Sunday, May 20, 2018
Public safety

Patrick Hannon faces execution for brutal 1991 Tampa murders

Patrick Charles Hannon has lived two lifetimes: The 26 years he lived before he was sent to Death Row, and the 26 years he has spent on it.

He and two other men brutally murdered roommates Brandon Snider, 27, and Robert Carter, 28, in a townhouse near the University of South Florida on Jan. 10, 1991.

Hannon was 26 then, and a jury unanimously voted that he should die.

Now he is 53, and set to be executed on Wednesday. Gov. Rick Scott signed his death warrant last month.

For Snider’s half brother, Hannon’s death would be justice served.

"I think it should have happened a long time ago," said Tony Snider. "He’s had 26 years more than my brother had."

But he knows Hannon’s execution will only ease so much.

"I’ll just feel like there’s closure," said Tony Snider, who shared a father with Brandon Snider. "I know there’s no way it’s going to bring my brother back."

Tony Snider said his younger half brother started life "with two strikes against him." He was born to an alcoholic mother and suffered the symptoms of fetal alcohol syndrome. And after birth, his mother abandoned him.

Investigators believe he was the target in 1991. Prior to the killing, they said Brandon Snider had returned to Indiana and threatened his ex-girlfriend, Toni Acker, the sister of co-conspirator James Acker, and reportedly fired a gun into her home and left a threatening note.

Tony Snider remembers it differently. He said Toni Acker had agreed to celebrate Brandon Snider’s birthday with him, but instead he discovered that she was out with another guy. Tony Snider said his half brother caused damage to her bedroom.

That was during the Christmas holiday, Tony Snider said. On his way back to Tampa, during a layover in Atlanta, he said Brandon Snider called his ex-girlfriend, apologized and offered to pay for the damages.

"So everything was alright as far as I knew, as far as he knew," Tony Snider said.

Investigators believed Acker, Hannon and Ronald Ivan Richardson went to the Cambridge Woods Apartments near USF looking for Snider.

Snider was the first to die. Acker stabbed him 14 times and Hannon then slit his throat "to the point of near decapitation," according to court records.

Carter begged to be let out of the apartment, investigators said, but the men chased him upstairs. He tried to hide in a bedroom, but Hannon shot him six times in the chest.

Richardson cut a deal with prosecutors, accepting a charge of accessory after the fact and a five-year prison sentence in exchange for testifying against the other two.

Acker, now 53, is serving his sentence at Cross City Correctional Institution in Dixie County. He was convicted in both murders and sentenced to serve two life sentences before winning a new trial. He was convicted again in 2001 and sentenced to life in prison, plus 22 years.

Tony Snider said he has no reservations about Hannon’s fate.

"A tooth for a tooth, an eye for an eye," he said. "He took my brother’s life, why shouldn’t the state of Florida take his?"

The execution is scheduled to take place Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Florida State Prison in Raiford.

Contact Josh Solomon at (813) 909-4613 or [email protected] Follow @ByJoshSolomon.

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