Public Defender
Attorneys, Collateral Appeals:  Peter Cannon & Daphney E. Gaylord – CCRC-M

Date of Offense:  06/10/86

Date of Sentence:  11/09/87

Circumstances of the Offense:

Dominick Occhicone awoke his former girlfriend, Anita Gerrety, in the early morning hours of 06/10/86, by knocking on the sliding glass door to the bedroom of her house.

She shared this house with her children as well as her parents, Raymond and Martha Artzner.  Occhicone left when Gerrety refused to speak to him, but returned an hour or so later armed with a handgun. 

Occhicone cut the exterior telephone wires and proceeded to wake the household.  When Raymond Artzner, Gerrety’s father, went outside to confront him, Occhicone shot him. 

Occhicone proceeded to break into the house through a locked door while Gerrety and her daughter were attempting to flee from the house.  Once he gained entrance into the house, he shot Gerrety’s mother, Martha Artzner, four times.

Trial Summary:

07/15/86          Indicted as follows:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder (Raymond Artzner)                                             

Count II:          First-Degree Murder (Martha Artzner)

09/18/87          Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

09/22/87          Jury recommended death by a vote of 7-5

11/09/87          Sentenced as follows:

Count I:            First-Degree Murder (Raymond Artzner) – Life                                    

Count II:           First-Degree Murder (Martha Artzner) – Death

Case Information:

Occhicone filed a Direct Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on 11/25/87.  Issues that were raised included whether the trial court erred in not granting his motion for mistrial based on a spectator’s alleged misconduct, and whether or not the prosecutor’s comment on his refusal to take the hand swab test constituted penalizing him for exercising his post-Miranda rights. 

The Florida Supreme Court found all of the claims either without merit or harmless.  The Court affirmed the conviction and death sentence on 10/11/90.

Occhicone filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari to the Florida Supreme Court on 03/22/91, which was denied on 05/20/91.

Occhicone filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to the Florida Supreme Court on 07/30/92, which was denied on 06/07/93.

Occhicone filed a 3.850 Motion to the Circuit Court on 05/20/93, which was denied on 05/18/98. 

Occhicone filed a 3.850 Appeal to the Florida Supreme Court on 06/30/98.  The Court affirmed the trial court’s denial of the 3.850 Motion on 06/29/00.  Issues that were raised included whether or not counsel provided ineffective assistance during both the guilt phase and the penalty phase.  The Court denied all claims.

Occhicone filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus to the United States District Court, Middle District, on 11/13/01.  On 03/31/03, the petition was granted in part and denied in part.  The Court concluded that most of Occhicone’s claims were procedurally barred from review.

On 05/03/05, Occhicone filed a Habeas Appeal to the United States Court of Appeals.  The issue in this case involved an alleged violation of Giglio focusing on the testimony of Baker, Occhicone’s cellmate in jail, after the murders of the Artners.  The Giglio issue in this case involved the agreement between the prosecution attorneys and Baker to testify against Occhicone in exchange for the prosecution’s recommendation that Baker receive probation on his grand theft charge. 

In light of the totality of evidence, the USCA concluded that there is no reasonable likelihood that the State’s failure to correct the untruthful testimony of Baker could have affected the judgment of the jury.  On 07/14/06, the USCA affirmed the USDC’s denial of Occhicone’s Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus.


Dominick Occhicone



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