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Author Topic: William Cruse 82, Oldest Man On FL Death Row Dies Of Natural Causes  (Read 5424 times)

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heidi salazar

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Palm Bay Killer Dies On Death Row

The oldest man on Florida's death row has died.

William Cruse, 82, who was convicted of fatally shooting 6 people and wounding 14 others, died of natural causes in state prison Sunday afternoon.

In 1987, the retired librarian first shot and killed 2 Florida Tech students near Palm Bay Road and Babcock Street. 2 others were left wounded in the shooting.

He then went to a nearby Publix supermarket where he killed 67-year-old Ruth Greene. Then he went to a Winn-Dixie and killed police officers Gerry Johnson and Ron Grogan. He also killed 52-year-old Lester Watson.

He pleaded guilty by reason of insanity, but was convicted and sentenced to death.

However, Cruse was recently ruled incompetent, which delayed his execution.

The Palm Bay Police Department released a statement Monday concerning Cruse's death. Police say the death does not bring closure.

Excerpts From Palm Bay Police Department's Statement

"Many of us have waited a long time to hear the news of Cruse's death," said Captain Doug Dechenne, a 32-year veteran of the Palm Bay Police Department who negotiated with Cruse until the hostage was released. "We lost family, friends and two aspiring, young police officers that day, and they deserved justice a long time ago," Dechenne added.

Sgt. Don Smith is a 30-year veteran of the Palm Bay Police Department who was assigned as a SWAT sniper during the Cruse shooting. 'I always said he would die of old age in prison before the state would execute him," Smith said "Unfortunately this is not justice for the many victims and everyone else that were devastated by that incident. Justice would have been better served if he was executed in the manner provided by the State at the time he committed his cold blooded murders and showed no remorse and that is death by electrocution."

Deputy Chief Doug Muldoon, a 33-year veteran of the Palm Bay Police Department was 1 of 2 captains on the scene during the incident. "With the recent murders of police officers and other innocent victims the judicial system needs to take a long hard look at violent criminals and not just impose tough sentences but carry them out in a timely manner," Muldoon said. "Cruse should have been executed in Florida's electric chair twenty years ago."

(source: CF News 13)

heidi salazar

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Re: William Cruse 82, Oldest Man On FL Death Row Dies Of Natural Causes
« Reply #1 on: December 01, 2009, 10:53:46 AM »
Follow the news link for video.

Locals on death row

With 82-year-old William Cruse's death Sunday of natural causes, Bryan Jennings becomes the most likely of Brevard County's eight remaining killers on death row to be executed next.

He was found guilty and sentenced to die after three different trials and has been denied more than a dozen times by courts on various appeals. His most recent appeal before the Florida Supreme Court maintains he had poor legal counsel.

Jennings brutally raped and killed a 6-year-old girl in 1979 after snatching her through a window of her Merritt Island bedroom.

Others from Brevard on death row and length of time there:
George Porter
21 years

He was convicted of shooting to death his ex-girlfriend and her new male companion in 1986.
Chadwick Willacy
about 18 years

He repeatedly struck his neighbor over the head with a blunt object in 1990 when she caught him burglarizing her home.
Johnny Hoskins
15 years

He raped and murdered his 80-year-old neighbor after sneaking into her home.

Wydell Evans
nine years

He shot and killed his brother's 17-year-old girlfriend in 1998 in a car after accusing her of being unfaithful. He had just been released from prison.
Randy Schoenwetter
almost six years

He broke into his friend's home with the intentions of forcing one or both of his friend's sisters to have sex with him in 2000. When the 10-year-old girl woke and recognized him, the 18-year-old stabbed her and then the girl's father, killing them both.
Robert Walker
four years

He was convicted for the drug-related beating, kidnapping and murder of a man whom he suspected to be an undercover drug agent in 2003. Walker beat the man for more than three hours before executing him.
James Barnes
almost two years

While serving a life sentence for murdering his wife, he confessed to the 1988 rape and murder of another woman after sneaking into her home.

Another may join them soon. Justin Heyne was found guilty of killing two adults and their child earlier this year. A jury recommended the death penalty, but Judge O.H. Eaton has yet to issue the sentence.

 the past 18 months, Brevard's numbers on death row have declined.

The state executed Mark Dean Schwab for killing 11-year-old Junny Rios-Martinez in 1991. Then in the past year, Crosley Green's death sentence was converted to life in prison after the Florida Supreme Court ruled the jury should never have known about his juvenile record. He was convicted of murdering Chip Flynn in 1989.

Early next year, Anthony Welch will be resentenced as the state's top court said a judge erred during jury selection in the penalty phase of the case. Welch pleaded guilty in 2005 to killing his former next-door neighbors in their Pineda Crossings home. His request to withdraw his plea was denied.

Similarly, Willie Nowell will be given a new trial after the Florida Supreme Court said the prosecution improperly excluded a prospective Hispanic juror and made a forbidden appeal to the emotions of jurors. He was sentenced to death for killing a woman and her unborn child in 2002 in Palm Bay.

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20091201/NEWS01/912010332/1086/rss07

Offline Metfan62

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Re: William Cruse 82, Oldest Man On FL Death Row Dies Of Natural Causes
« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2009, 11:57:09 AM »
Follow the news link for video.

Locals on death row

With 82-year-old William Cruse's death Sunday of natural causes, Bryan Jennings becomes the most likely of Brevard County's eight remaining killers on death row to be executed next.

He was found guilty and sentenced to die after three different trials and has been denied more than a dozen times by courts on various appeals. His most recent appeal before the Florida Supreme Court maintains he had poor legal counsel.

Jennings brutally raped and killed a 6-year-old girl in 1979 after snatching her through a window of her Merritt Island bedroom.

Others from Brevard on death row and length of time there:
George Porter
21 years

He was convicted of shooting to death his ex-girlfriend and her new male companion in 1986.
Chadwick Willacy
about 18 years

He repeatedly struck his neighbor over the head with a blunt object in 1990 when she caught him burglarizing her home.
Johnny Hoskins
15 years

He raped and murdered his 80-year-old neighbor after sneaking into her home.

Wydell Evans
nine years

He shot and killed his brother's 17-year-old girlfriend in 1998 in a car after accusing her of being unfaithful. He had just been released from prison.
Randy Schoenwetter
almost six years

He broke into his friend's home with the intentions of forcing one or both of his friend's sisters to have sex with him in 2000. When the 10-year-old girl woke and recognized him, the 18-year-old stabbed her and then the girl's father, killing them both.
Robert Walker
four years

He was convicted for the drug-related beating, kidnapping and murder of a man whom he suspected to be an undercover drug agent in 2003. Walker beat the man for more than three hours before executing him.
James Barnes
almost two years

While serving a life sentence for murdering his wife, he confessed to the 1988 rape and murder of another woman after sneaking into her home.

Another may join them soon. Justin Heyne was found guilty of killing two adults and their child earlier this year. A jury recommended the death penalty, but Judge O.H. Eaton has yet to issue the sentence.

 the past 18 months, Brevard's numbers on death row have declined.

The state executed Mark Dean Schwab for killing 11-year-old Junny Rios-Martinez in 1991. Then in the past year, Crosley Green's death sentence was converted to life in prison after the Florida Supreme Court ruled the jury should never have known about his juvenile record. He was convicted of murdering Chip Flynn in 1989.

Early next year, Anthony Welch will be resentenced as the state's top court said a judge erred during jury selection in the penalty phase of the case. Welch pleaded guilty in 2005 to killing his former next-door neighbors in their Pineda Crossings home. His request to withdraw his plea was denied.

Similarly, Willie Nowell will be given a new trial after the Florida Supreme Court said the prosecution improperly excluded a prospective Hispanic juror and made a forbidden appeal to the emotions of jurors. He was sentenced to death for killing a woman and her unborn child in 2002 in Palm Bay.

http://www.floridatoday.com/article/20091201/NEWS01/912010332/1086/rss07


Jeez.. come on Florida.  Lets get the row cleaned up.  I moved here 6 yrs ago. we have only had a handful of executions. 
I've got one thing to say, get your Warden off this gurney and shut up. I am from the island of Barbados. I am the Warden of this unit. People are seeing you do this."

Monty Delk's Last words