Florida man on death row for 42 years fighting for his life

8 On Your Side

It was a gruesome crime. Five people were gunned down in a furniture store in Winter Garden, Florida. 

Only one made it out alive and that lone survivor is still dodging death 42-years later.  “I didn’t do it,” Tommy Zeigler said. “They got a conviction and here I am stuck.”

A judge overruled a jury and sent Tommy Zeigler to death row in 1976.  

Florida inmate fights for his life - Keith promo

Private investigator Lynn Marie Carty has spent years digging up evidence that she believes proves Tommy didn’t kill anyone.  

She showed us file folders packed with information about witnesses ignored or prevented from appearing at his trial.  

“This was all hidden from the judge and the jury,” Carty said. “They didn’t have all the information.  The guy didn’t do anything and we kept him there.”  

Zeigler swears he is innocent.  He believes if jurors heard from all of the witnesses, or knew about the DNA results that would come years later, and not been intimidated into voting guilty, he would not be where he is today.  

What he wants is a new trial to clear his name.  

“They can use every bit of that testimony,” Ziegler said. “They can bring it all back into that courtroom and present it to a jury and let me present what we have now.” 

Why is the state of Florida so reluctant to allow Zeigler’s case back in court?  Is there a chance he could be the next Florida death row inmate to be exonerated?

Watch my special report fighting for his life, Monday at 11 p.m. on News Channel 8.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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