Missouri execution would be just fifth this year in the US

Carman Deck

Missouri inmate Carman Deck, who is scheduled to die by injection on Tuesday. Photo Courtesy of No Death Penalty

AP-US-Missouri- A man whose death sentence for killing a Missouri couple while robbing their home was overturned three times was scheduled to be executed on Tuesday.

Carman Deck, 56, would be just the fifth U.S. inmate to be executed this year if his lethal injection goes ahead. His hopes for a reprieve were all but dashed on Monday when the U.S. Supreme Court turned aside an appeal and Republican Gov. Mike Parson declined Deck’s clemency request, though he could file new appeals.

Deck, who was from the St. Louis area, was a friend of the grandson of James and Zelma Long and knew they kept a safe in their home De Soto, about 45 miles southwest of St. Louis, according to court records.

In July 1996, Deck and his sister stopped at the home under the guise of asking for directions. Deck told a detective that he wasn’t surprised to be invited inside by the couple, who were in their late 60s.

“They’re country folks,” Deck said, according to court records. “They always do.”

Once inside, Deck pulled a gun from his waistband. At Deck’s command, Zelma Long opened the safe and removed jewelry, then got $200 from her purse and more money hidden in a canister.

Deck ordered the couple to lie on their stomachs on their bed. Court records said Deck stood there for 10 minutes deciding what to do, then shot James Long twice in the head before doing the same thing to Zelma Long.

A tip alerted police to Deck and he was arrested later that night outside his sister’s apartment building in St. Louis County. The decorative tin canister from the Long home was in his car.

Prosecutors said Deck later gave a full account of the killings. He was sentenced to death in 1998, but the Missouri Supreme Court tossed the sentence due to errors by Deck’s trial lawyer.

Categories: Crime, National News