Ernest Marvin Carter, Jr.

Executed December 17, 2002 by Lethal Injection in Oklahoma


71st murderer executed in U.S. in 2002
820th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
7th murderer executed in Oklahoma in 2002
55th murderer executed in Oklahoma since 1976


Since 1976
Date of Execution
State
Method
Murderer
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
Date of
Birth
Victim(s)
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Date of
Murder
Method of
Murder
Relationship
to Murderer
Date of
Sentence
820
12-17-02
OK
Lethal Injection
Ernest Marvin Carter, Jr.

B / M / 23 - 36

04-22-66
Eugene Manowski

W / M / 35

01-28-90
Handgun
None
02-22-91

Summary:
Carter, who had been fired from the Oklahoma Auto Auction for sleeping on the job, crawled through a hole in a fence and cut the lights to the guard shack at his former employer. He then shot and killed 35 year old secutiry guard, Eugene Manowski, stealing a wrecker worth $500, Accomplice Charles Summers was found guilty and sentenced to life without parole. Summers' girlfriend testified that she drove with the men from Chandler to Oklahoma City the night of the killing and that Carter got out of the car near the auto auction. She said Carter came to their home sometime in the middle of the night, saying he had killed a man and the tow truck he stole had broken down on the way back to Chandler. Carter had been acquitted in 1989 on a murder charge stemming from the burning death of his friend Frederick Jenkins.

Citations:

Final Meal:
A deep-dish supreme pizza, 7-Up and one slice of cherry cheesecake.

Final Words:
"I'll be with y'all on the other side. I'm going now. God bless you sweetheart."

Internet Sources:

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Inmate: ERNEST M CARTER JR
ODOC# 177954
Race: Black
Sex: Male
Height: 5 ft. 08 in
Weight: 150 pounds
Hair: Black
Eyes: Brown
Location: Oklahoma State Penitentiary, Mcalester

Oklahoma Attorney General News Release

News Release - W.A. Drew Edmondson, Attorney General - 10/14/02

Execution Date Set for Carter

Execution Dates Set for Neill and Carter The Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals today set execution dates for death row inmate Earnest Marvin Carter, Jr. Attorney General Drew Edmondson requested the execution date Oct. 7 after the United States Supreme Court denied the inmate's final appeals. Carter, 36, is scheduled to be executed Dec. 17. He was convicted in Oklahoma County District Court of the Jan. 28, 1990, murder of 35-year-old Eugene Manowski in Oklahoma City. Manowski was shot once in the head at the Oklahoma Auto Auction near I-35 and Wilshire.

ProDeathPenalty.Com

Ernest Carter shot security guard Eugene Manowski in the head in 1990 while attempting to steal a wrecker from the Oklahoma Auto Auction in Oklahoma County. He was convicted in 1991. Co-defendant Charles Summers was found guilty of first-degree murder for helping Carter and knowing about the plan to steal the wrecker. He received a no-parole life term. Carter had been acquitted in 1989 on a murder charge stemming from the burning death of his friend Frederick Jenkins.

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

Ernest Carter, Jr. (OK) - Dec. 17, 2002 - 6:00 PM CST, 7:00 PM EST

The state of Oklahoma is scheduled to execute Ernest Marvin Carter, Jr. Dec. 17 for the murder of Eugene Manowski. Carter, a black man, allegedly shot Manowski on Jan. 28, 1990 amidst a robbery of the Oklahoma Auto Auction. In early November, with Carterís execution pending, the Oklahoma Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended that Gov. Frank Keating grant him clemency. The governor has not yet made a decision in the case, which was unanimously voted on by the board.

Since Gov. Keating took office in 1995, the board has recommended clemency for four death row inmates. Keating granted a commutation only once, when he changed Philip Dewitt Smithís death sentence to life without parole in March 2001; that marked the first commutation in Oklahoma since 1966. A spokesman for Gov. Keating said he plans to research the facts before making a decision.

Carterís defense attorney, Gary Chubbuck, has argued that despite his clientís conviction, he was not guilty of the crime beyond a moral certainty. The possibility of innocence, which caused Gov. George Ryan of Illinois to impose a moratorium on executions in 2000, remains a critical issue in clemency considerations. Since the United States reinstated the death penalty in 1976, 102 prisoners have been exonerated from death row because of evidence proving their innocence.

Carterís jury found him guilty of shooting Manowski, a night security guard, while robbing his former establishment of employment Ė the Oklahoma Auto Auction. According to the state, he broke into the Auto Auction with bolt cutters, murdered Manowski, and stole a wrecker truck. Then, with the help of his co-defendant, Charles Summers, he allegedly hauled the truck to Summersí body shop, painted it, and later attempted to burn it. Summers received a life sentence for his felony murder conviction, but Carter got the death penalty.

Questions surrounding Carterís actual involvement in the murder remain unanswered; he fully denied playing any role in the crime, beyond helping Summers paint the truck. He admitted seeing the truck in Summersí garage the same day he heard about the murder, and said his co-defendant had been discussing stealing a wrecker. He doubted that Summers had been present at the Auto Auction at the time of the shooting, but suggested that the murderer may have been there on his behalf.

This case has too many doubts overshadowing its facts to justify an execution. Gov. Keating has the power to commute this sentence, as well as the unanimous will of the Oklahoma Board of Pardons and Paroles. Now the life of Ernest Carter is in this outgoing governorís hands. Please write Gov. Keating and encourage him to commute this death sentence.

Daily Oklahoman

"Man Executed in 1990 murder." (From Staff and Wire Reports December 18, 2002)

MCALESTER, Okla. - A man convicted of firing a fatal shot into a night watchman's head so he could steal a $500 tow truck was executed Tuesday night in Oklahoma's death chamber. Ernest Carter died at 6:14 p.m. for the 1990 murder of Eugene Manowski, a father of six who was working the graveyard shift at a northwest Oklahoma City auction. "I'll be with you all on the other side," said Carter, smiling at his family and lifting his head from the gurney. "I'm going home now."

His mother, sister and spiritual advisers strode into the execution viewing room singing "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for my child." As her son was dying, Carter's mother stood and walked toward the glass that separated them. Two guards gently took her arms and told her to sit. "Please God, don't let this happen to no one else's child," she said after Carter was pronounced dead. "Spare the rest of the inmates, Lord. "His eyes might be closed, but he's not gone. He's tired of being accused of a crime he did not commit."

Ten of Manowski's relatives watched Carter die. They said they were offended by his smile, reminiscent of his unconcerned attitude during his trial. His death brought them some relief. "Another chapter has ended so we can begin a new one," said Joe Manowski, who was 10 when his father was murdered. The victim's brother, Rickey Manowski, said he preferred to think about the last fishing trip they took together. "I'm just glad it's finally over," he said. "We got a blank spot because my brother's not here, but we're going to fight it like we have been for the last 12 years."

Carter's attorneys failed at a last-ditch plea for his life after Gov. Frank Keating denied the convicted killer clemency. They sent the governor a letter Monday asking him to reconsider last month's unanimous recommendation from the state Pardon and Parole Board to spare Carter's life. It was the first time in more than 50 years that the board voted unanimously to recommend clemency for a condemned inmate and the fourth time the board recommended clemency since Keating took office in 1995. Keating has rejected all but one of those recommendations.

Defense attorney Gary Chubbuck, who said his client was innocent and convicted on circumstantial evidence, laid his head in his hands and sobbed after Carter died. "I'm so sorry," he said.

Carter, who had been fired from the auction for sleeping on the job, crawled through a hole in a fence, cut the lights to the guard shack and killed Manowski so he could steal a wrecker, according to court records. His co-defendant, Charles Summers, was sentenced to life in prison. Summers' girlfriend testified that she drove with the men from Chandler to Oklahoma City the night of the killing and that Carter got out of the car near the auto auction; she said he came to their home sometime in the middle of the night, saying he had killed a man and the tow truck he stole had broken down on the way back to Chandler. Carter and Summers towed the truck, repainted it and eventually burned it, according to court records. Another trial witness, Larry Denson, told jurors Carter told him he "offed" a man so he could steal the wrecker.

The governor had state agents interview Denson again before deciding against clemency Sunday. Other evidence linking Carter to the murder included muddy footprints at the auto auction that were similar to boots he wore when he was arrested. Also, investigators found .38- caliber shells in Carter's trunk and the guard shack where Manowski was slain.

Death penalty opponents asked Keating to reconsider at a rally Tuesday outside the governor's office in the state Capitol. "Mr. Carter is about to be killed by our hands and it shouldn't happen," said Rita Newton, director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches. "What did Governor Keating mean last year when he said, 'We believe that life is precious and we believe that it is better that nine guilty people go free than one innocent man or woman be convicted or executed?'" she asked. The Rev. Stan Basler, director of the criminal justice and mercy ministries for the Oklahoma conference of the United Methodist Church, said it was time to make legislative changes regarding clemency. "We need to constitutionally remove the governor's office from the clemency process if the process is going to have consistency," Basler said.

Meanwhile, the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals denied an emergency application Tuesday for a stay of execution for Carter. Carter's application stated Keating has established a standard that evidence of guilt must rise to the level of "moral certainty" for an execution to be carried out. The application stated that Keating is not adhering to that standard.

The Court of Criminal Appeals said the latest application did not meet the requirements of any of the methods of appeal delineated by its rules and doesn't meet requirements of a subsequent application for post- conviction relief. Carter, 36, has maintained his innocence the last 12 years. He claimed he found out about the stolen wrecker when he went to work at Summers' body shop the next morning.

His last appeal was denied at 3 p.m. Tuesday At noon, prison guards served Carter, one of 106 Oklahoma death row inmates, his last meal -- a deep-dish supreme pizza, 7-Up and one slice of cherry cheesecake. He was the seventh and last inmate executed in Oklahoma this year. Two executions are scheduled in January.

CONTRIBUTING: Carmel Perez Snyder and John Greiner in the Capitol Bureau

KOCO Channel 5

"Carter Dies Without Acknowledging Victim's Family; Oklahoma Executes Seventh Inmate This Year." (12-18-02)

Oklahoma City, Okla. (AP) - Ernest Carter used his last breath to tell his mother he loved her, then died without acknowledging the family of the man he was convicted of killing. "I'll be with you all on the other side," Carter said, smiling at his mother and sister and lifting his head from the gurney in Oklahoma's death chamber. "I'm going home now." He died at 6:14 p.m. Tuesday, three minutes after the executioner injected a lethal cocktail into his veins.

Ten relatives of murder victim Eugene Manowski, a night watchman and father of six, peered at Carter through tinted glass that separated them from the rest of the execution witnesses. "I'm just glad it's finally over," Manowski's brother Rickey said afterward. "We got a blank spot because my brother's not here, but we're going to fight it like we have been for the last 12 years." Carter's mother, sister and spiritual advisers walked into the execution viewing room humming and singing "Thank you, Jesus. Thank you for my child." As her son was dying, Carter's mother stood and walked toward the glass between them. Two guards gently took her arms and told her to sit. "Please God, don't let this happen to no one else's child," she said after Carter was pronounced dead. "Spare the rest of the inmates, Lord. "His eyes might be closed, but he's not gone. He's tired of being accused of a crime he did not commit." Her sobs echoed in the hallway when she left the execution viewing room.

In the 20 minutes before the execution, some of the 105 other inmates on death row banged on their cell doors and hollered - a show of respect for the condemned man. Manowski's relatives said they were offended by his smile, reminiscent of his unconcerned attitude during the trial. But his death brought them some relief. "Another chapter has ended so we can begin a new one," said Joe Manowski, who was 10 when his father was murdered.

Carter's attorneys failed at a last-ditch plea for his life after Gov. Frank Keating denied the convicted killer clemency. They sent the governor a letter Monday asking him to reconsider last month's unanimous recommendation from the state Pardon and Parole Board to spare Carter's life. It was the first time in more than 50 years that the board voted unanimously to recommend clemency for a condemned inmate and the fourth time the board recommended clemency since Keating took office in 1995. Keating has rejected all but one of those recommendations.

Defense attorney Gary Chubbuck, who said his client was innocent and convicted on circumstantial evidence, laid his head in his hands and sobbed after Carter died. "I'm so sorry," he said.

Carter, who had been fired from the auction for sleeping on the job, crawled through a hole in a fence, cut the lights to the guard shack and killed Manowski so he could steal a wrecker worth $500, court records say. His co-defendant, Charles Summers, was sentenced to life in prison.

Summers' girlfriend testified that she drove with the men from Chandler to Oklahoma City the night of the murder and that Carter got out of the car near the auto auction. She claims he came to their home sometime in the middle of the night, saying he had killed a man and the tow truck he stole had broken down on the way back to Chandler. Carter and Summers towed the truck, repainted it and eventually burned it. Another trial witness, Larry Denson, told jurors Carter told him he "offed" a man so he could steal the wrecker. The governor had state agents interview Denson again before deciding against clemency Sunday. Other evidence linking Carter to the murder included muddy footprints at the auto auction that were similar to boots he wore when he was arrested. Also, investigators found .38-caliber shells in Carter's trunk and the guard shack where Manowski was murdered.

Death penalty opponents asked Keating to reconsider at a rally Tuesday outside the governor's Capitol office. "Mr. Carter is about to be killed by our hands and it shouldn't happen," said Rita Newton, director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches. Carter, 36, has maintained his innocence the last 12 years. He claimed he found out about the stolen wrecker when he went to work at Summers' body shop the next morning.

His last appeal was denied at 3 p.m. At noon, prison guards served him his last meal - a deep-dish supreme pizza, 7-Up and one slice of cherry cheesecake. Carter was the seventh and last inmate executed in Oklahoma this year. Two executions are scheduled in January.

The Death House

A $500 Wrecker Costs Carter His Life

McALESTER, Okla. - A man convicted of killing a security guard so he could steal a $500 tow truck was executed by lethal injection at the state prison Tuesday night. Ernest Carter, 36, became the seventh convicted killer executed in the state this year and the last in the United States in 2002. Carter also became the 10 condemned killer put to death in December, tying the record for executions in December that was set in 1998. The total number of condemned killers executed in 2002 is 71.

Carter's case had caused controversy because the Oklahoma Pardon and Parole Board had recommended, by a 4-0 vote, that Gov. Frank Keating give him clemency. However, Keating Sunday announced that after investigating the murder and conviction, he was convinced Carter was guilty and denied him clemency. "My staff and I reviewed this case thoroughly," Keating said. "I met with prosecutors and defense attorneys, read trial transcripts and reviewed evidence in the case....I am confident that Carter committed this murder and the jury's recommendation of death should be carried out."

Carter was sentenced to death for pumping a. 38 caliber bullet into the brain of the security guard at an Oklahoma City auto auction lot on January 27, 1990. Prosecutors say he had broken into the lot to steal an auto wrecker. Prosecutors said that Carter, who had been fired as a security guard from the lot after sleeping on the job, used bolt cutters to cut through a security fence. The security guard, Eugene Manowski, was shot and killed. His body was found in the guard shack.

Carter then apparenty took the wrecker back to the home of a another man, Charles Summers, to repaint it and later helped Summers burn it, prosecutors said. The two were tried together. Summers received a life sentence for his felony murder conviction, but Carter got the death penalty. Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty against Summers.

Claims Of Innocence

Carter claimed that while he helped paint the stolen truck, he knew nothing about the security guard being murdered and, in fact, never stole the wrecker. He took the stand and testified in his defense at trial. During the trial, lawyers for Summers and Carter each tried to show that the other man did it.

Woman Places Carter At Scene Of Murder

Prosecutors told a different story. Tammy Lewis, then the girlfriend of Summers, testified that she, Summers and Carter drove to the auto auction lot on the night of the murder. She said Carter got out of the vehicle, taking a pair of bolt cutters as he left. Then, she and Summers drove away. About two hours later, she testified, Carter returned, woke the couple and said he had killed someone and needed help towing the wrecker. They then towed the stolen vehicle to Summers' body shop. However, it was also revealed that Lewis had initially denied to police that she knew anything about the robbery and murder. Police said they interviewed her three times, feeling she was not originally telling the truth. Lewis was not charged in connection with the crime.

'I Offed Him'

The Oklahoma Criminal Court of Appeals (OCCA), in a 1994 decision upholding the death sentence, stated that Carter told Lenny Densen, a mechanic who did work for Summers, that he had killed the guard. Denson testified that he was approached by Carter and asked to repair a white pickup with a wrecker attachment. Densen said Carter told him that he "ripped the truck off." "...a guy seen me rip it off but he's not going to tell anyone...I offed him," Carter said - according to Densen's testimony.

Other evidence presented by prosecutors were boot prints, similar to Carter's, found at the fence line of the auto auction site. In addition, Carter had borrowed a. 38 caliber handgun several months before the shooting. Carter admitted borrowing the gun, but said he got rid of the weapon five months before the murder, according to court documents. The OCCA said in its decision that there is "sufficient circumstantial evidence" to support the conclusion that Carter committed the murder. The court said that Carter killed the guard to avoid detection when entering the auto auction yard or leaving with the wrecker. Doubts Of Guilt

Those who pushed for clemency for Carter say that "too many doubts overshadowing the facts" justified the execution." At the time of his appeal in the early 1990s, Carter's defense lawyers argued that by putting Carter and Summers on trial together, Carter was unable to present evidence that Summers was a "fence" of stolen goods, a drug dealer and had guns.

United Press International

Oklahoma Killer Executed for Guard's Murder." (UPI December 17, 2002)

MCALESTER, Okla., Dec. 17 (UPI) -- An Oklahoma killer was executed Tuesday for murdering a security guard during the theft of a wrecker from an auto auction 12 years ago. Ernest Marvin Carter, 36, was pronounced dead at 6:14 p.m. after receiving a lethal injection for the Jan. 28, 1990, murder of security guard Eugene Manowski in Oklahoma City.

In his final statement, Carter thanked his attorneys and told his family that he loved them. "I'll be with y'all on the other side," he said. "I'm going now. God bless you sweetheart." His witnesses included his mother, sister, a friend, and two spiritual advisers. Ten members of the victim's family were also witnesses.

In November, the Oklahoma Board of Pardons and Paroles recommended clemency for Carter but Gov. Frank Keating rejected the petition this week. Keating and his staff met with attorneys in the case, reviewed the trial transcript and evidence, and ordered a witness re-interviewed, according to Dan Mahoney, the governor's spokesman. "All of that satisfied the governor and made him confident that Mr. Carter was guilty of the murder and should be executed as per the jury's recommendation," he said.

Carter always claimed he was innocent and his attorney argued that he was not guilty of the crime beyond a moral certainty. Keating has received four clemency recommendations in capital cases since taking office in 1995, but granted only one. Last year, he commuted the death sentence of a murderer to life without parole.

Carter's co-defendant, Charles Summers, received a life sentence for a felony murder conviction. Carter was the seventh killer executed this year in Oklahoma.

KansasCity.Com

"Oklahoma Executes Man Despite Clemency Request." (Reuters December 17, 2002)

McALESTER, Oklahoma - An Oklahoma man convicted in the 1990 murder of a security guard during a robbery was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday despite a recommendation by the state's parole board that his death sentence be stayed. Ernest Marvin Carter, Jr., 36, was pronounced dead at 6:14 p.m. CST, three minutes after receiving an injection of fatal chemicals at a state prison, said Oklahoma Department of Corrections spokesman Jerry Massie. "I'll be with y'all on the other side," Carter said in his last words delivered to family members and friends, prison officials said. "I'm going home now."

The state's pardon and parole board this month unanimously recommended Carter's execution be stayed, citing a lack of direct evidence that Carter committed the crime. Carter has also maintained his innocence. Despite the board's recommendation, Gov. Frank Keating denied a stay of execution after he reviewed the case. Keating has said in recent speeches that death sentences should have a higher standard for conviction, saying no one should be put to death without "moral certainty" that they committed the crime. The parole board often cited that phrase in their recommendation that Carter's execution be stayed.

Carter was convicted of the shooting death of Eugene Manowski, 35, a security guard for an automobile auction company. Police say Carter shot Manowski while stealing a tow truck from the auction house lot. An accomplice, Charles L. Summers, was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Carter's last requested meal was a deep-dish pizza, a soft drink and a slice of cherry cheesecake.

Carter is the 55th person executed in the state since Oklahoma reinstated the death penalty in 1977 and resumed executions in 1990. He is the third person Oklahoma has executed this month.

Oklahoma Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (Pen-Pal Request)

Ernest Carter
DOC #177954
PO Box 97
McAlester, OK 74502

What are your interests? God and His word and the study of God's word.

What are some of your hobbies? Bible crossword puzzles when I can get them. Also puzzles, crosswords and search-a-word puzzles.

Do you have a religious preference? (optional) I am a Christian. Praise God!

What language(s) do you speak? None good (smile). English and just a little bit of Spanish.

What qualities would you like to find in a pen pal? Someone who honors God and family and is truthful (i.e. that will say what they mean and knows their own heart).

Would you prefer a pen pal who could visit you? That would be nice, but it makes no difference.

Are you already writing to other people? If so, how many? Three or four outside of family.

Other comments: God bless you with His peace.

Canadian Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty (Pen-Pal Request)

ERNEST CARTER - Greetings the name of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Hi, hello, how are you ? I pray you are in the best of health and spirits. I am 33 years old and been on Death Row almost ten years. I enjoy sharing my faith in God and just like to have pen friends that can send me photos so I can keep a view on the outside. Smile. If you need to know more just write and ask whatever. God Bless You, Sincerely,

Ernest Carter 177954
H-SW-3B
PO Box 97
McAlester, OK 74502 USA