Kenneth Hartley was sentenced to death by the State of Florida for the robbery and murder of Gino Mayhew. According to court documents Kenneth Hartley and two accomplices: Ronnie Ferrell and Sylvester Johnson would approach Gino Mayhew who was selling crack and would rob and fatally shoot him. Kenneth Hartley would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
Kenneth Hartley 2021 Information
|Initial Receipt Date:||12/09/1993|
|Current Facility:||UNION C.I.|
|Current Release Date:||DEATH SENTENCE|
Kenneth Hartley More News
Sidney Jones worked for the victim in the victim’s crack cocaine business. He testified to the following information. On April 22, 1991, the victim was selling crack from his Chevrolet Blazer at an apartment complex. On that date, Jones saw the three codefendants together near the Blazer. He saw Hartley holding a gun to the victim’s head and saw him force the victim into the driver’s seat. Hartley climbed into the back seat behind the victim. Ferrell climbed into the front, passenger seat. Johnson was outside the Blazer talking to Hartley. After Hartley, Ferrell, and the victim entered the Blazer, Jones saw it leave the apartment complex at a high speed and heard Ferrell shout out of the Blazer that the victim would “be back.” Johnson followed soon afterward in a truck.
Another witness confirmed that the victim, Ferrell, and another individual, whom the witness was unable to positively identify, left the apartment complex together in the victim’s Blazer at a high rate of speed.
On April 23, police found the victim’s Blazer parked in a field behind an elementary school. The victim’s body was slumped over in the driver’s side seat of the Blazer. The victim had died as a result of bullet wounds to the head (he had been shot five times: one shot into his forehead, three shots into the back of his head, and one shot into his shoulder).
Several weeks after the victim was found, Jones told police what he had seen on April 22, and Ferrell, Hartley, and Johnson were arrested for the victim’s murder. Hartley told police that he did not know the victim but told several other witnesses that he had robbed the victim two days before the murder. Specifically, he told one witness that “the only reason they [are] saying that [I killed the victim] is because I robbed him two days before he was killed.” Hartley later told the witness (who at the time of the second statement was Hartley’s cellmate) that the plan was Sylvester Johnson’s; that they originally planned to rob some “dreads” but then decided to “get [the victim],” i.e., rob and murder the victim; that they forced the victim to drive to the elementary school; that Johnson drove the getaway vehicle; that “I left my trade mark, left no witnesses”; and that his trademark was to “shoot the person in the head leaving no witnesses.” He also told the witness that Ferrell and Johnson acted so nervous that he considered shooting them and that he would “get off” because everyone was too scared to testify. *1319 A number of the details provided by this witness were never released to the public.
Additionally, Hartley told another cellmate that he was not involved in the murder but that he had robbed the victim a few days before the murder. He later admitted to the cellmate that he had robbed and murdered the victim and provided numerous details of the crime very similar to those provided by the previous witness.
Another witness testified that he heard Hartley state: “I think I really fucked up this time by doing this with that motherfucker Ferrell. I think he’s going to turn on me and testify against me when he’s just as guilty in doing this as I am.”
Each of these last three witnesses had been convicted of various felony charges and were awaiting sentencing at the time they testified. They were to receive negotiated pleas in exchange for their testimony, but their sentences were potentially lengthy ones (up to twenty-five years, thirty years, and fifteen years, respectively).
The defense presented no evidence in the guilt phase and Hartley was convicted of armed robbery, armed kidnapping, and first-degree murder.
At the penalty phase, the State introduced evidence of Hartley’s three prior violent felony convictions: a 1986 manslaughter conviction for killing a fifteen year-old girl with a shotgun; a 1991 conviction for the armed robbery of a taxi driver; and a second 1991 conviction for the armed robbery of another taxi driver.