Florida Electrocutes Killer
STARKE, Fla. (AP) _ Florida’s first use of its new electric chair turned bloody Thursday with the execution of a 350-pound inmate for the murders of a woman and her two daughters 17 years ago.
Blood poured from the mouth and oozed from the chest of Allen Lee ``Tiny″ Davis as he was hit with 2,300 volts at 7:10 a.m.
By the time he was pronounced dead at 7:15 a.m., the blood from his mouth had poured out onto the collar of his white shirt, and the blood on his chest had spread to about the size of a dinner plate, even oozing through the buckle holes on the leather chest strap holding him to the chair.
There was no immediate explanation for the bleeding, believed to be a first for the 44 Florida executions since executions resumed in 1979.
The new chair in which he died replaced ``Old Sparky,″ which had been used to execute more than 200 people since 1923. Corrections officials said the old chair was falling apart; it had also raised concern after a 1997 execution in which flames up to a foot long shot from the head of the condemned man, Pedro Medina.
Lawyers for Davis had appealed unsuccessfully to the Supreme Court, saying the voltage in the old chair during four executions last year fell short of the amount needed to kill painlessly, especially for a man the size of Davis. While the chair itself is new, the electrical equipment is the same equipment that was on ``Old Sparky.″
The execution was one of three in the United States in Wednesday and today.
Davis was brought into the death chamber in a wheelchair. Two prison officers helped him into the electric chair shortly after 7 a.m., and he was strapped in, his head covered with a thick chin strap and leather flap.
Two muffled screams were heard from Davis just before the executioner through the switch. Davis jolted back into the chair and clinched his fist, a sight common to Florida executions. Then he started to bleed.
Davis was condemned for the May 11, 1982, slayings of Nancy Weiler, who was three months pregnant, and her two daughters. He battered Mrs. Weiler, 37, with his pistol until her face was nearly unrecognizable.
Kristina Weiler, one day from her 10th birthday, was shot twice, her hands tied behind her back. Five-year-old Katherine was shot in the back as she ran away, then savagely beaten.
Earlier today, a man convicted of killing a taxi driver in 1984 during a robbery was executed by injection in McAlester, Okla.
Norman Lee Newsted, 45, shot Larry Buckley after the cabbie picked him up at the Tulsa airport for a trip to his sister’s home. Buckley, who had taken the second job to support his family, was dumped into a creek.
Newsted claimed he shot Buckley because the cabbie tried to rob him. He gave no last statement, but as the drugs entered his veins he turned to Warden Gary Gibson and exclaimed, ``I can taste it.″
In Huntsville, Texas, a man who dubbed himself ``Evil″ was executed by injection Wednesday night for killing a woman during a burglary at her home.
Tyrone Fuller, 35, was convicted of killing 26-year-old Andrea Lea Duke, who was stabbed 44 times, beaten, whipped with an electrical cord and raped.
A pathologist determined she likely lived for several hours after the 1988 attack at her home in Paris, Texas, but couldn’t scream for help because one of the stab wounds severed her vocal cords.
One of Fuller’s accomplices received a life prison term in a plea bargain. Charges against a third man were dropped.
``Please do not mourn my death or my life. I hold no bitterness toward no one,″ Fuller said in his final statement. ``Just remember the light. I’m going to let this light shine.″