October 29, 2015 10:33 pm EDT
Jerry W. Correll was executed by the state of Florida on Thursday, October 29, 2015. He was pronounced dead at 7:36 pm, inside the execution chamber at the Florida State Prison near Raiford, Florida. Jerry was 59 years of age. He was executed for the murder his ex-wife Susan Correll, Susan’s sister Marybeth Jones, their mother Mary Lou Hines, and five-year-old Tuesday Correll, daughter of Susan and Jerry. They were all murdered on July 1, 1985, in Orlando, Florida. Jerry spent the last 29 years of his life on Florida’s death row.
Jerry testified at his trial, along with his mother, that he had a “happy” and normal childhood. Jerry later claimed that he had a deprived childhood. Jerry had a history of drug and alcohol abuse throughout his life. Prior to his arrest, Jerry worked as a painter and builder of fiberglass parts. He also previously worked at Walt Disney World.
On the morning of July 1, 1985, police were called to the Hines’ home. Inside were the three woman and the young girl, all with multiple stab wounds. They had all died from their injuries. Defensive wounds were found on the three older women. Jerry Correll arrived at the scene approximately an hour and a half after the sheriff’s department investigator arrived.
Correll voluntarily went to the police station, where he gave a recorded statement regarding his whereabouts the previous night. In his statement, Correll said he was drinking and smoking marijuana with a woman during the time of the murder. Correll also said that the two of them later drove to Kissimmee. While at the sheriff’s station, Correll had his fingerprints taken. Pictures were also taken of scratches, cuts, and bruises, on his hands and forearms.
Correll was arrested the following day. Fingerprints and palm prints from the murder scene were eventually matched to Correll. It was also determined that Susan had been raped. Although it could not be confirmed that Correll perpetrated the rape, it could also not be positively concluded that he did not perpetrate the rape. Evidence also showed that Correll had previously made life threatening statements to his ex-wife.
Jerry Correll was the first Florida execution since the United States Supreme Court upheld the use of midazolam in executions as constitutional. Midazolam is one of the three drugs used by Florida in executions. Jerry declined to give a final statement.
Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Susan Correll, Marybeth Jones, Mary Lou Hines, and Tuesday Correll. Please pray for strength for the family of Jerry.