A hearing will be held Tuesday to consider possible new evidence in the case of a former Greenport man scheduled to be executed in Florida next month, according to a report in the Tampa Bay Times.
Robert Waterhouse, 65, has twice been convicted of murder, including the the February 1966 rape and slaying of Greenport resident Ella May Carter. While on lifetime parole after pleading guilty and serving just eight years in prison for Ms. Carter’s death, Mr. Waterhouse was convicted of killing 29-year-old Deborah Kammerer in St. Petersburg, Fla. in January 1980. He has spent the past three decades on death row, but earlier this month Florida Governor Rick Scott ordered his execution for Feb. 15.
The Times is reporting that Mr. Waterhouse’s attorney, Robert Norgard, plans to raise at the hearing two important issues he says should prevent his client from getting the death penalty.
“One is that a witness has stepped forward with what he said is new information,” The Times wrote. “The other is that evidence in the case was destroyed after Waterhouse’s conviction.”
According to the Times story, a doorman at the lounge where witnesses in Mr. Waterhouse’s trial claim the victim was seen leaving with him on the night of the murder, has come forward saying he saw Mr. Waterhouse instead leave with two males.
In an affidavit filed in court, the doorman, Leglio Sotolongo, 55, said Mr. Waterhouse “did not leave the lounge with any female.”
Mr. Norgard also told The Times DNA evidence, which could not yet be tested at the time of Mr. Waterhouse’s trial, has since been destroyed. He says the evidence could have proven his client’s innocence, The Times reported.
Similar arguments have been raised by Mr. Waterhouse’s attorneys in the past, but to no avail.