BONNE TERRE, Mo. – Carman Deck, the man who killed an elderly couple in De Soto couple during a home robbery in 1996, will be executed for his crime on Tuesday. Over the past 24 years, Deck’s death sentence had been overturned and reinstated on three separate occasions.
“Mr. Deck has received due process, and three separate juries of his peers have recommended sentences of death for the brutal murders he committed,” Governor Mike Parson said in a statement. “The State of Missouri will carry out Mr. Deck’s sentence according to the Court’s order and deliver justice.”
Anti-death penalty advocates argued that so much time passed between Deck’s first and third trials that it hindered the efforts of his attorneys to obtain evidence to argue against killing him.
James and Zelma Long were gunned down inside their own home in De Soto on July 8, 1996. That evening, Deck and his sister, Tonia Cummings, went to the Longs’ home and knocked on the door pretending to need directions.
The couple invited Deck and Cummings into their home and that’s when Deck pulled a gun and ordered James and Zelma to lie face down on their bed. The couple cooperated with Deck’s demands for money and even opened the family safe for him. Deck ultimately shot both James and Zelma in their heads and fled with his sister. He was arrested that same evening.
Deck’s execution will be carried out via lethal injection at 6 p.m. Tuesday inside the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Bonne Terre.
Tonia Cummings was convicted in 1998 of two counts of second-degree murder and armed criminal action, as well as one count of first-degree burglary and first-degree robbery. She is serving a 70-year sentence at the Chillicothe Correctional Center.