Robert Lavern Henry Executed For 1987 Double Murder
By The News Service of Florida // March 21, 2014
executed Thursday at Florida State Prison
Robert Lavern Henry, who was sent to Death Row for the 1987 double-murder of two co-workers in Deerfield Beach, was executed Thursday at Florida State Prison near Starke.
Henry, 55, was pronounced dead at 6:16 p.m., according to the Florida Department of Corrections.
The execution is the 16th since Gov. Rick Scott took office in 2011 – 11 more executions than occurred during the preceding four years while Charlie Crist was in the governor’s mansion.
The Florida Supreme Court rejected an appeal for a stay by Henry’s attorney on March 14 that claimed Scott violated the 2013 “Timely Justice Act” – a new law intended to speed up executions – by signing the death warrant too late.
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Henry, who has been on Death Row since 1988, was convicted in the deaths of Phyllis Harris and Janet Thermidor.
Janet Thermidor told investigators that Henry, the store’s maintenance man, hit her on the head with a hammer and left with the store’s money, only to return to douse her in a liquid before setting her on fire.
When police and firefighters responded to a call on Nov. 1, 1987, the women were found in a 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 told investigators that Henry, the store’s maintenance man, hit her on the head with a hammer and 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.