Sunday, 8 February 2009

Tompkins execution scheduled Feb. 11

Tompkins execution scheduled Feb. 11

The Associated Press

An inmate who killed a Tampa teenager more than 25 years ago is facing execution Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Gov. Charlie Crist scheduled the execution of Wayne Tompkins for the March 1983 murder of 15-year-old Lisa DeCarr. Tompkins, 51, was originally scheduled to die Oct. 28, but appeals caused delays.

He is scheduled to die at 6 p.m. on Feb. 11 at Florida State Prison near Starke.

Attorney General Bill McCollum certified to Crist on Monday that all stays had been lifted and the governor is required to set a new execution date within 10 days.

Martin McClain, an attorney representing Tompkins, said the scheduling is very upsetting, because Tompkins is innocent.

On Dec. 5, the Florida Supreme Court rejected another request from Tompkins to let his lawyers investigate and present constitutional challenges based on a new sworn statement by a key witness.

A former inmate who testified Tompkins admitted to him he was the killer now says a prosecutor told him to give the jury false information. The justices offered no explanation for their decision, but previously called the false testimony a harmless error.

McClain said the revelation should be grounds for a new trial.

It was not immediately know what appeals Tompkins has remaining.

Tompkins' death warrant has been signed by two previous Florida governors, Bob Martinez in 1989 and Jeb Bush in 2001, but his case has gone through a series of appeals.

Two other inmates have been executed since Crist took office: Mark Dean Schwab on July 1, 2008, and Richard Henyard on Sept. 23, 2008.

Schwab was executed for the 1991 slaying of 11-year-old Junny Rios-Martinez in Cocoa.

Henyard was condemned for the 1993 deaths of two young girls, ages 3 and 7, after he and another man carjacked their mother's car. The mother was raped and shot, but survived.

A total of 66 inmates have been executed in Florida since the state resumed the death penalty in 1979, 44 of them in the electric chair.

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