Executed December 7, 2000 by Lethal Injection in Florida
H / M / 36 - 50
W / M / 56
83rd murderer executed in U.S. in 2000
681st murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
6th murderer executed in Florida in 2000
50th murderer executed in Florida since 1976
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Austin Carter Scott
Castro was convicted and sentenced to death for the choking and stabbing death of 56-year-old Austin Carter Scott, who was lured to Castro's room in Ocala by the promise of Old Milwaukee beer. Castro told authorities he began choking Scott before pulling a knife from his sock. "I remember looking at his face, and it was purple. I told him, "Hey man, you've lost. Dig it?' That's when I started stabbing him.' In all, Castro stabbed Scott 8 times in the chest. Scott also had 3 defensive wounds on his arms. The medical examiner said the thrusts penetrated Scott's lungs and his chest cavity filled with blood. He died within minutes. When Castro, still covered with the victim's blood, was later arrested in Columbia County, he confessed to the slaying and led officials to Scott's body.
H / M / 36 - 50
W / M / 56
Castro v. State, 744 So.2d 986 (1999)
Castro v. State, 644 So.2d 987 (1994)
Castro v. State, 609 So.2d 40 (1992)
Castro v. State, 605 So.2d 1270 (1992)
Castro v. State, 597 So.2d 259 (1992)
Castro v. State, 547 So.2d 111 (1989)
St. Petersburg TimesThe prison guard snapped back the curtain in the death chamber Thursday, revealing a prostrate Edward Castro with arms outstretched and needles planted in each. Castro turned his head to the right, as if he could see through the one-way window of the witness gallery. He smiled, like he recognized someone, then winked. A moment later, at 6:01, Castro was given the chance to make a last statement. He had already polished off a T-Bone steak and accepted an injection of Valium, and now Castro had people to thank, mercy to bestow and forgiveness to request. "Tell my mother I love her, and I'd like to take the opportunity to apologize to the families of the victims," said Castro, 50, staring at the ceiling where the microphone hung.
A California drifter who confessed in 1987 to three murders, Castro finished up with a thanks to "everybody who's shown me love. That's it." He then closed his eyes. At 6:02 p.m. the deadly potassium chloride mixture rushed into Castro's veins. A minute later, Castro's eyes jerked open and fluttered. His mouth twitched, and his head rose several inches off the gurney's small blue pillow. Then his body relaxed, his eyes shut again, and he appeared not to breathe. The medical doctor declared him dead at 6:15 p.m. The official witnesses, 13 in all, sat silently and unmoving for the 13 minutes in between.
Castro was the sixth prisoner to die by lethal injection. Unlike most death-row inmates, who file loads of motions and appeals, Castro in recent years fired all his attorneys and told a judge he was ready to die. "To proceed any further would be to allow myself something I never allowed my victim, the opportunity to beg for my life," he told Circuit Judge Jack Singbush in 1997.
Family members of the condemned are not allowed to watch the execution. Castro's mother, along with seven other siblings or relatives, bade him goodbye for the full three hours allowed Thursday by prison officials. C.J. Drake, spokesman for the Florida Department of Corrections, said officials hadn't been able to locate the families of Castro's victims.
The death sentence was carried out for the 1987 murder of Austin Carter Scott, a 56-year-old Ocala resident. Castro told authorities he taunted Scott in the moments before his death. "Hey, man, you've lost. Dig it?" Castro said. He also confessed to the stabbing deaths of George Larry Hill of St. Petersburg and Claude J. Henderson of Polk County. Castro was sentenced to life in prison for Hill's death and was never tried for Henderson's.
Hill's identical twin brother stayed in his Tampa apartment during the execution.
"I feel weak in the knees," said Nathan Jerry Hill, 64, when told Thursday night of Castro's last-minute apology.
ProDeathPenalty.ComGeorge Larry Hill Edward Castro executed Florida is scheduled to execute a 2-time killer Thursday who has chosen not to have an attorney or file any last-minute appeals. Edward Castro, 50, again told Judge Jack Singbush at a Nov. 14 hearing that he was competent to represent himself and did not want any appeals filed to save his life. "There is nothing going on and the indication is that nothing will be going on," Assistant Attorney General Ken Nunnelly said. "Of course that could change 5 minutes from now." Attorneys at the state agency in Tallahassee that handles state inmate death appeals declined comment on the Castro case. Typically, attorneys for death row inmates file a barrage of appeals to state and federal courts trying to get their executions stopped. Craig Waters, a spokesman for the Florida Supreme Court, said he cannot recall a death case which didn't come before the high court in the final days before execution. "It is certainly unusual," he said. "In the 14 years I've been here it has never happened." Castro is condemned for the choking and stabbing death of 56-year-old Austin Carter Scott, who was lured to Castro's room in Ocala by the promise of Old Milwaukee beer. Castro told authorities he began choking Scott before pulling a knife from his sock. "I remember looking at his face, and it was purple. I told him, "Hey man, you've lost. Dig it?' That's when I started stabbing him.' In all, Castro stabbed Scott 8 times in the chest. Scott also had 3 defensive wounds on his arms. The medical examiner said the thrusts penetrated Scott's lungs and his chest cavity filled with blood. He died within minutes. When Castro, still covered with the victim's blood, was later arrested in Columbia County, he confessed to the slaying and led officials to Scott's body. Castro also told authorities he killed George Larry Hill, an interior designer he met at a St. Petersburg bar on Jan. 4, 1987. He is serving a life term for that murder. He told detectives he preyed on older men in hopes of getting money and their cars. Castro is the 2nd inmate this year who has asked for his appeals to be dropped. Appeals were filed to try to stop the execution of Dan Patrick Hauser, after he had said he did not want to fight for his life. He died August 25 for the 1995 slaying of a woman in the Florida Panhandle.
Virginia Governor Gilmore Press Releases
Thursday, June 10, 1999 - Marion County
Facts - Castro was tried, convicted, and sentenced to death for the January 1987 stabbing murder of Austin Scott in an Ocala apartment complex. The Supreme Court sent the case back to correct errors in penalty phase, and the jury again recommended death by a vote of 8-to-4. The Supreme Court affirmed the sentence. Castro now challenges the validity of his sentence.
Edward Castro Executed By Lethal Injection; Death-Row Inmate Convicted In Death Of Three Men
STARKE, Fla., Updated 6:44 p.m. EST December 7, 2000 -- Edward Castro died by lethal injection at 6:15 p.m. Thursday at Florida State Prison in Starke for a gruesome murder in 1987. Prison officials said that the execution was carried out without incident. Castro was Florida's seventh execution and the 50th person to be executed in Florida since the state resumed the death penalty in 1979.
Edward Castro had final visits today with family members, a Gainesville lawyer and religious representatives, and ate a final meal of a T-bone steak, fried shrimp, fried potatoes, fried onion rings, fried tomatoes, ice cream and Coca-Cola.
Castro, 50, was sentenced to death after confessing to three murders back in 1987. The murders took place 55 miles away from the prison in Ocala. Castro was picked up in Lake City on drunk and disorderly charges and later confessed to police about a much more violent and disturbing crime. The gruesome details of Casto's story led Ocala police detectives to the basement room of a home where he said that he strangled and stabbed 56-year-old Austin Scott to death in order to steal his car.
Very few people were scheduled to appear in the witness room when Castro was executed. Prosecutors and the detective who arrested him didn't plan on attending and the victim had few family members, other than an ex-wife, who is now deceased. Castro also confessed to murdering two other men. One was a Polk County man whom he killed to steal his car, and the second was a man from Saint Petersburg who was killed because Castro thought the man had stolen his wallet.
Fight the Death Penalty USA
An inmate who dropped all his legal appeals and fired his state-hired lawyers was executed by lethal injection Thursday at Florida State Prison.Edward Castro, 50, was pronounced dead at 6:15 p.m., according to Gov. Jeb Bush's office. Castro was condemned for the choking and stabbing death of 56-year-old Austin Carter Scott, who was lured to Castro's efficiency apartment in Ocala by the promise of Old Milwaukee beer. Castro confessed to Scott's murder and to the fatal stabbing of a St. Petersburg man. A week before Scott death, George Hill, an interior decorator, was found bound and gagged. Castro was sentenced to life for Hill's slaying. Castro fired his appellate attorneys 3 years ago and said at a hearing last month he did not want any appeals filed. He was considered for clemency in September. In the weeks prior to that review, he sent a number of letters to the clemency board expressing his desire to waive any review of his sentence. A warrant was signed for his execution on Nov.14. Castro had final visits Thursday with family members, a Gainesville lawyer and religious representatives, and ate a final meal. Meanwhile, a 2nd inmate who had been facing execution Friday for the kidnapping and slaying of a teacher in Bradenton received a stay Thursday from the Florida Supreme Court. Minutes before hearing arguments in the presidential case, the court postponed the execution of Robert Dewey Glock II until Jan. 10 to give it time to review a last-minute appeal filed by his attorney. He and another man murdered a Bradenton school teacher in 1983. Castro's scheduled death came almost three months after Dan Patrick Hauser was executed after dropping his appeals. Hauser, 30, was executed Aug. 25 for the 1995 murder of Melanie Rodriques, a waitress and dancer in Destin. Unlike the Hauser case, where the judge appointed a lawyer to represent him, Castro told a judge he did not want any backup representation. Castro told authorities he began choking Scott before pulling a knife from his sock. "I remember looking at his face, and it was purple. I told him, "Hey man, you've lost. Dig it?' That's when I started stabbing him.' In all, Castro stabbed Scott 8 times in the chest. Scott also had 3 defensive wounds on his arms. The medical examiner said the thrusts penetrated Scott's lungs and his chest cavity filled with blood. He died within minutes. Glock, 39, is scheduled to die for the Aug 16, 1983 murder of Sharilyn Ritchie, whom he and Carl Puiatti kidnapped from a Bradenton shopping mall. The pair forced Ritchie, 34, back into her car and drove away. They took $50 from her and coerced her into cashing a $100 check. They abandoned her in an orange grove and took her car and wedding ring. But after driving away, they decided she should be killed. They drove back and shot her 3 times. Terri Backhus, an attorney representing Glock asked for a stay of execution while she reviews 91,000 pages of New Jersey documents she said could show Glock was illegally detained in 1983 because he looks Italian. Backhus wrote in her motion that troopers were taught that drivers of Italian descent were more likely to be involved in organized crime.
(sources: Associated Press & Rick Halperin)