Thomas Moore was sentenced to death by the State of Florida for the robbing and killing Johnny Parrish. According to court documents Thomas Moore would rob Johnny Parrish, shoot him twice then set his home on fire. Thomas Moore would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Thomas Moore 2021 Information
|Name:||MOORE, THOMAS J|
|Initial Receipt Date:||12/16/1993|
|Current Facility:||UNION C.I.|
|Current Release Date:||DEATH SENTENCE|
Thomas Moore More News
A Jacksonville man acquitted of a rape and murder on Wednesday will now be returned to Death Row to await his execution.
Wednesday, a jury found Thomas James Moore, 39, not guilty of the murder and sexual battery of Donna Morris, who was 34 when her body was found in the McCoys Creek area in August 1990.
When the verdict was read, Moore put his head in his hands and aggressively rubbed his face. After the jury left, he thanked his attorneys while Circuit Judge Mallory Cooper ordered him returned to prison.
The jury didn’t know Moore is awaiting execution for the December 1993 murder of John E. Parrish, a 66-year-old man who Moore talked into letting him into his house where he shot and robbed him before setting his house on fire. Cooper ruled any mention of Moore’s imprisonment would unfairly bias the jury.
No date has been set for his execution.
Moore had been on Death Row for almost 18 years before he was arrested in Morris’ death. Cold case detectives used DNA evidence to link Moore to the case.
But detectives who investigated the murder in 1990 admitted Moore had never been a suspect in the killing, and there were no eyewitnesses who ever saw Moore and Morris together.
Defense attorneys argued that the only thing the state proved was that Moore and Morris had sex.
“The DNA evidence is all they have,” said Assistant Public Defender Melina Buncome.
Buncome said it’s possible Morris had consensual sex with Moore and was later killed by someone else. Moore did not testify.
Assistant State Attorney Rich Mantei argued that the sperm and DNA that were traced back to Moore were too well-preserved to have been in Morris that long before her death.
There is no doubt that the defendant had sexual contact with Donna Morris at the point of a gun,” Mantei said.
But prosecutors also acknowledged there was likely a second person involved in killing Morris because she was shot with two different guns. Authorities don’t know who that second person is, and defense attorneys argued it could have been two unknown people.
Family members of Morris said they were thankful for the prosecution, even if they disagreed with the verdict.
“Now it’s between him and his conscience,” said Willie Dunham, an uncle.