The Commission on Capital Cases was not funded in the FY 2011-2012 General Appropriations Act, and the Commission ceased operations on June 30, 2011. This site and the Commission website are being retained to provide access to historical materials.

The Registry Attorneys will be continued by the Justice Administration Commission.

These actions are effective July 1, 2011.

Disclaimer: The Commission on Capital Cases receives this information from a variety of sources. The site will be updated consistently as information is received and will be audited bi-annually. We make every attempt to ensure the accuracy of the information provided; however, the information should be verified by the applicable court prior to using it for legal or statistical purposes.


Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
CarrollElmer 835908RegistryCase Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
12/4/2008USCA08-14317Habeas Appeal
7/24/2009USCA08-14317USCA affirmed the denial of the Petition.
8/24/2009USSC09-6134Cert Writ filed
11/2/2009USSC09-6134Cert denied

Current Attorney

Last NameFirst NameCityAddressZipPhoneEMail
ReiterMichael P.Venice, FL5313 Layton Dr.34293850/893-4668Email


Last NameCase NumberJudgeCountyCCRCOrder DateContract Date

Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
Direct Links

The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly

The Commission on Capital Cases updates thisinformation regularly.  This information, however, is subject to changeand may not reflect the latest status of an inmate’s case and should not berelied on for statistical or legal purposes.


CARROLL, Elmer (W/M)

DC #   835908

DOB: 08/19/56 


Ninth Judicial Circuit, Orange County, Case #90-12464

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Belvin Perry

Trial Attorney: James E. Taylor, Esq. – Private  

Attorneys, Direct Appeal: J. Wulchak & C. Quarles – AssistantPublic Defenders

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Michael P. Reiter, Esq. –Registry


Date of Offense:        10/30/90

Date of Sentence:      04/16/92         


Circumstances of Offense:


Elmer Carroll was convicted and sentenced to death for themurder of 10-year-old Christine McGowan on 10/30/90.


Robert Rank attempted to wake his stepdaughter, ChristineMcGowan, on the morning of 10/30/90 and, when she did not answer his calls,Rank went to McGowan’s room.  He noticed her door, which was open thenight before, was closed.  Upon entering the room, Rank discovered McGowanface down on the bed.  She had blood between her legs and her body wascold to the touch.  Rank then noticed that the front door was slightlyopen and his construction truck was missing.  Police investigators at thescene determined that McGowan had been raped and strangled to death, and issueda bulletin regarding the stolen construction truck.


Upon hearing a radio bulletin regarding the stolenconstruction truck, Debbie Hyatt notified police that she remembered seeing theabandoned truck and a man, later identified as Elmer Carroll, walking easterlyaway from the truck.  As a result of Hyatt’s tip, Carroll wasarrested.  When law enforcement officers searched Carroll for weapons,they found a box cutter and the keys to the stolen construction truck.


Information presented at trial revealed that Carroll was aresident of the halfway house located next door to the victim’s home and thatCarroll had remarked to other residents about the “cute” girl next door. DNA evidence recovered from the scene matched Carroll’s saliva, semen and pubichair, and after his arrest, blood was found on Carroll’s sweatshirt and penis.


Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:




Offense Date


Sentence Date


Case No.

Prison Sentence Length






6Y 0M 1D






15Y 0M 0D



Trial Summary:


10/30/90         Defendant arrested.

11/26/90         Defendant indicted on:

                                   Count I:           First-DegreeMurder

                                   Count II:         Sexual Battery W/ VictimUnder 12

04/13/92         The jury found the defendant guilty on both counts.

04/13/92         Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by a 12 to 0 majority, voted for the

death penalty.

04/16/92         The defendant was sentenced as followed:

                                   Count I:           First-DegreeMurder – Death

                                   Count II:         Sexual Battery W/ VictimUnder 12 – Life


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC #79,829

636 So. 2d 1316


05/07/92         Appeal filed.

04/14/94         FSC affirmed the convictions and sentence of death.

06/09/94         Rehearing denied.

07/11/94         Mandate issued.


United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ ofCertiorari

USSC #94-6014

513 U.S. 973


09/07/94         Petition filed.

10/31/94         Petition denied.


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #90-12464


02/01/96         Motion filed.

10/20/98         Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC #94,611

815 So.2d 601


12/31/98         Appeal filed.

03/07/02         Decision affirmed.

04/19/02         Rehearing denied.

05/20/02         Mandate issued.


Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of HabeasCorpus

FSC #SC00-46

815 So.2d 601


01/10/00         Petition filed.

03/07/02         Petition denied.

04/19/02         Rehearing denied.

05/20/02         Mandate issued.


State Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC #90-12464


04/22/03         Motion filed.

01/12/04         Motion denied.


Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Appeal

FSC #SC04-192

904 So. 2d 430


02/09/04         Appeal filed.

05/12/05         FSC affirmed the denial of the Motion.


United States District Court, Middle District –Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

USDC# 05-857


06/08/05         Petition filed.

06/20/08         Petition denied.


United States Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit – HabeasAppeal

USDC# 08-14317


12/04/08         Appeal filed.

07/17/09          USCA affirmed the denial of the Petition.


United States Supreme Court– Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC# 09-6134

130 S.Ct. 500


08/24/09          Petition filed.

11/02/09          Petition denied.


Factors Contributing to the Delay in the Imposition ofthe Sentence:


In December 1994, Carroll was granted a time extension infiling a Motion to Vacate Judgment and Sentence (3.850) until February 1,1996.  Statutorily, a defendant has one year from the rehearing denialdate in which to file a 3.850 Motion.  With his motion for rehearingdenied on 06/09/94, the time lapse between filing was approximately one yearand seven months.  Other than the filing extension, there have been nounreasonable delays at this time.


 Case Information:


Carroll filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Courton 05/07/92.  In that appeal, Carroll alleged that the keys that linkedhim to Rank’s construction truck should have been suppressed as evidencebecause they were found as a result of an illegal arrest.  Next, Carrollcontended that testimony of one of the deputies unfairly and prejudiciallycommented on his refusal to testify, and he also argued several improperquestions asked of a psychiatrist on cross-examination by the prosecutor. In reference to the penalty phase of the trial, Carroll argued the applicationof the heinous, atrocious, and cruel (HAC) aggravating factor and that thetrial court erred in failing to consider certain statutory mitigatingevidence.  The Florida Supreme Court affirmed the convictions and sentenceof death on 04/14/94.


Subsequently, Carroll filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorariin the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on 10/31/94.


On 02/01/96, Carroll filed a Motion to Vacate Judgment andSentence (3.850) in the State Circuit Court.  That motion was denied on 10/20/98,after which Carroll filed an appeal in the Florida Supreme Court on 12/31/98,which was denied on 03/07/02.


Carroll also filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus inthe Florida Supreme Court on 01/10/00, which was denied on 03/07/02.


On 4/22/03, Carroll filed another 3.850 Motion in the StateCircuit Court that was denied on 01/12/04.  Carroll filed an appeal ofthat decision in the Florida Supreme Court on 02/09/04.  On 05/12/05, theFSC affirmed the denial of the Motion.


Carroll filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with theU.S. District Court, Middle District, on 06/08/05 that was denied on 06/20/08.


On 12/04/08, Carroll filed a Habeas Appeal with the UnitedStates Court of Appeals. The United States Court of Appeals affirmed the lowercourts disposition and denied the Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus.


 On 08/24/09, Carroll filed a Petition for Writ ofCertiorari with the United States Supreme Court that was denied on 11/02/09.


Institutional Adjustment: 


DATE             DAYS       VIOLATION                             LOCATION      

--------            ----       ----------------------------             -------------------

10/14/92         30        POSS OF UNAUTHBEV.                   FSP

05/18/93         0          DEST. OF ST.PROP.                         FSP

05/25/94         0          DISRESP.TOOFFICIALS              UNION C. I.        

04/05/95         0           UNAUTH USE OFDRUGS            UNIONC. I.        

04/27/95          0          POSS OF CONTRABAND              UNION C.I.        

03/16/96         0           ARSON ORATTEMPT                   UNION C.I.        

07/10/96         90         OBSCENE PROFANEACT            UNION C.I.        

08/08/98         0           DISORDERLY CONDUCT            UNION C. I.

01/10/99          0          DISRESP.TO OFFICIALS              UNION C. I.        

07/27/99         0            SPOKEN THREATS                    UNION C.I.        

09/02/99          0          DISORDERLY CONDUCT             UNION C. I.        

10/01/99         0           POSS OFCONTRABAND              UNION C. I.        

05/10/00         60         DISRESP.TOOFFICIALS              UNION C. I.        

02/23/01         60         DISRESP.TOOFFICIALS              UNION C. I.  

06/01/02         60         DISORDERLY CONDUCT             UNION C. I.           

11/10/04         60         DISOBEYINGORDER                   UNION C. I.




12/31/01 – ew

01/11/02 – approved – ws

12/17/09 – updated – kkr