According to court documents Wayne Tompkins attempted to sexually assault Lisa Lea DeCarr. When she fought back she would be strangled. Her body would be buried underneath the home
A year later Lisa Lea DeCarr body would be discovered however no suspect was identified
Two years later Wayne Tompkins was in the county jail on a sexual assault charge and would brag that he murdered Lisa Lea DeCarr
Wayne Tompkins would be convicted and sentenced to death
Wayne Tompkins would be executed by lethal injection on February 11 2009
Wayne Tompkins Photos
Wayne Tompkins FAQ
When Was Wayne Tompkins Executed
Wayne Tompkins was executed on February 11 2009
Wayne Tompkins Case
It took Wayne Tompkins about five minutes to fatally strangle his girlfriend’s 15-year-old daughter. Twenty five years later, it took nine minutes for the death row inmate to die by lethal injection at the Florida State Prison in Starke.
Family members of the victim, Lisa Lea DeCarr, struggled to reconcile how a man who killed so brutally could die with such seeming serenity. “I have hated him for so many years,” DeCarr’s sister, Michelle Hayes, said at a news conference after witnessing Wednesday’s execution. “I would have done it myself so many times.”
Among the 25 witnesses to the execution was DeCarr’s mother, Barbara Wallace, along with other relatives of the victim, law enforcement personnel and news reporters. Hayes started to say some of her family felt Tompkins’ death seemed too humane, but she stopped: “I don’t want to disrespect him in front of his family.”
DeCarr disappeared March 24, 1983. Tompkins told his girlfriend her daughter ran away and he doubted she would ever return. Police found what they determined were the girl’s skeletal remains about a year after her disappearance, buried in a shallow grave under the Southeast Seminole Heights house where she lived with her mother and Tompkins. Also recovered from the grave were a pink bathrobe, a diamond ring and a pair of gold-cross earrings.
While behind bars on unrelated rape charges, Tompkins told a jailhouse informant he strangled the girl with her bathrobe sash when she fought off his sexual advances. Medical experts think she could have been dead within five minutes.
From outward appearances, Tompkins, now 51, died with no such rage or terror. A brown curtain opened at 6:23 p.m., about 15 minutes later than planned. Witnesses saw Tompkins splayed out on a gurney with a white sheet pulled up to his chin. His tattooed left arm hung out, strapped to the gurney. He was hooked to IVs that would deliver three drugs. The first one would render him unconscious. The next one brings paralysis and stops all breathing. The final drug causes cardiac arrest. He lay perfectly still, except to adjust his chin a couple times. He looked up into a microphone that would broadcast his final statement. He could not see the witnesses and made no effort to look their way. They shifted in their seats and clasped their hands. Men in black-and-gray suits nervously tapped their shiny shoes on the white linoleum floor. An old wall-unit air conditioner strained overhead.
Execution team warden, Tim Cannon, asked Tompkins whether he had a final statement. “I am good,” he said. At 6:26 p.m., Tompkins’ breathing calmed. The mouth movements stopped. His eyes closed.
DeCarr’s mother, Tompkins’ former girlfriend, sat perfectly still, wearing a pink top.
Three minutes later, Cannon checked to make sure Tompkins was unconscious before ordering the release of the final two drugs. Cannon shook Tompkins and tapped his eyelids twice. Nothing. A couple minutes later, a man with a stethoscope emerged to check Tompkins’ pulse. He checked again. He said something to Cannon, and left through the same curtain entrance. Cannon pronounced the execution complete at 6:32 p.m.
Outside the prison, in a roped-off area near where a white hearse was parked, about 40 death penalty opponents gathered to protest the execution. Tompkins had been “calm and businesslike” throughout the day, Gretl Plessinger, a Department of Corrections spokeswoman said.
Tompkins spent three hours with his mother, Gladys Staley of Brooksville. For two of those hours, they were not allowed physical contact. She was not allowed to witness the execution. Tompkins, who described his religion as Native American, also met with the prison chaplain since he had no preferred spiritual adviser. He ate a last meal of fried chicken and banana split ice cream, using only the single spoon the state allows. About 4 p.m., the staff gave him a shot of diazepam to calm his nerves.
The Tompkins family narrative is footnoted with members who died early and violently. Tompkins’ father, Thurman, was fatally shot in the early 1980s while pumping gas at the Kentucky service station where he worked, Staley said. In 2003, a St. Lucie County deputy accidentally shot and killed Tompkins’ youngest brother, Nathan, during a traffic stop. “It seems like … I don’t even know what is happening with my family,” Staley said the night before the execution.
Charlie Crist was the third governor to sign a death warrant for Tompkins, after Jeb Bush in 2001 and Bob Martinez in 1989. Tompkins was granted a stay on appeal each time.
Tompkins’ attorneys had asked the Florida Supreme Court to delay the execution, saying more time was needed to complete testing on DNA evidence found on and near the girl’s body. The court said hours before his death it would not entertain any motions for rehearing. Tompkins died about 140 miles from the home where the murder occurred.
A few months after DeCarr’s disappearance, he and the girl’s mother moved out of the house they rented at 1225 E. Osborne Ave. In December 1983, Nathaniel and Minnie Horn bought the house for $25,000.
Six months later, police knocked at the door. The officers told the Horns they thought a body was buried under the porch. “We told them to do what they had to do,” said Minnie Horn, who still lives in the house. “We didn’t know nothing about it.”
Until a reporter called this week, Horn never heard the name Wayne Tompkins or Lisa DeCarr. Horn still thinks about the body under the porch. Informed of Tompkins’ pending execution, Horn said: “I got no joy, but I am not going to cry about it. He had no business doing what he was doing.”