Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Judge rejects last-minute death row appeal of St. Petersburg rapist, murderer

A judge on Friday morning denied the late appeal of former Pinellas County resident and longtime death row inmate Robert Waterhouse.

Waterhouse, 65, raped and killed Deborah Kammerer of St. Petersburg in 1980. He is scheduled to be executed Feb. 15 in Starke.

On Jan. 2, 1980, Waterhouse was seen leaving the ABC Lounge with Kammerer. He used a beer bottle in his sexual assault and beat her so badly that it took police a few days to figure out who she was after they found her dead in the Lassing Park surf. She was 29.

Gov. Rick Scott signed the death warrant this month.

The crux of Waterhouse's appeal was the testimony of a man who was a bouncer at the bar that night. The man said he saw Waterhouse leaving with two men, not with Kammerer, contradicting what he had told a detective at the time. The detective called the revisionist recollection false. The bouncer conceded, "It was a long time ago."

Waterhouse will be the second Pinellas murderer to be killed by the state within months. Oba Chandler was executed Nov. 15 for killing an Ohio tourist and her two daughters.

Of the nearly 400 people on Florida's death row, only 18 have been there longer than Waterhouse, according to the state Department of Corrections. If his execution happens as planned — Waterhouse's attorney filed a notice of another appeal on Friday afternoon — he will be the longest-serving death row inmate to be executed.

Times staff writer Dan Sullivan contributed to this report. Michael Kruse can be reached at or (727) 893-8751. Follow him on Twitter at @michaelkruse.

Judge rejects last-minute death row appeal of St. Petersburg rapist, murderer 01/20/12 [Last modified: Friday, January 20, 2012 10:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Storm routs Cleveland


    TAMPA — Alvin Ray Jackson intercepted two passes, returning one for a touchdown, and recovered two fumbles as the Storm routed Cleveland 57-27 Saturday night in its home regular-season finale at Amalie Arena.

  2. Miscue sends Rays to another stinging loss to Rangers (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays gave away DJ Kitty onesies Saturday night. Then they gave away the game.

    Rays centerfielder Mallex Smith misses a drive hit by Adrian Beltre with two outs in the sixth, allowing the tying runs to score. Beltre puts Texas ahead 4-3 when he scores after two wild pitches.
  3. Rowdies shut out Charleston


    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rowdies know a thing or two about stalemates, with five of their past 10 games ending in a draw.

    Rowdies in the first half during the game between Tampa Bay Rowdies and the Charleston Battery at Al Lang Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Saturday, Jul 22, 2017.
  4. 13-year-old Janessa's father holds memorial service at Rogers Middle School


    RIVERVIEW — About 100 people sat in the tile-floored multipurpose room Saturday at Rodgers Middle School where Janessa Shannon once sat as a student.

    A mourner embraces Nahshon Shannon after the memorial service for Nahshon’s daughter, Janessa, Saturday at Rodgers Middle School in Riverview.
  5. Trump: Aircraft carrier a symbol of America's might (w/video)


    NORFOLK, Va. — With praise and a blessing for the military, President Donald Trump helped hand over the USS Gerald R. Ford to the Navy on Saturday and said the state-of-the-art aircraft carrier will send a "100,000-ton message to the world" about America's military might when it is ultimately deployed.

    President Donald Trump commissions the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.