DE SOTO, Mo. — Longtime De Soto residents remember Zelma and James Long for their kindness. The couple had been married for 49 years and raised seven children. The man convicted in 1998 of killing the couple in 1996 is scheduled to die by lethal injection Tuesday.
“Cold-blooded murder is what it was,” said De Soto resident Barry Yancey.
He said community members still mourn the loss of the Longs.
“Something this tragic, you just don’t forget,” said Yancey.
Carman Deck was convicted of the murders in 1998. Police said he pretended to ask for directions and the Longs invited him inside their home. Deck pulled out a gun and demanded money. The Longs complied but Deck shot both of them in the head.
Yancey believes the scheduled execution is long overdue. He believes it will bring some comfort to the Longs’ family.
Lawrence Krodinger lived across the street from the Longs when they were murdered.
“We were just in shock,” he said. “They just meant a lot to everybody in this area.”
Krodinger said his heart goes out to the Long family for everything they’ve endured as the legal process ran its course, culminating with a scheduled execution by lethal injection.
“They can rest in peace knowing he’s not out there,” he said.