Convicted child killer executed 32 years after killing girl - WFLA News Channel 8

Convicted child killer executed 32 years after killing girl

Posted: Updated:
PINELLAS COUNTY, FL -

Florida executed one of the longest-serving inmates on its death row Wednesday evening, 32 years after he kidnapped and murdered a 10-year-old Pinellas County girl who was riding her bike to school after a dentist put on her braces.

Larry Eugene Mann was put to death by lethal injection for kidnapping and murdering Elisa Vera Nelson on Nov. 4, 1980. Melissa Sellers, a spokeswoman for Governor. Rick Scott's office, said Mann was pronounced dead at 7:19 p.m. at the Florida State Prison in Starke.

Mann answered "Uh, no sir," when asked if he had any last words before the procedure began. There were 28 witnesses to the execution, including media and corrections personnel, and a group of Elisa's relatives sat in the front row wearing buttons with her photo on them.

"I want him punished for what he did to my niece and what it's done to my family," said Elisa's Aunt Wanda Vekasi prior to Wednesday night's execution.

Vekasi said her niece was late to school that morning because she had a dentist appointment. Her mother wrote an excuse note for her to give to teachers. Elisa then set off on her bicycle around 10 a.m. for the short ride from her house to Palm Harbor Elementary School. She never made it to class.

"We all try to tell our kids about those green-eyed monsters out there and Lisa had been told endlessly," explained Vekasi.

Investigators said a sexual predator on parole, named Larry Mann, somehow snatched Elisa off the street and took her to a nearby orange grove. He murdered her, as she tried to fight him off, deputies said.

"They figured that she had stabbed him with a pencil maybe in her backpack," said Vekasi.

Mann has appealed his death sentence for the last 32 years causing continued agony for Elisa's relatives.

"There's no gray area," said Vekasi. "He was guilty and why did it have to take 32 years to finish this?"

Vekasi said she's attended several executions in Starke to show support for Florida's death penalty, but did not attend Wednesday night.  She said Elisa's parents and other relatives made the trip to Starke and sat in the front row wearing buttons with her picture on them.

Investigators said Mann could have died knowing about other unsolved cases. Mississippi authorities have tied him to three cold cases there, but said there was never enough solid evidence to officially charge him.

 

  • 8 On Your SideMore>>

  • Apple users get strange emails with old dates

    Apple users get strange emails with old dates

    Thursday, July 24 2014 6:53 AM EDT2014-07-24 10:53:01 GMT
    If you got an email dated in the 60s, you would probably assume it's a scam.
    If you got an email dated in the 60s, you would probably assume it's a scam.
  • Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Pinellas homeowner ends up the loser after local government mistake on property taxes

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:59 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:59:58 GMT
    This Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in PinellasThis Preservation land is at heart of homeowner tax dispute in Pinellas
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
    Melanie and Jeffrey Cornwell should have been getting a tax break for years on part of the homestead property in Dunedin they call their "little piece of Heaven." But due to a mistake at the Pinellas Property Appraiser's Office, they won't see any rebates for previous taxes, just a break on future tax bills.
  • RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    RECALL: Fruit at Trader Joe's & Costco

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:45 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:45:14 GMT
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
    A Central California company has issued a voluntary nationwide recall of specific lots of its fresh peaches, plums, nectarines and pluots over concerns of possible listeria contamination.
  • NewsMore>>

  • Cell phone app takes selfie of Lakeland woman with stolen phone

    Cell phone app takes selfie of Lakeland woman with stolen phone

    Thursday, July 24 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-07-24 15:01:51 GMT
    Cell phone app takes selfie of woman who allegedly stole phone.Cell phone app takes selfie of woman who allegedly stole phone.
    A Lakeland woman is trying to find her stolen phone and has a very strong lead, thanks to an app a friend recently downloaded for her.Cathy Carter was in the doctor's office July 17th and went back to her car to find her phone, a Samsung Galaxy Exhibit, missing.
    A Lakeland woman is trying to find her stolen phone and has a very strong lead, thanks to an app a friend recently downloaded for her.Cathy Carter was in the doctor's office July 17th and went back to her car to find her phone, a Samsung Galaxy Exhibit, missing.
  • Prosecutors to lay out timeline at Tampa dead baby trial

    Prosecutors to lay out timeline at Tampa dead baby trial

    Thursday, July 24 2014 7:05 AM EDT2014-07-24 11:05:38 GMT
    The boy's mother Jasmine BedwellThe boy's mother Jasmine Bedwell
    Prosecutors will continue laying out a timeline Thursday of the day three-month-old Emmanuel Murray was murdered. The defense will continue to try to discredit it during cross examination. 
    Prosecutors will continue laying out a timeline Thursday of the day three-month-old Emmanuel Murray was murdered. The defense will continue to try to discredit it during cross examination. 
  • Bradenton Police found missing 82-year-old man

    Bradenton Police found missing 82-year-old man

    Thursday, July 24 2014 5:24 AM EDT2014-07-24 09:24:11 GMT
    Missing man, 82-year-old Bonner Welch of BradentonMissing man, 82-year-old Bonner Welch of Bradenton
    Bradenton Police officers located an 82-year-old man who went missing on Wednesday night.
    Bradenton Police officers located an 82-year-old man who went missing on Wednesday night.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • 'Extraordinary' little boy finishes triathlon with his disabled brother

    'Extraordinary' little boy finishes triathlon with his disabled brother

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 5:52 PM EDT2014-07-22 21:52:34 GMT
    (Photo: Courtesy Today.com via Aldrich Family)(Photo: Courtesy Today.com via Aldrich Family)
    Never underestimate the power of brotherly love. Eight-year-old Noah Aldrich didn’t want his 6-year-old sibling Lucas — who is confined to a wheelchair — to miss out on a youth triathlon this month.
    Never underestimate the power of brotherly love. Eight-year-old Noah Aldrich didn’t want his 6-year-old sibling Lucas — who is confined to a wheelchair — to miss out on a youth triathlon this month.
  • 'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    'Faces of Meth' program launched by Sheriff's office

    Monday, July 21 2014 6:37 PM EDT2014-07-21 22:37:35 GMT
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
    'Faces of Meth' is a project of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
  • France: Air Algerie flight vanishes over N Mali

    France: Air Algerie flight vanishes over N Mali

    Thursday, July 24 2014 10:03 AM EDT2014-07-24 14:03:14 GMT
    An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali after heavy rains were reported. 
    An Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria's capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali after heavy rains were reported. 
Powered by WorldNow

200 South Parker Street, Tampa, FL 33606

Telephone: 813.228.8888
Fax: 813.225.2770
Email: news@wfla.com

Can’t find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.