Are a Defendant's Statements In a Trial for First-Degree Murder and Sexual Battery Admissible ?

In Swafford v. State, 533 So. 2d 270, 274 (Fla. 1988), this Court considered the admissibility of a defendant's statements in a trial for first-degree murder and sexual battery. Swafford was on trial for the abduction, rape, and murder of a gas station attendant. The victim had been shot nine times, twice in the head. Id. at 272. A witness for the State testified that two months after the murder Swafford suggested getting a girl and said, "We'll do anything we want to and I'll shoot her." Id. at 273. Swafford and the witness drove to a department store parking lot that same night. Id. The witness asked Swafford whether he would not be "bothered" after abducting, raping and murdering a victim selected in a parking lot. Id. Swafford responded, "You just get used to it." Id. The Court said: Swafford's statement that "you just get used to it," when viewed in the context of his having just said that they could get a girl, do anything they wanted to with her and shoot her twice in the head so there wouldn't be any witnesses, was evidence which tended to prove that he had committed just such a crime in Daytona Beach only two months before. Id. at 273-74. Likewise, in Johnson v. State, 438 So. 2d 774, 779 (Fla. 1983), this Court held that the defendant's statement that he would "not mind shooting people to obtain money" was admissible. The same evening that Johnson made the statement, a deputy sheriff and a taxicab driver were shot and the taxicab driver was robbed.