Carman Deck, Missouri
Updated: Tuesday, May 3, 2022
On Tuesday, May 3, 2022, Carman L. Deck was executed in Missouri. Carman was pronounced dead at 6:10 pm local time, inside the execution chamber at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri. He was 56 years of age. Carman was executed for murdering 69-year-old James and 67-year-old Zelma Long in their DeSoto, Missouri home on July 8, 1996. Carman spent the last 24 years on death row in Missouri.
In June 1996, Carman Deck agreed to help plan a robbery for his mother’s boyfriend, Jim Boliek. Deck knew of James and Zelma Long, as he had spent time at their home when he was younger. He had witnessed the Long’s grandson steal money from a safe in the home.
Deck and Boliek planned to break into the home on a Sunday night when the couple was to be home. They had driven to the area to look around several times to prepare for the robbery. However, on July 8, 1996, Boliek said he wanted to leave earlier. Deck and his sister, Tonia Cummings drove to the Long’s home that night.
That evening, after dark, Deck and Cummings arrived at the Long’s home. They got out and knocked on the door, asking for directions to a place nearby. James and Zelma invited Deck and Cummings inside. They began explaining the directions, with James writing them down. Shortly after entering, Deck pulled a gun on the older couple.
Cummings acted as a lookout at the front door, while Deck ordered the couple to lie facedown on the bed. James and Zelma cooperated with Deck. Deck had Zelma open the safe and gave him all the jewelry and papers in the safe. She then offered to give him the $200 she had in her purse. James told Deck that there were many in a canister on top of the television. He also offered to write Deck a check.
Deck then man the couple lie face down on the bed. For the next 10 minutes, the couple begged for their lives while Deck considered his options. Cummings then told him time was running out and she headed back to the car. Deck eventually decided to shoot the couple since they could identify him. James and Zelma were each shot twice in the back of the head, killing them.
Deck was arrested and eventually confessed to the shooting. Deck’s sister, Cummings, was also arrested for her part in the crime. She pled guilty and was sentenced to 70 years in prison.
Deck was sentenced to death unanimously by his first jury. That sentence was reversed by the Missouri Supreme Court in 2002 due to errors made by Deck’s lawyers during his first trial. A second jury unanimously sentenced him to death again. In May 2005, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned his second death sentence due to him being shackled in front of the jury. A third jury again unanimously sentenced him to death in September 2008.
Pray for peace and healing for the family of James and Zelma Long. Pray for strength for the family of Carman.
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