Scott Signs Death Warrant For Lavern Henry
By The News Service of Florida // February 14, 2014
Juan Carlos Chavez EXECUTED WEDNESDAY
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA – Gov. Rick Scott signed a death warrant Thursday for Robert Lavern Henry, who murdered two women at a fabric store in Deerfield Beach more than 26 years ago.
The execution is scheduled for March 20 at Florida State Prison near Starke.
Henry, 55, who has been on Death Row since 1988, was convicted in the deaths of Phyllis Harris and Janet Thermidor. When police and firefighters responded to a call on Nov. 1, 1987, the women were found in the store’s restrooms.
Harris was tied up and dead in the men’s room. Thermidor, located in the women’s restroom, was conscious despite a head wound and burns to more than 90 percent of her body.
Thermidor stated that Henry, the store’s maintenance man, hit her on the head with a hammer, left with the store’s money, only to return to douse her in a liquid before setting her on fire.
Thermidor died the next day. A year later, Henry was found guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, one count of armed robbery, and one count of arson.
The warrant comes a day after the execution of Juan Carlos Chavez, who committed the notorious 1995 murder of 9-year-old Jimmy Ryce in Miami-Dade County. Chavez was the 13th Death Row inmate executed in Florida since Scott took office in 2011.
SEE RELATED STORY: State Set To Execute Murderer of 9-Year Old Boy
Also Wednesday, a North Florida circuit judge ruled that a new lethal-injection drug would not violate the rights of Paul Augustus Howell who is scheduled for execution Feb. 26. Howell was convicted in the 1992 killing of a state Trooper James Fulford in Jefferson County.