Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

For third time, killer's execution is scheduled

A Death Row inmate convicted in the strangulation murder of his Tampa girlfriend's teen daughter more than 25 years ago is scheduled to be executed this month, Gov. Charlie Crist said in a letter signed Thursday.

Wayne Tompkins, 51, is set to die by legal injection Oct. 28.

Two previous Florida governors had signed Tompkins' death warrant — Bob Martinez in 1989 and Jeb Bush in 2001 — but the execution was delayed through several appeals.

The body of 15-year-old Lisa DeCarr was found June 5, 1984, more than a year after her mother, Barbara DeCarr, reported her missing. Her skeletal remains were discovered wrapped in a pink bathrobe and buried beneath her mother's Osborne Avenue home.

The girl was last seen alive by her mother on March 24, 1983.

Barbara DeCarr could not be reached Thursday for comment.

A friend of Lisa's testified during the trial that she saw Lisa struggling with Tompkins the morning she went missing. A jailhouse informer was set to testify that Tompkins confessed to him about murdering Lisa, but the informer committed suicide before the trial.

Tompkins' attorneys once challenged his sentence by raising questions after the Hillborough State Attorney's Office disclosed that DNA evidence in the case had been lost by police. Defense attorneys demanded a new trial based on that and what they claimed were other inconsistencies in the case.

The lost evidence came to light after then-Gov. Bush called for the testing of any DNA that could exonerate Tompkins, which had become Bush's policy before signing death warrants.

But before learning that the governor was calling for DNA testing or that it had been lost, a circuit judge denied a defense motion to test it, saying the request was too late and the "testing would not prove or disprove any material issues in this case."

Michael Benito, the original prosecutor who is now in private practice, said Thursday he didn't understand why the execution had been delayed for so long.

"He sat on Death Row for 23 years. It's mind-boggling to me that they can take that long to execute someone who killed a 15-year-old girl," Benito said. "If the victim would have had a choice of dying in 1983 or living until 2008, I think she would have wanted to live, just like he has."

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report, which used information from the Associated Press. Kevin Graham can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.

For third time, killer's execution is scheduled 10/02/08 [Last modified: Sunday, October 5, 2008 10:47am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Ex-Buc Booger McFarland becomes ABC college football analyst


    Former Bucs defensive lineman Booger McFarland is continuing his broadcasting rise by joining ABC's studio coverage for the upcoming college football season, ESPN announced Tuesday.

    Former Bucs lineman Booger McFarland (No. 92) will become an ABC studio analyst this college football season.
  2. Trump's political speech to Scouts inspires parental outrage


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump's fiery speech at the National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia has infuriated parents and former scouts.

    President Donald Trump waves to the crowd of scouts at the 2017 National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit in Glen Jean,W. Va., Monday. [AP Photo/Steve Helber]
  3. Florida woman says she buried puppy in park because she couldn't afford cremation

    Public Safety

    When Ashley Duey's 6-month-old puppy was hit by a car, she was devastated.

    It took her four hours to say goodbye.

    Ashley Duey, of Polk County, is trying to raise money to have her pet cremated. She tried burying her puppy in a park, but city officials said it was against the law. (Facebook)
  4. Recycling likely to be issue between the Two Ricks


    When Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker go head-to-head in tonight’s televised debate, they’ll likely tangle over the city’s sewage crisis.

    Recycling, especially Rick Baker's record on opposing it while mayor, may surface in tonight's televised debate
  5. Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay cooks and eats Everglades python


    MIAMI — Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay recently joined South Florida hunters to kill, and then eat, Burmese pythons invading the Everglades, the South Florida Water Management District announced Tuesday.

    Celebrity Chef Gordon Ramsay and his son Jack, far right, joined South Florida Water Management District python hunter Kyle Penniston on a recent outing in western Miami-Dade County that bagged three snakes. [South Florida Water Management District]