March 20, 2014
Shortly after 6 pm EDT, on March 20, 2014, Robert Laverne Henry was executed by the state of Florida.The execution was carried out at the Florida State Prison near Raiford, Florida.Robert was 55 years of age.Robert was executed for the murder of 53-year-old Phyllis Harris and 35-years old Janet Thermidor, whom he worked with at the Deerfield Beach fabric store in Deerfield Beach, Florida.Robert spent the last 25 years of his life on Florida's death row.
Around 9:30 pm on November 1, 1987, fire fighters and police officers responded to a fire at the Deerfield Beach fabric store.Phyllis Harris was found on the floor of the men’s restroom.She had been hit in the back of the head with a hammer and was already dead.Janet Thermidor was found on the floor of the women’s restroom.She too had been hit on the back of the head with a hammer.She also had burns on over 90 percent of her body.She was conscious when police found her.
Janet was rushed to the local hospital, where she told police that the store’s maintenance man, Robert Henry was responsible for her injuries.Henry had entered the office, hit her on the head, and stole the store’s money.Henry briefly left the office, but returned with a liquid he threw on her and then set on fire.She ran to the women’s restroom to attempt to put out the fire.Janet died the following morning.
Henry was arrested on November 3, 1987.Initially, Henry alleged that three unknown men robbed the store and abducted him.Henry later made self-incriminating statements.Henry was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder, armed robbery, and arson.He was given a death sentence for each murder.
Prior to the murders, Robert Henry did not have a criminal history.Robert allegedly had an abusive and neglectful childhood.Robert also alleges he had organic brain damage and suffered from post-traumatic stress syndrome.Robert had served in the Marine Corps, during which time he had repeated drug related infractions, which led to his other than honorable discharge.At the time of his discharge, he was listed as a deserter.Allegedly, Robert was addicted to cocaine and was under a cocaine-induced psychosis during the time of the crime.Robert also claims that his drug addiction is scientifically recognized brain disease.Robert’s brother testified that he had seen Robert “smoke marijuana, ingest hashish, THA, alcohol, opium, acid, and hash oil” while in high school.Additionally, Robert’s friend testified that he had seen him in possession of crack cocaine, although he had never seen Robert using it.
Please pray for peace and healing for the families of the Phyllis Harris and Janet Thermidor.Please pray for strength for the family of Robert Henry.