Elmer Carroll executed for 1990 assault, murder of Apopka girl, authorities say

Supreme Court denies stay of execution

By Erik Sandoval - Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - A man sent to death row for the murder of a 10 year old Apopka girl in 1990 was executed at the Florida State Prison in Starke on Wednesday night.

Elmer Leon Carroll, 56, made no final statement as he was administered the lethal injection at 6:04 p.m., according witnesses of the execution. The Associated Press reports Gov.Rick Scott's office said Carroll was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m.

The court denied Carroll's application on Wednesday. The 56-year-old man was indicted on a count of first-degree murder and sexual battery for the rape and murder of 10-year-old Christine McGowan in November of 1990.

Her mother Julie McGowen released a statement immediately following the execution, saying, "Thank you to all that have worked so hard, and justice for all, namely Christine McGowen -- Rest in Peace."

Carroll was convicted of breaking into the family's home, raping and killing the girl, and then stealing her stepfather's pickup truck. The missing truck was found on the side of a busy state road, and Carroll was found walking nearby. The girl's stepfather found her dead in her bedroom.

Police found blood and other physical evidence on Carroll that linked him to the murder.

Carroll was living at a halfway house for homeless men next to the girl's home in Apopka.

"I remember the day it happened," said Jeff Ashton, who prosecuted Carroll in 1992.  He is one of the witnesses to Wednesday's execution in Starke.  "I remember seeing the scene and the victim, so for me, it's a completion."

Carroll ate his last breakfast at around 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Prison spokeswoman Ann Howard said he had one of the largest last meals in recent history, ordering eggs sunny side up, bacon, tomato slices, biscuits, tropical fruit salad, avocados and a can of milk.

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