Executed June 21, 2000 by Lethal Injection in Florida
W / M / 34 - 51 W / M / 60
49th murderer executed in U.S. in 2000
647th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
4th murderer executed in Florida in 2000
48th murderer executed in Florida since 1976
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Thomas Harrison Provenzano
William "Arnie" Wilkerson
Provenzano, an unemployed electrician, walked into the Orange County Courthouse on January 10, 1984 armed with a shotgun, an assault rifle, a revolver and a knapsack carrying ammunition, all hidden under a large Army-style jacket. He was muttering threats against two police officers who had charged him with disorderly conduct five months earlier, then began firing when two bailiffs approached to search him. Bailiff William Wilkerson was killed. Bailiff Henry Dalton suffered brain damage, was partially paralyzed, and died seven years later. Correctional Officer Mark Parker was paralyzed from the attack.
W / M / 34 - 51
W / M / 60
Provenzano v. State, 497 So.2d 1177 (Fla. 1986) (Direct Appeal).
Florida Department of Corrections - Death Row
ProDeathPenalty.ComProvenzano was convicted of the shooting death of bailiff William Wilkerson at the Orange County courthouse. Provenzano was there for a hearing on a disorderly conduct charge when he went on a rampage in 1984. He shot Wilkerson, bailiff Harry Dalton, and correctional officer Mark Parker. Wilkerson died; Dalton suffered brain damage and was partly paralyzed and died in 1991. Parker was paralyzed from the neck down.
The stay was lifted and the execution was rescheduled for tonight. The execution was delayed again Wednesday while the state Supreme Court reviewed a stay request received at 6 p.m. -- a half hour before Provenzano was scheduled to die. Provenzano's lawyer said his client's mental condition had deteriorated and asked for time to have him examined by psychiatrists. The Supreme Court told Geovernor Bush at 6:44 p.m. that it denied the request. The execution began eight minutes later. Provenzano looked at his attorney, Michael Reiter, and said "Thanks for everything, Mike."
Mark Parker, one of two other bailiffs wounded in the shooting, watched from his wheelchair as Provenzano, 51, was pronounced dead at 7 p.m. Parker, 36, has been paralyzed from the neck down since Provenzano shot him. "I was happy to get it over with. He got off better than the other two victims did," Parker said. "I'm still going to be paralyzed in the morning when I wake up." Harry Dalton, 53, was left paralyzed by the shooting and died seven years later.
Department of Corrections spokesman C.J. Drake said the execution "went flawlessly." Provenzano, wearing a white T-shirt and with a sheet pulled up to his armpits, moved his feet back and forth a minute after the injection began and pursed his lips as if blowing toward the ceiling. His face turned bright red. It later became grayish-purple after his heart stopped. "I saw fear in his eyes and that fear was because he was going to meet his maker," said Lawson Lamar, who was the Orange County sheriff at the time of courtroom shootings. "He put himself on that gurney."
Provenzano, an unemployed electrician, walked into the Orange County Courthouse armed with a shotgun, an assault rifle, a revolver and a knapsack carrying ammunition, all hidden under a large Army-style jacket. He was muttering threats against two police officers who had charged him with disorderly conduct five months earlier, then began firing when two bailiffs approached to search him.
"The game is over. There are no winners in this game" said Dalton's son, Gary, who witnessed the execution. "It hurts, it brings back everything that happened." Provenzano declined to have dinner before the execution. The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an appeal Tuesday concerning Provenzano's mental state. A trial judge concluded last December that Provenzano believes the reason he faces execution is because he is Jesus Christ. The judge ruled that was not a strong enough reason under Florida law to spare him because Provenzano also knows that he killed Wilkerson. Under state law, condemned killers can be executed even if they are mentally ill unless they don't understand they are about to be executed and why. The state Supreme Court upheld the decision of the trial court last month, clearing the way to schedule the execution. His lawyers asked the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the Florida high court ruling. Provenzano's sister, Catherine Forbes of Orlando, asked Bush in a hand-delivered letter Tuesday to spare her brother. "As you know, Thomas is severely mentally ill," Forbes wrote. "He believes he is Jesus Christ and that he is going to be executed because people hate Jesus." In a response to Provenzano's lawyer, the governor wrote he found no reason to alter the sentence.
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
"POPE APPEALS TO SAVE "JESUS CHRIST" - Anti-Death Penalty Activists Speak Out.
In a move that has become a regular occurrence, Pope John Paul II has called on Florida's Governor Jeb Bush, a practicing Catholic, to grant clemency to Thomas Provenzano, who is scheduled to be killed at 6pm, Tuesday, June 20, at Florida State Prison at Starke. Provenzano, who killed two men and paralyzed a third in a shooting rampage at the Orange County Courthouse in 1984, is mentally ill, and has believed he is Jesus Christ since the early 1970's. He believes he is being killed *because* he is Jesus Christ.
"We acknowledge the pain and suffering of Provenzano's victims, and we join with the Pope and all people of faith in asking Governor Bush to look into his own heart, and to lead us with compassion and understanding," said Abe Bonowitz, Director of Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty (FADP), an activist organization coordinating statewide public opposition to executions. "The death penalty is not a solution. It's merely a band aid on the symptoms of our violent society."
STATEMENT OF FLORIDIANS FOR ALTERNATIVES TO THE DEATH PENALTY (FADP)
"We acknowledge the pain and suffering of Thomas Provenzano's victims, William "Arnie" Wilkerson, who died, Harry Dalton, who was paralyzed and died seven years after the shooting, and Mark Parker, who remains paralyzed.
"We also acknowledge the pain and suffering of the family of Thomas Provenzano, who are also victims of this unfortunate tragedy. On Tuesday at 6pm, they too will become the family of a loved one who has died unnaturally and unnecessarily as a result of violence. Must the people of Florida be again made party to the premeditated homicide of a defenseless human being? "By all accounts, the evidence is clear that Thomas Provenzano is mentally ill. Had treatment been available to him when he was diagnosed, and when help was sought, he almost certainly would not have become homicidal. Now the state seeks to treat him not on a hospital bed, but on an execution gurney instead. This clearly demonstrates the social, moral and fiscal failings of the bad public policy known as the death penalty. We seek prevention and treatment, not revenge in the form of extreme punishment.
"Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty calls on Governor Jeb Bush to stop being a politician on this issue, and instead to be a leader. We call on Governor Bush to grant clemency to Thomas Provenzano. Furthermore, in light of renewed evidence that the fairness and integrity of Florida's death penalty process is seriously flawed, we call for a moratorium on executions pending a full review of Florida's capital punishment process."
Capitol News Service
"Death Penalty, Provenzano and Mental Illness," by by Scott Talan. (Thursday, June 22, 2000)
It took 16 years to execute Thomas Provenzano. But it took only minutes for him to kill two Orange County deputies and wound a third. Death penalty opponents sing at a capitol vigil Thursday. Remembering both the executed - and his victims.
Provenzano's attorney says he was mentally ill. "Mr. Provenzano truly believed that he was Jesus Christ," said Provenzano Attorney Mary Kane. That's why Provenzano believed he was being executed say his defenders. "The world hates Jesus...he was Jesus...that's why he was being executed," commented Walter Moore with the Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Governor Bush declined to delay Provenzano's sentence. Bush believed he was legally fit for execution. "All of these courts in all these years of proceedings have determined that Thomas Provenzano was competent to be executed," explained Governor Bush's Press Secretary Elizabeth Hirst. Psychiatrists say somebody can be mentally ill and know the reality of the crime their committing and know why they're being executed. Psychiatrist Dennis Platt has examined death row prisoners. "They may think they are being punished for any number of reasons none of which apply to the case," said Platt.
But those same mentally ill people can also be in touch with reality...even if they're delusional and think they're somebody else. "Yet if they knew exactly what they were doing then I think they are very responsible and should be held responsible," added Platt.
Provenzano has now been held accountable for his actions....but the debate over whether he really knew why he was being executed continues. Provenzano was the forty eighth person executed since Florida restored the death penalty in 1976.
"Condemned Killer Waits on Appeals." (September 21, 1999)
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The state has made plans to execute Thomas Provenzano four times this summer. Three times he has won reprieves. The condemned killer is currently scheduled to go to Florida's electric chair at 7:01 a.m. Friday, 15 years after he opened fire in an Orlando courthouse, fatally injuring two bailiffs and leaving a third paralyzed for life. But Provenzano, 50, has two appeals still pending and either could result in another stay of execution this week.
The two issues that could save Provenzano are his claim of insanity and the condition of the electric chair - neither of which require any review of the crime that landed him on death row. In January 1984, Provenzano was an unemployed electrician when he walked into the Orange County Courthouse armed with a shotgun, an assault rifle, a revolver and a knapsack carrying ammunition, all hidden under a large Army-style jacket.
Provenzano was muttering threats against two police officers who had charged him with disorderly conduct five months earlier. He shot three bailiffs when one approached to search him. His victims:
- William Wilkerson, a 60-year-old who had retired from the Navy 14 years earlier as a lieutenant commander, was immediately killed;
- Harry Dalton, a 53-year-old father of six, was left paralyzed and died seven years later.
- Mark Parker, 19 at the time of the shooting, survived but remains paralyzed from the shoulders down.
Gov. Jeb Bush signed Provenzano's death warrant in June and his execution was set for July 7. Less than 12 hours before his execution, Provenzano won a two-day delay because of his claim of insanity: Under Florida law, a condemned killer cannot be executed without understanding what is going to happen and why. Provenzano was then scheduled for execution July 9.
But the bloody execution July 8 of Allen Lee ``Tiny'' Davis for the 1982 murders of a pregnant Jacksonville woman and her two young daughters resulted in a longer reprieve for Provenzano. Florida's high court gave Provenzano a stay of execution until Sept. 14 and ordered trial judges in central Florida to hold hearings on both the electric chair and Provenzano's competency to be executed. In early August, a trial judge ruled the chair was constitutional; that issue is still being reviewed by Florida's high court. Three weeks ago, another judge ruled that Provenzano's actions might be bizarre but that he was competent to be executed. A week later, the state Supreme Court gave Provenzano a 10-day extension to his stay of execution from Sept. 14 to Sept. 24. Last week, the high court heard oral arguments on the question of Provenzano's sanity, and some of the justices expressed concern that the trial judge didn't hear testimony from Provenzano's main witness.
Democracy Now!Story: FLORIDA DEBATES USE OF ELECTRIC CHAIR (1999)
The Florida Supreme Court this week held a hearing on whether the electric chair is constitutional, after the botched execution this July of a 400 pound prisoner named Allen Lee Davis. Lawyers for Davis and for Thomas Provenzano, the next prisoner scheduled for execution, held up color photographs of Davis strapped to the chair minutes after he had been electrocuted. In one, the upper half of Davis' face is purplish and his features are scrunched together. A line of blood stretches down from beneath the leather mask. Justice Harry Lee Anstead called the images of Davis "heinous," "horrible" and "right out of some horror movie." He challenged the lawyer representing the state to defend them. After Davis' execution, Florida's highest court halted all executions until September 14 - including that of Provenzano, which had been scheduled for the next day. The court ordered a judge in Orlando to hold a hearing on the operation of the chair, and that judge ruled three weeks ago that electrocution does not violate the constitutional ban on cruel or unusual punishment. Provenzano's lawyers then appealed to the highest court. Provenzano's attorneys say that he is a paranoid schizophrenic, believes he is Jesus Christ and is thus incompetent to be executed. He is scheduled to be electrocuted this coming September 14.
Thomas Provenzano and the Electric Chair
Transcripts and Real Audio of arguments and briefs filed in Provenzano case, with emphasis on competency determinations and applications for stay of execution in 1999 and 2000; News articles compiled on the Provenzano appeals, the Florida electric chair, and other Florida death row inmates.
Palm Beach Post
"Provenzano: He Killed Two Bailiffs, Left Another Paralyzed." (Associated Press)
(Friday, August 27, 1999) TALLAHASSEE -- The sanity of condemned killer Thomas Provenzano, who claimed to be Jesus Christ since before he opened fire in an Orlando courtroom in 1984, must be evaluated in an evidentiary hearing, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday. Provenzano, who killed two bailiffs and left a third paralyzed for life, is scheduled to be executed in Florida's electric chair Sept. 14.
Florida's high court did not delay that date, but a trial judge could do so if he needed more time to evaluate Provenzano's competency, according to Michael Reiter, the Death Row inmate's lawyer. Thursday's 6-1 decision came just two days after oral arguments on Provenzano's request for a competency hearing. The court also heard arguments that the electric chair is cruel and unusual punishment, but has not ruled on that issue. The court's unsigned ruling was supported by Chief Justice Major Harding and Justices Leander Shaw, Harry Lee Anstead, Barbara Pariente, R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Ann Quince. Justice Charles Wells dissented.
In January 1984, Provenzano, an unemployed electrician, walked into the Orange County Courthouse armed with a shotgun, an assault rifle, a revolver and a knapsack of ammunition, all hidden under a large Army-style jacket. Provenzano was muttering threats against two police officers who had charged him with disorderly conduct five months earlier. He shot three bailiffs when one approached to search him. William Wilkerson, who had retired from the Navy 14 years earlier as a lieutenant commander, was fatally shot. Harry Dalton, a father of six, was left paralyzed and died seven years later. Mark Parker, who was 19, remains paralyzed from the shoulders down.
Provenzano was originally scheduled for execution July 7. But two days earlier his lawyers advised Gov. Jeb Bush that they believed their client may be insane. That triggered a law that requires Bush to appoint three psychiatrists to examine Provenzano. They concluded that Provenzano ``has the mental capacity to understand the nature of the death penalty and the reasons why it was imposed on him.'' But less than 12 hours before he was to be executed, the state high court granted Provenzano a 48-hour stay, ordering a circuit judge to review the insanity claim. Circuit Judge Clarence Johnson rejected the claim -- but did not hold a hearing. However, before Provenzano could be executed on July 9, Allen Lee ``Tiny'' Davis went to the chair, as scheduled, on July 8. In the wake of his bloody execution, the state's high court granted Provenzano a stay until Sept. 14 for the electric chair challenge and the appeal of his competency claim that was rejected by Johnson. Earlier this month, Johnson ruled that death in the chair was not cruel or unusual punishment. The Supreme Court is reviewing that decision.
St. Petersburg Times
"Paralyzed Victim to View Execution," by Christopher Goffard. (June 20, 2000)
Today, Mark Parker will ride flat on his back on a three-hour van trip to Starke that he's been waiting to make for 16 years. He was a 19-year-old rookie corrections officer at the Orange County Courthouse in Orlando when Thomas Provenzano, an angry loner armed to the teeth, put a bullet in his spine and consigned him to a life using a wheelchair. Provenzano also shot two bailiffs in that 1984 rampage, killing William Arnie Wilkerson on the spot and crippling Harry Dalton, who died seven years later with brain damage.
Today, the last surviving victim of the shootout plans to sit in his wheelchair, watching through the glass, as the Department of Corrections sends lethal chemicals into Provenzano's heart. The former electrician is scheduled to die at 6 p.m. at Florida State Prison for Wilkerson's murder, barring a stay of execution. Parker, who watched the courts delay Provenzano's scheduled execution four times last year, calls it the "s-word." "I don't say that word," Parker said Monday. "I don't let anyone say it around me."
Parker, who is paralyzed from the neck down, has undergone nine surgeries since the shooting. He has been waiting to watch Provenzano, 51, die. "I'd have rather seen him in the electric chair," Parker said. "He sentenced me to a life in an electric chair. Fortunately, mine has wheels." To Parker, death by lethal injection -- the execution method the state adopted when the constitutionality of the electric chair came under attack -- seems too gentle a passing. Like putting a pet to sleep, he said.
Parker was only four months into his job as a corrections officer when Provenzano entered the Orange County Courthouse, carrying a 12-gauge shotgun, .38-caliber revolver, an assault rifle and ammunition concealed beneath a camouflage jacket. Parker was unarmed. When Provenzano shot Dalton, who had tried to search him, Parker ran for help and was caught in the crossfire between Provenzano and Wilkerson. The bullet severed his spine.
Parker feels blessed to be alive -- he figures the bullet should have killed him -- though he knows it's a very different life than he thought he would lead. On the very day he was shot, he had an appointment with an Army recruiter, and was contemplating a career in uniform. Instead, he now stays home surfing the Internet and playing computer strategy games, most recently one called "Jagged Alliance," in which he plays a mercenary liberating a fictitious South American country. He operates his computer with a stick that fits between his teeth. "I've gotten so used to it after 16 years, I can play video games just as fast as people who can use their hands," he said.
Parker doesn't expect to regain the use of his limbs, but should God bless him with a miracle, he said, he wants to know what shag carpet feels like under his toes, and what one of his 400 CDs feels like in his hand. "I will continue to live," he said. "I won't live the way I expected to when I was 19, but I will go on."
For the trip to Starke from his home in Winter Garden, where he requires 24-hour care, Parker will lie in the back of his van in his wheelchair, which flattens down, and try to get some sleep. He said he probably shouldn't be going, since he has a wound from his last surgery that hasn't quite healed, and because he gets pressure sores on his skin from sitting upright too long. But he has waited 16 years for this day, he said, and he has plenty of time to get better afterward.
If the execution proceeds as planned, Provenzano will become the fourth Florida inmate to die by lethal injection. His supporters claim he should be spared because he has the delusional belief that he is Jesus Christ and doesn't understand what is happening to him. The pope, too, has asked for mercy. Parker is impatient with those arguments. "Tell me in the Bible where you see Jesus walking around carrying three concealed weapons," he said.
Florida Catholic Conference
Tallahassee, FL (June 19, 2000) — The Bishops of Florida appeal to Governor Bush for clemency and a stay of the death sentence of Thomas H. Provenzano scheduled for execution at 6:00 p.m. on 20 June 2000. His crimes involved great evil and his victims and their families have been terribly wronged. We express our deep sympathy for the family members of William "Arnie" Wilkerson and Harry Dalton whose lives were taken, and for Mark Parker who remains paralyzed by this crime.
It is our sincere prayer that the wounds of all those who are grieving because of this crime may find healing. But we remain convinced that the execution of Thomas Provenzano will neither restore life nor heal pain. It may satisfy an understandable desire for vengeance, but retribution cannot justify taking a human life. The sacredness of human life and the dignity of the human person remain, even from one who violated the rights of others by taking their lives.
We renew our call for a moratorium on executions and join with Pope John Paul II in a re-commitment to end the death penalty. We are "unconditionally prolife," and we pray that we may all begin to better realize that increasing reliance on the death penalty diminishes society as a whole. We urge clemency for Thomas H. Provenzano.
[The Florida Catholic Conference is an agency of the Catholic Bishops, established in 1969. It speaks for the Church in matters of public policy, serves as liaison to government and the legislature, and coordinates communications and activities between the church and secular agencies. The Bishops of the seven dioceses of Florida constitute its Board of Directors.]
"Convicted Murderer Executed," by Lise Fisher & George Hutchens. June 22, 2000)
STARKE -- As a lethal cocktail of chemicals began to flow into his veins, execution witnesses said they saw fear in convicted killer Thomas Provenzano's eyes. Provenzano, 51, his face flushed, alternately gulped for air and puffed short breaths minutes before he was pronounced dead at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Florida State Prison execution chamber. "He was pretty damned scared," said execution witness Mark Parker, who was left paralyzed by Provenzano's 1984 Orlando courthouse shooting spree. "I'm sure Provenzano is in a lot warmer place now." Provenzano, who believed he was Jesus Christ, became the fourth man to be put to death by lethal injection in Florida this year.
Executioners carried out Provenzano's death sentence just more than 24 hours after the U.S. Court of Appeals in Atlanta had issued the inmate a last-minute reprieve Tuesday. Intravenous needles had already been placed in his arms when prison officials learned of the stay. The three-judge panel lifted the stay the next day, offering no explanation for why they had granted one. The execution was delayed again Wednesday while the Florida Supreme Court reviewed a stay request received at 6 p.m. -- 30 minutes before Provenzano was scheduled to die.
Michael Reiter, Provenzano's attorney, said his client's mental condition had deteriorated and had asked for time to have him examined by psychiatrists. At 6:44 p.m., the court told Gov. Jeb Bush the request was denied. Eight minutes later, the procedure began. Provenzano's last words were for his attorney: "Thanks for everything Mike."
Provenzano was sentenced to death for the 1984 slaying of a bailiff at the Orlando courthouse. Provenzano walked into the courthouse heavily armed and muttered threats against two police officers who had charged him with disorderly conduct months earlier. When court officers tried to search him, Provenzano opened fire. William "Arnie" Wilkerson, 60, who had retired from the Navy 14 years earlier as a lieutenant commander, was fatally shot. Harry Dalton, 53, a father of six, was shot in the head and was paralyzed. He died seven years later. Parker, 36, was a 19-year-old bailiff at the time of the shooting. Provenzano's attack left him paralyzed from the shoulders down. "He got off a lot easier than his two victims," Parker said Wednesday as he explained that he has undergone nine surgeries since he was paralyzed and that he made the trip to Starke from his Central Florida home on his back to witness Provenzano's death. "It's a shame it took almost 16 years to the day to get this all done."
Dalton's son Gary Dalton, 40, and daughter Teresa Olrich, 37, said they were glad the "roller-coaster ride" of Provenzano's appeals is over, but it doesn't erase the memories of their father's fate. "It brings back everything that happened. For him, it ended today. For us, it will never end," Gary Dalton said. A tearful Cathy Parlin, Wilkerson's niece, stood outside the prison during the execution. She said the delays in Provenzano's execution were detrimental to all families involved and that the appeals process is too slow. "Why do they keep us both suffering, dragging it on like this?" she said. "This is ridiculous. And you know what I really feel? Like I should shoot that cop over there so I can get a free college education, food, clothes, all of it for free like he (Provenzano) has."
Across the field from Parlin, amid a drizzle, a small vigil took place during the execution. The Rev. Fred R. Ruse of St. Matthew Catholic Church in Winter Haven returned to Starke with a handful of friends after learning of the lifted stay at midday. Ruse said it is another example of why Florida should place a moratorium on all capital punishment. "It is time for the governor to sit down and come up with a better solution for this, and it's an insult to the finest minds in terms of correctional expertise that this ever happens," Ruse said. The group of 13 death penalty protesters stood silent as 6:30 approached. Minutes later, word of the execution came, and their heads dropped. Five candles were lit as the drizzle dissipated. Provenzano's sister, Catherine Forbes, who met with her brother for his last visit Tuesday, issued a statement before the execution. "Let me say from the outset that my heart goes out to the people who were killed or injured by my brother . . . . If it was in my power to restore your lives, I would do so in an instant . . . . But I have to wonder, where is the justice in killing a sick human being?" Forbes wrote.
A trial judge decided in December that Provenzano believed the reason he faced execution was because he was Jesus Christ. But the judge ruled that wasn't a strong enough reason under Florida law to spare Provenzano because he also knew he had killed one man and injured two others. Under state law, condemned killers can be executed even if they are mentally ill -- unless they don't understand they are about to be executed and why.
Provenzano v. State, 497 So.2d 1177 (Fla. 1986) (Direct Appeal).
Thomas Harrison Provenzano was convicted of two counts of attempted first- degree murder and one count of first-degree murder. The trial court followed the jury's recommendation and imposed the sentence of death for the first- degree murder. The trial judge also sentenced Provenzano to consecutive thirty-year sentences for each count of attempted first-degree murder. Provenzano now appeals his conviction for first-degree murder and the sentence of death. We have jurisdiction. Art. V, § 3(b)(1), Fla. Const. We affirm the conviction and death sentence.
On August 1, 1983, officers Shirley and Epperson of the Orlando Police Department arrested Provenzano for disorderly conduct. The disorderly conduct charge became an obsession with Provenzano. From the day he was arrested until January *1180 10, 1984, Provenzano continually followed and threatened to kill the arresting officers. Provenzano also purchased a .38 caliber revolver, 12 gauge shotgun, a .45 caliber semi-automatic weapon, and had pockets sewn into the inside lining of his jacket in order to conceal the weapons.
On January 9, 1984, Provenzano appeared at the courthouse wearing black combat boots, army fatigue pants, a long olive drab army coat, a red bandana and a shoulder bag. Provenzano left without incident when told that he had arrived a day early for his disorderly conduct trial. On January 10, 1984, Provenzano arrived at the courthouse early and was heard to have said "I can't wait until those two policemen walk in. I'll show them," and "I'm going to do it. This is where [these] guys get their ass kicked." As Provenzano entered Judge Conser's courtroom at about 9:30, he was carrying a red knapsack, and wearing the same jacket in which he had the inside pockets sewn. Bailiff Parker stopped Provenzano at the door and told him that he would have to leave the knapsack outside or have it searched. Provenzano then took his knapsack to his car. The knapsack contained a gun stock for his .45 caliber weapon and ammunition for the .38 caliber revolver.
Provenzano returned to the courtroom without his knapsack at 10:15. Provenzano approached the bench when his case was called. Judge Conser then instructed Provenzano to return to the spectator portion of the courtroom until his attorney arrived. Bailiff Dalton was instructed to search Provenzano. Dalton then approached him saying that he was going to have to be searched and that he was his friend. Correction Officer Parker exited the courtroom and reentered directly behind Provenzano. As the defendant reached in his pocket, Dalton went to grab him and was shot in the face by Provenzano, who screamed, "You're not my friend, M_____ F_____!" Provenzano then chased and fired at least two shots at Parker.
Everyone in the courtroom took cover. The people in Judge Coleman's adjacent courtroom heard the shots. Bailiff Wilkerson, the bailiff in charge of Judge Coleman's courtroom, exited the courtroom into the hallway where the shooting was taking place. Shortly thereafter, gunshots were heard. A chase ensued. Provenzano took a military stance in the corner of the hallway where he yelled, "I'm going to kill you, M_____ F_____, I'm going to kill all of you."
Provenzano then ducked into room 436, a lunchroom for bailiffs, and took a barricade position with the shotgun pointing into the hall. Corporal A.C. Jacobs of the Orange County Sheriff's Office shot Provenzano in the back through a window. The defendant was armed with a 12 gauge shotgun, a .45 caliber assault rifle, and a .38 caliber revolver, all loaded with live ammunition. Dalton and Parker were both shot and injured by Provenzano. Wilkerson was shot and killed by Provenzano. Appellant alleges that numerous errors occurred at both the guilt and sentencing phases of the trial. We find no errors.
See also http://www.oranous.com/florida/provenzano/