Timothy Palmes And Ronald Straight Florida Execution

Timothy Palmes - Florida Ronald Straight

Timothy Palmes and Ronald Straight would be executed by the State of Florida for a robbery murder. According to court documents Timothy Palmes and Ronald Straight would stage the robbery at the victims secretary home. When the victim arrived he was brutally beaten, had fingers amputated and stabbed to death. Timothy Palmes would be executed on November 8, 1984 and Ronald Straight would be executed on May 20, 1986

Timothy Palmes And Ronald Straight More News

Timothy Charles Palmes went calmly to his death today in Florida’s electric chair for the torture killing of a furniture store owner whose body was stuffed in a homemade box and dumped into a river.

Timothy Palmes, 37, was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m. EST from a 90-second surge of 2,000 volts of electricity in the old, oaken chair known as ‘Old Sparky.’

Asked if he had any last words, Palmes gave a slight grin and said, ‘My family’s love has been my strength. That’s all. Goodbye.’

Then he shut his eyes tightly as guards put a gag over his mouth and a black flap over his face.

Palmes’ fists clinched as the hooded executioner turned on the electricity at 10:03 a.m. His chest heaved upward and the muscles in his arm and neck bulged. Light smoke came from an electrode on his lower right leg and his skin turned an ashen color.

Two doctors checked and pronounced the muscular 5-foot-10, 160-pounder dead four minutes later.

Prison Superintendent Richard Dugger then got on an open telephone line to Gov. Bob Graham and told him the execution had been carried out.

About 35 demonstrators — carrying signs, singing and praying – protested the execution in a pasture across from the prison, singing ‘We Shall Overcome’ as it was carried out. Ten others carried signs in favor of capital punishment and clapped when word was received that Palmes was dead

Timothy Palmes already was on probation for manslaughter when he and two accomplices joined in the 1976 robbery-murder of James Stone, 41, of Jacksonville. Stone’s body was found by divers on the bottom of the St. John’s River.

Palmes initially confessed but later pleaded innocent. He was convicted, however, on the testimony of a female accomplice who was granted immunity.

The execution was the 10th in Florida and the 30th in the nation since the Supreme Court lifted the ban on capital punishment in 1976.

Palmes lost his last appeal Wednesday when the Supreme Court refused by a 7-2 vote to intervene. Justices William Brennan and Thurgood Marshall dissented, as they do in all death penalty cases.

Prison spokesman Vernon Bradford said Palmes ate his final meal of T-bone steak, eggs, hash brown potatoes, biscuits, orange juice and coffee about 4:30 a.m. EST. ‘He ate everything he had asked for,’ said Bradford.

Bradford said Palmes met with his mother, Ann Palmes, three sisters and two nieces from 8 p.m. Wednesday until 1 a.m. today.

‘He has a very realistic attitude,’ said Bradford. ‘I think he thinks the time is here.’

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals gave Palmes a one-day reprieve Tuesday to allow him to appeal to the high court. That stay expired at 10 a.m. today and prison officials proceeded with the execution. His death warrant was to expire at noon

The condemned killer spent Wednesday in a holding cell about 30 feet from the death chamber, watching television and chatting with prison guards. He declined to hold a final news conference.

Palmes and Chester Levon Maxwell, 29, were both scheduled to die Wednesday in the nation’s first double execution in 19 years.

But Florida’s Supreme Court issued an indefinite stay Tuesday to Maxwell so it can rule on the merits of an appeal claiming he had organic brain damage that was not fully considered by his trial judge.

Palmes’ attorneys maintained he and co-defendant Ronald Straight, who remains on death row, were unfairly sentenced while accomplice Jane Albert, who testified for the prosecution, was granted immunity.

According to testimony, Albert, an employee at Stone’s furniture store, lured Stone to her apartment with the promise of meeting a woman.

When he arrived, Palmes and Straight jumped Stone, bound his hands and feet with wire, put a garbage bag over his head, beat him with a hammer and stabbed him 18 times.

The trio then stole $3,100 from Stone, stuffed his body in the weighted box, dumped it in the river and fled the state in Stone’s car. They were captured a week later in California.

Palmes had been scheduled to be executed in 1980, but a federal judge intervened.

Palmes spent his last few hours with an official observer who was hired by the Corrections Department to make sure he was not mistreated. His family visited until 1 a.m. and he did not ask that a minister be present.


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