Tonight’s Execution: Larry Eugene Mann, Florida

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

UPDATE: Larry Mann has been executed

Florida prison officials carried out the first execution of 2013 tonight, with the lethal injection of 59-year-old Larry Eugene Mann at Florida State Prison in Starke. Mann was convicted of the Nov. 1980 abduction and killing of a 10-year-old girl.

According to the case summary from the Florida Commission on Capital Cases, Elisa Nelson was riding her bike to school around 10:30 a.m. on November 4, 1980 after a dentist appointment earlier that morning. Her bike was found later in the day in a ditch about a mile from her school. A day later, her body was found.

The summary said that “Elisa died from a skull fracture possibly caused by a single blow to the head. A cement-encased steel pipe was found lying next to the body. There were two lacerations approximately 3.5 and 4.5 inches along the girl’s neck. The medical examiner could not discern if the lacerations were made before or after the child’s death, but they were not the cause of death. There were no signs of molestation on the body.”

The same day Nelson disappeared, police were called to Larry Mann’s home following a suicide attempt in which Mann had slashed his wrists with a razor blade. When the authorities arrived, Mann told them he had “done something stupid and needed help.”

Four days later, on November 8, Mann’s wife was getting his glasses from his truck when she found a note Nelson’s mother had written to excuse her for being late to school. The note was stained with both Nelson and Mann’s blood. Mrs. Mann told a friend, who reported the discovery to the police.

Mann had a history of pedophilia, psychotic depressions and suicide attempts, according to court documents. In an article for the Tampa Bay Times reporter Dan Sullivan writes:

Prosecutors theorized that Mann abducted Elisa with the intention of molesting her, but he was able to resist and abandoned his efforts. When Elisa tried to get away, Mann killed her. He cut her throat and hit her in the head with a pipe. An autopsy showed no signs of molestation.

It wasn’t the first time Mann had been accused of a sexually motivated crime. As a child, he was charged with taking a 7-year-old girl from a church parking lot and sexually assaulting her. At his murder trial in 1981, a woman from Mann’s native Mississippi testified about an incident from eight years earlier in which Mann broke into her apartment, where she was babysitting a 1-year-old boy. He grabbed her by the neck and threatened to harm the boy if she didn’t “give me what I want.” He forced the woman into a sex act.

His attorneys, Marie-Louise Samuels Parmer and Maria E. DeLiberato of the Capital Collateral Regional Counsel, appealed the warrant, saying that Mann has been a model prisoner, shows remorse and is a changed man. “Mann is a truly devout student of the Christian Bible and has generated deep friendships with prison guards and others around the world.” they wrote in the appeal.

His attorneys also challenged the jury’s 9-3 vote for death, writing:

“Florida’s outlier status in not requiring unanimous verdicts renders Mr. Mann’s death sentence, which was imposed after a 9 to 3 vote, unconstitutional. In no other state in the country would Mr. Mann have been sentenced to death.”

However, the state Supreme Court did not agree and on Tuesday, April 2 they declined hearing any aspect of the appeal.

Mann had survived at least one execution date, having been slated for execution by electric chair on Feb. 4, 1986. He was the 7th execution of 2013 nationally and the 75th in Florida since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.

His time of death was 7:19 p.m. ET.

Related Reading: 

Gov. Rick Scott Signs Death Warrant for Larry Mann

Appeal Denied for Larry Mann, Slated for Execution Next Week

Man who Killed Palm Harbor Girl to be Executed This Week

Invitation to an Execution

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3 thoughts on “Tonight’s Execution: Larry Eugene Mann, Florida

  1. Sharon Dodd says:

    32 years. That is just disgusting. Our laws need changed. Poor people worry about how they are going to eat, how they can get medical assistance and where they will sleep that night. Larry Mann has not worried about any of these for the past 32 years. He could even get college courses for FREE. Yes, our laws need changed.

    Execute the bastard.

    • Glenn Hall says:

      I wonder if the solution is to use our government to feed the poor, help expand the Affordable Care Act, improve access to safe housing, and work on improving access and grants for deserving students to get a higher education. Because I agree, it is a sin and a shame that we do not solve those problems.

      I just don’t think state-sponsored murder solves any of them.

  2. Glenn Hall says:

    As a Christian, I neither condone the murder he committed, nor the murder committed by the state of Florida.

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