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Anthony Floyd Wainwright - Florida Death Row
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Thread: Anthony Floyd Wainwright - Florida Death Row

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    Anthony Floyd Wainwright - Florida Death Row


    Carmen Gayheart




    Facts of the Crime:

    Anthony Wainwright and Richard Hamilton escaped from a North Carolina prison, stole guns and a Cadillac then traveled to Florida. On April 27, 1994, the car overheated in Lake City, Florida. At this point, they kidnapped Carmen Gayheart, a young mother of two, at gunpoint from a Winn-Dixie parking lot and stole her Ford Bronco. The two men raped and strangled Gayheart and then shot her twice in the back of the head. On April 28, 1994, Wainwright and Hamilton were arrested in Mississippi after a shootout with police. Upon capture, Wainwright admitted to authorities that after kidnapping and robbing Gayheart, he raped her, despite that fact that he has AIDS. Wainwright denied he was involved in the strangling and shooting of the victim.

    Wainwright was sentenced to death in Hamilton County on June 12, 1995.

    Co-defendant information:
    Richard Hamilton was convicted of first-degree murder, armed robbery, armed kidnapping and armed sexual battery. He was sentenced to death for the murder of Carmen Gayheart and to life imprisonment on the other convictions. For more on Hamilton, see: http://www.cncpunishment.com/forums/...milton+florida

  2. #2
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    Wainwright was denied by the US Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals on November 13, 2007.

    http://www.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/ops/200613453.pdf

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    Grief-stricken family still waiting for daughter's killers to be executed 20 years later

    In Florida, the government exacts vengeance for the worst crimes with the ultimate punishment: the death sentence.

    "That's all I want. Horrible, maybe, to some people, but again, you haven't walked in my shoes," said Maria Tortora. "Until your loved one is kidnapped, raped and murdered, you don't know how you're going to feel. You just don't."

    Tortora and her mother Joanne have been waiting 20 years for her little sister Carmen's killer to be executed.

    "She was the sweetest girl on the face of the earth, really, and she didn't deserve what she got," Maria Tortora said.

    In 1994, 23-year-old Carmen Gayheart was a Fort Lauderdale nursing student, wife and mother. She and her husband moved to Lake City, Fla., in search of a safer, quieter life.

    On April 27 of that year, as Gayheart was on her way to pick up her children from daycare, two escaped convicts from North Carolina spied her in a Winn-Dixie parking lot.

    "And they, at gunpoint, forced her into her vehicle and no one ever saw her again," Tortora said.

    The search for Gayheart made news across the state. For days, her family and friends feared the worst, and then an off-duty state trooper found Anthony Wainwright and Richard Hamilton in Gayheart's stolen car. There was a shoot-out and both convicts were injured and arrested. They ultimately confessed to kidnapping, raping and killing Gayheart, and led police to her body.

    "They left her in the woods, with her groceries. Like garbage. They didn't care," Tortora said.

    Not only did the killers lack remorse, they bragged in jail about the crime, and taunted the grieving family in court.

    "He's blowing kisses across the room at myself and my brother-in-law, Carmen's husband," said Tortora, speaking of Hamilton.

    The trial was agonizing, but in the end the two juries, one for each defendent, agreed Wainwright and Hamilton were guilty, and the pair was sentenced to death.

    "We were elated when we got the death penalty," Tortora said. "Sad for Carmen, it won't bring her back, it will never bring her back, but at least we'll have justice for her."

    But the wait for justice has dragged on for 20 years. Tortora's father Richard died last year.

    "He didn't live to see justice," Tortora said.

    Wainwright and Hamilton have filed reams of appeals. Their cases have gone all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and have been denied.

    Tortora has written Gov. Rick Scott, asking he sign the death warrants.

    "Once the appeals are exhausted and you're at the end of the line with all of that paperwork, what is the holdup?" she asked. "Why are we sitting. Why are we waiting? What is the reason for that?"

    Answered attorney Gregg Lerman: "They want to make sure if this person is going to suffer the ultimate sanction it is truly the appropriate sentence."

    Lerman has defended more than a dozen death-penalty cases.

    He said the years of appeals and reviews are to make sure innocents are not put to death, and the guilty actually deserve it.

    "Death is forever," he said. "I mean, they're suffering by having the death penalty hang over their heads. Does that make the victim's family feel any better? That the person is basically put to sleep, like a dog?"

    Gayheart's mother, Joanne Tortora, said it might.

    "I have friends who say 'Oh, you can't move on with your life until you forgive them,' and it's just not going to happen," she said. "I can't find it in my heart. I feel it's a betrayal to my daughter. No, they deserve everything they get and more."

    "That's all it's about -- is vengeance and retribution," Lerman said.

    Vengeance, Punishment, Or Justice?

    Gayheart's family says the law calls for execution, and that's what they deserve.

    "Justice isn't served until both of them take their last breath," Maria Tortora said. "They didn't give Carmen 20 seconds. They've had 20 years. It's not fair, it's not right."

    The Florida Parole Commission won't release any information on the status of the killers' cases, citing confidentiality laws.

    Scott's deputy press secretary, John Tupps, responded to WPBF 25 News with a statement:

    "Signing death warrants is one of the governor's most solemn duties. His foremost concerns are consideration for the families of the victims and the finality of judgements."

    There are currently 396 Florida prisoners on death row, awaiting execution.

    http://www.wpbf.com/news/griefstrick...#ixzz31bE8aoyV
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