Execution order signed for Indian River County serial killer
7:21 a.m. EST, February 29, 2012
By Melissa E. Holsman,TCPalm.comDavid Alan Gore to be executed mid-April
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Governor Rick Scott on Tuesday signed a death warrant for David Alan Gore, convicted in the first-degree murder of Lynn Elliott in July 1983.
Gore was convicted of killing six women for which he received five life prison terms and a sentence of death in the Elliott slaying.
After spending more than 28 years on death row, Gore, 58, is scheduled to be executed at Florida State Prison on April 12, at 6 p.m., according to a letter Gov. Scott sent Tuesday to Warden Steven Singer.
In his letter to Singer, Scott designated that Gore's execution should be carried out between noon Thursday, April 12, through noon on Thursday, April 19.
Gore is on death row at the Union Correctional Facility in Raiford.
State Attorney Bruce Colton, who in 1992 prosecuted Gore's second penalty phase trial in the Elliott murder, said the death warrant is past due.
"Obviously it's good news. I think the family of not only Lynn Elliott, but families of the other victims in this case, I think, deserve to finally have this come to an end," Colton said Tuesday. "I think it's clear that Gore relished all the publicity that he received over the years; obviously the case was drawn out. We had the original trial and conviction and death penalty and then we had to retry the death penalty phase."
The jury at his 1984 murder trial voted 11-1 in recommending the death penalty, which was imposed by Circuit Judge L.B. Vocelle, court records show.
"I know in the second penalty phase the jury was unanimous in recommending death," Colton recalled. "This was not a case where there was any question of whether or not he was guilty. We always hear this on the death penalty appeals, that you have to be sure you have the right person and there's absolutely no doubt that the right person was gotten in this."
Gore confessed, Colton said, and lead authorities to the bodies of other murder victims.
"This one (the murder of Lynn Elliott) was eye witnessed in front of his own house by a young boy who was riding by on his bicycle," he recalled. "So Gore definitely is the right person, he deserves the death penalty and the families and the community of Indian River County have long awaited this to happen."
This is the third time Gore has been under a signed death warrant.
Gore's legal options should be exhausted, Colton said, because "every issue Gore could raise on appeal has already been litigated."
"But it never fails to happen that the attorneys who represent people in these cases find other issues that they bring up at the last minute," he said. "I'm sure there will be last minute attempts to get theU.S. Supreme Courtto issue a stay. I just don't see it happening in this case. I think they'll attempt to, but I just don't see them being successful in getting any more stays in this case."
In July 1983, Gore and his cousin, Fred Waterfield, picked up Elliott, 17, and Regan Martin, 14, as the two Vero Beach girls were hitchhiking to Wabasso Beach.
Gore, 29 at the time, was a former auxiliary deputy with the Indian River County Sheriffs Office on probation for armed trespassing. He and Waterfield, 30 at the time, also of Vero Beach, handcuffed Elliott and Martin and drove them to Gore's parents' house on Fifth Street Southwest on the outskirts of Vero Beach where they raped the girls.
Elliott was shot as she tried to escape.
A 15-year-old Vero Beach boy riding past the scene on his bicycle later testified he saw Gore chase down and shoot Elliott twice in the head. The boy made an anonymous 911 call to authorities, leading to Martin's rescue by police and the end to a reign of terror by the Killing Cousins that included the rape of seven women and murder of six.
In 1984, a Pinellas County jury found Gore guilty of first-degree murder, two counts of kidnapping and three counts of sexual battery in connection with Elliott's death and the abduction of Elliott and Martin.
Vero Beach attorney Robert Stone, who was the area's State Attorney from 1972 to 1986, prosecuted Gore in the Elliott murder.
He still can't shake the image of seeing dark rope marks on Elliott's wrists.
"It was unbelievable; the suffering she must have gone through," Stone recalled. "I'll never forget seeing those ever."
Gore's trial was moved toSt. Petersburgfrom Vero Beach in 1984.
"I remember going to St. Petersburg for the case and I stopped by (Lynn Elliott's) grave on the way over," he said. "I know a lot of people probably think this is silly, but I did stop by her grave and told her I was going to get justice for her. I felt moved to do it.
"I told her 'I'm going to go over there and get justice for you,' and we did," added Stone. "And finally after 28 years, it's about time."
Through interviews with Gore and Waterfield, and a comprehensive investigation authorities also uncovered evidence that Gore had killed six women between February 1981 and July 1983. Most were raped, some were tortured and some were dismembered and buried in hidden graves in citrus groves west of Vero Beach.
The discoveries led to Gore being convicted of murdering Barbara Ann Byer, Angelica LaVallee, Judy Kaye Daley, Hsiang Huang Ling and her daughter, Ying Hua Ling and sentenced to five consecutive life terms that were tacked on to his death sentence.
Waterfield, now 59, was convicted of manslaughter in Elliott's death and sentenced to 15 years in prison. He was found guilty of first-degree murder in the cases of Byer and LaVallee, two of Gore's victims and is serving two life sentences without the possibility of parole at the Okeechobee Correctional Institution.
Stone recalled Gore's constant cold demeanor, and his eyes.
"He never expressed any emotion of any kind. We took him out to the citrus grove to show us the drums so we could dig them up ... and I remember looking in his eyes and they were like balls of fire, like red marbles," Stone said. "If the devil had eyes, those would be the kind of eyes they were because they were like a fiery red. I don't think he had any type of conscious at all, he couldn't have."http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/local/tc-gore-death-warrant-20120229,0,4491029.story?page=2
Atta-boy Gov. Scott... Keep up the good work.