David Wayne Woodruff

Executed January 31, 2002 by Lethal Injection in Oklahoma

9th murderer executed in U.S. in 2002
758th murderer executed in U.S. since 1976
2nd murderer executed in Oklahoma in 2002
50th murderer executed in Oklahoma since 1976

Since 1976
Date of Execution
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder-Execution)
Date of
(Race/Sex/Age at Murder)
Date of
Method of
to Murderer
Date of
Lethal Injection
David Wayne Woodruff

H / M / 25 - 42

Roger Joel Sarfaty
W / M / 52
Lloyd Thompson
W / M / 63


with knife

Romano and Woodruff were convicted of killing a jeweler, Roger Sarfaty, during the course of a robbery. Sarfaty was an acquaintance of Romano and had been bound hand and foot and strangled, beaten about the head and stabbed five times. A friend first discovered his body, around 11:00 P.M. Tuesday, October 15, 1985. At the time, Romano was serving a prison sentence and had been out on weekend furlough from Friday evening, October 11 through Sunday evening, October 13. The State's theory was that the murder occurred on Saturday, October 12, between 2:00 A.M. and 2:00 P.M. Romano and Woodruff do not have alibis for at least part of that time period. On Sunday, October 13, Woodruff's girlfriend observed that Woodruff had a lot of jewelry which he could not afford. Sarfaty also kept as many as six large containers of quarters in his apartment, which were missing after the murder. On Saturday afternoon, October 12, Romano and Woodruff, who were then intoxicated, attempted to purchase a television at a mall store, using only quarters. When mall security took them into custody for being drunk and disorderly, Romano had a "lock blade" folding knife. He was also wearing an expensive-looking gold necklace.When police arrested Woodruff ten months after Sarfaty's murder, he called his girlfriend and asked her to "clear" the house. A few weeks before the murder, Romano was in need of money and had asked a friend, Tracy Greggs, to help him rob Sarfaty, and stated he would have to kill him. The State jointly tried Woodruff and Romano. The jury convicted both of first degree malice murder and robbery with a dangerous weapon.

In a related matter, prior to the Sarfaty trial, the State had jointly tried Woodruff and Romano for murdering another Romano acquaintance, Lloyd Thompson. In that case, a jury also convicted both men of first degree murder and sentenced them to death. The State introduced evidence of those Thompson convictions and death sentences during sentencing in the Sarfaty trial. Tthe Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the Thompson convictions and death sentences, holding the trial court had erred in jointly trying Woodruff and Romano for that murder.The State subsequently retried Woodruff and Romano for Thompson's murder. Separate juries again convicted both of first degree murder. Romano's jury sentenced him to death, but Woodruff received a sentence of life imprisonment without parole.

Woodruff v. State, 846 P.2d 1124 (Okl. Cr. 1993) (Direct Appeal).
Woodruff v. Oklahoma, 114 S.Ct. 349 (1993) (Cert. Denied).
Romano v. Gibson, 239 F.3d 1156 (10th Cir. 2001) (Habeas).

Final Meal:
Two cheeseburgers, fried potatoes and a lemon-lime slushy.

Final Words:
"We're not here for a social event, we're here for a killing. Name's David Wayne Woodruff. Let's get this show on the road."

Internet Sources:

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Oklahoma Attorney General News Release

News Release - W.A. Drew Edmondson, Attorney General - 11/27/01

Execution Dates Requested for Romano, Woodruff

Attorney General Drew Edmondson today asked the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals to set execution dates for the two men convicted of killing a 52-year-old Oklahoma City man. The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday denied the final appeals of death row inmates John Joseph Romano, 43, and David Wayne Woodruff, 42, who were convicted of the Oct. 12, 1985, murder of Roger Joel Sarfaty. Sarfaty's body was found Oct. 16, 1985, in his Oklahoma City apartment. He had been stabbed five times, beaten and strangled. His apartment had been robbed.

Romano also has a death sentence for murdering 63-year-old Lloyd Thompson during a July 19, 1986, robbery in Oklahoma City. Woodruff received a sentence of life without parole for his part in the crime.

"It is the practice of this office, before an execution date is requested, to examine each case to determine if the testing of DNA evidence should occur," said Edmondson. "We have determined, after a thorough review, that DNA testing would be of no value and would have no relevance as to actual innocence. I see nothing that should stand in the way of these executions being carried out."


The state Criminal Appeals Court set execution dates for two death row inmates for their part in the 1985 murder of an Oklahoma City man. John Joseph Romano is to be put to death Jan. 29, two days before his accomplice, David Wayne Woodruff, is executed. Romano and Woodruff were convicted of killing Roger Joel Sarfaty, 52, on Oct. 12, 1985. Roger's body was found four days later in his Oklahoma City apartment. He had been stabbed five times, beaten and strangled. His apartment had been robbed. Romano, 43, also has a death sentence for killing Lloyd Thompson, 63, during a robbery July 19, 1986, in Oklahoma City. Woodruff, 42, received a life sentence without the possibility of parole for his part in the murder of Lloyd Thompson.

National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty

David Woodruff - Scheduled Execution Date and Time: 1/31/01 10:00 PM EST.

John Romano and David Woodruff are scheduled to be executed in Oklahoma on Jan. 29 and Jan. 31, respectively. In the same trial, Romano and Woodruff were convicted of the 1985 murder of jeweler Roger Safarty. Their conviction was bolstered by the all-too-common practice of prosecutors giving leniency to “jailhouse snitches” in exchange for their incriminating statements. Much too often, however, the confession of such witnesses turns out to be completely false.

In their federal appeals, Romano and Woodruff argued that the district attorney prosecuting their case had secured a deal with Greg Myers, who at one point shared a jail cell with Romano. Myers, who was then in jail for check fraud, had previously been convicted of a sex crime involving a child. The same DA’s office prosecuting Romano and Woodruff offered Myers a plea-bargain whereby he would only serve one year of the mandatory ten for his felony crime. Although the law requires that deals like this be presented to the trial jury, the prosecution offered no such admission.

Thus far, no court has ruled in favor of Romano and Woodruff on this claim. In denying relief, Judge Ebel of the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals noted, “. . . we remain suspicious about whether Myers in fact had a deal with the State, particularly in light of the timing of these events and the significant benefit Myers derived from avoiding a ten-year prison sentence when the State did not charge him as a former felon…” No proof of the quid pro quo exists, but the facts are too obvious to ignore. Write to the Governor of Oklahoma and urge that this claim by Romano and Woodruff be fully investigated.

John Joseph Romano Homepage

About Me: Dead Man Waiting . . . John Joseph Romano is on death row in the state of Okalahoma, the current leader in number of executions (17) for this year. His appeals are all but run out and he has little hope of any clemency or relief. His final wish is to get enough funding to pay for his own funeral and allow his family to claim his body, rather than be buried in the prison cemetery where it would be all but impossible for his family to visit or tend his grave. In a recent letter to me, he said, "I have hurt my family, my mother, so much with the things I have done in my life that I truly wish to give them this final bit of comfort." At this time, you may send contributions for John's funeral fund to C&E Jasper, 2109 Harmony Place, Bloomington, IN 47403; or through PayPal.com, Elizabeth Jasper/Readings by Elizabeth (eajasper@hotmail. Please help John's family to have a little dignity in the loss of their son. Few of us realize how terribly families suffer for the crimes of their children. Many families abandon their family members in prison altogether, especially on death row, but John's has not. They just simply don't have the money to give John a private burial. We see many responses from opponents accusing prisoners of wanting fancy funerals. All we are talking about here is a marked grave, not on prison property. Even small donations are a big help. John has, in my best judgement, three to five months before his execution date will be set.

Hobbies & Interests: John has been a model prisoner during his 15+ year stay on death row. He serves as a messenger/runner for H-Unit (see http://www.ocadp.org/ and click on H-Unit) You can also find more information there about Oklahoma's dedicated execution practices. John is a very religious person and a sincere Christian. If you want to write to John, send an e-mail to jasperea@yahoo.com and I will forward it to John via regular mail. Prisoners have no e-mail or internet access.

Friends & Family: John's family has given him rare support in his difficult situation. I don't know a great deal about them, except that he loves them so much, the same way my children love me. John has been fortunate, he says, in the friends he has been able to make on death row. "There are high prices to pay emotionally for developing friendships in this place, but it has been worth it to me. I have been here since I was a very young man (28), so it has really been my only chance to have friends." I met John through my pen-pal at H-Unit. We have shared a few letters and I find him to be sincere, responsible for his life and actions and determined to act in the best interests of his family.