Premeditated and Felony Murder Theories In An Indictment

In Williams v. State, 967 So. 2d 735 (Fla. 2007), the Supreme Court of Florida explained: "It is well established that an indictment which charges premeditated murder permits the State to prosecute under both the premeditated and felony murder theories." Parker v. State, 904 So. 2d 370, 382-83 (Fla. 2005). The Court have further held that "the State need not charge felony murder in an indictment in order to prosecute a defendant under alternative theories of premeditated and felony murder when the indictment charges premeditated murder." Kearse v. State, 662 So. 2d 677, 682 (Fla. 1995). Similarly, the Court has "repeatedly rejected claims that it is error for a trial court to allow the State to pursue a felony murder theory when the indictment gave no notice of the theory." Gudinas v. State, 693 So. 2d 953, 964 (Fla. 1997). Williams, 967 So. 2d at 758-59. "Appellate counsel cannot be deemed ineffective for failing to raise a claim which 'would in all probability' have been without merit or would have been procedurally barred on direct appeal." Mansfield v. State, 911 So. 2d 1160, 1178 (Fla. 2005) (quoting Williamson v. Dugger, 651 So. 2d 84, 86 (Fla. 1994)).