Skip to comments.Executions lag in Slater murder 25 years later
Posted on 04/28/2007 1:43:09 PM PDT by lastchance
STUART About 3 a.m., 25 years ago today, a blue Buick carrying four men drove to a small convenience store on U.S. 1 in north Stuart, then a lightly populated area.
Inside, the lone clerk, Frances Julia Slater, step-granddaughter of outboard motor magnate Ralph Evinrude and singer Frances Langford, was sweeping the floor.
Two of the men entered the store, took $134 and forced Slater to come with them.
A night that began when four bored fruit pickers decided to rob someone ended in murder.
And it launched an intensive investigation that lasted eight days before the four were arrested.
That night's chain of events that captured nationwide attention continues to this day. One man has been executed, one was sentenced to life in prison, and two still sit on death row in Starke.
Martin County Sheriff Bob Crowder was chief investigator under then Sheriff Jim Holt and personally directed the probe by county and city law officers. He said the fact that Alphonso Cave, then 24, and J.B. "Pig" Parker, then 19, have not been executed is an injustice to the victim's family.
"It is taking a terrible toll on them," he said. "The penalty should have already been carried out in this case. There was never any doubt as to who did what."
(Excerpt) Read more at tcpalm.com ...
I think it is important that I post a timeline
THE CONVICTED KILLERS
OF FRANCES JULIA SLATER
TIME LINE: A STUDY OF SLOW JUSTICE
April 27, 1982
2:30 a.m.: A Martin County Sheriff’s Office deputy sees Francis Julia Slater working behind the counter of a now-closed Li’l Saints convenience store on U.S. 1 north of the Roosevelt Bridge.
3 a.m.: Four men in a Buick drive up to the store. Two men enter the store to rob it. They take $134 and force Slater into their car.
3:04 a.m.: A customer finds the store empty and alerts police, who begin a search for Slater.
3:30 a.m. (estimated): The car stops and Slater is forced out, pleading for her life. John Earl Bush, 23, driver of the Buick, and J. B. “Pig” Parker, 19, get out with her. Bush stabs her in the stomach and she falls to the ground. Parker produces a handgun and shoots her once in the back of the head. The four drive away.
4 a.m.: St. Lucie County Deputy Tim Bargo stops the bluer because it has a flickering tailight. He does not know Stuart Police are looking for a similar car involved in another robbery and writes them a warning. He also does not know the men had debated killing him to prevent any possibility of their being connected to the murder. The .38 caliber revolver used in the murder was thrown in a canal in Fort Pierce.
4:30 p.m.: Truck driver Edward Cauley spots Slater’s body in a ditch and alerts authorities.
7 p.m.: Investigators clear the scene but have few clues. Rewards totaling $20,000 are posted for the arrest and conviction of the killers.
April 28, 1982: Bargo tells his supervisor about the traffic stop and gives him the names of the people in the car.
April 30, 1982: Funeral services for Frances Julia Slater are held in Jensen Beach. Her ashes are scattered at sea.
May 2, 1982: Several tips report “street talk” connecting Bush, Parker, Alphonso Cave, 24, and Terry Wayne “Bo Gator” Johnson, 25, with Slater’s murder.
May 4, 1982: Bush, Parker and Cave are arrested.
May 6, 1982: Johnson voluntarily surrenders. He gives a statement implicating the others in the crime.
May 19, 1982: A grand jury indicts all four men on murder charges.
August 1982: The trial of the four men is delayed, so defense attorneys can seek to move them outside Martin and St. Lucie counties.
November 1982: John Earl Bush is found guilty in a Fort Myers courtroom and sentenced to death. The decision is automatically appealed to the Florida Supreme Court.
Dec. 6. 1982: In St. Petersburg, Alphonso Cave is found guilty an sentenced to die. The decision is automatically appealed to the state Supreme Court.
January 1983: J.B. “Pig” Parker goes on trial in Lake County. Parker is found guilty on Jan. 8 and sentenced to die. The case is automatically appealed to the state Supreme Court.
April 1983: The trial for Terry Wayne Johnson is held in Fort Lauderdale. He was convicted.
June 29, 1983: Terry Wayne Johnson is sentenced to life without parole for 25 years.
November 1984: Florida Supreme Court upholds the death sentence for Bush.
August 1985: Florida Supreme Court upholds death sentences for Cave and Parker.
January 1986: Gov. Bob Graham and the Florida Cabinet refuse clemency for Bush.
March 1986: Graham signs the death warrant for Bush.
April 1986: Florida Supreme Court issues a stay of execution for Bush.
June 1986: The U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear Cave’s appeal.
October 1987: The U.S. Supreme Court rejects an appeal for Bush.
December 1987: Cave and Parker seek and are denied executive clemency by Gov. Bob Martinez and the Florida Cabinet.
January 1988: Martinez signs the death warrant for Bush.
February 1988: A federal court issues a stay of execution for Bush.
April 1988: Requests for a new trial for Parker are denied. Gov. Martinez signs death warrant for Cave.
July 1988: U.S. District Judge William J. Castagna issues a stay of Cave’s execution in Tampa, pending a review of his case.
February 1991: Circuit Judge C. Pfeiffer Trowbridge reaffirms death sentence for Cave.
Florida Supreme Court throws out Cave’s conviction saying Judge Walsh should not have presided at second trial.
Oct. 21, 1996: Bush electrocuted at the Florida State Correctional Facility at Starke. Among the witnesses is Cathy Slater Springston, twin sister to Francis Julia Slater.
November 1996: Cave is resentenced to death. Both Parker and Cave remain on death row.
October 1999: U.S. Supreme Court rejects an appeal by Parker.
October 2000: Parker gets a new trial in Tavarres on the sentencing issue. He is convicted.
March 2002: Cave gets a rehearing of his sentence before Circuit Judge Paul Kanarek in Vero Beach. He is convicted.
January 2005: The Florida Supreme Court again upholds death sentence for Cave.
The timeline is from the posted article.
“St. Lucie County Deputy Tim Bargo stops the bluer because it has a flickering tailight.”
I’m gonna adjust my attitude with respect to cops stopping me for piffleing BS like this. I don’t know that this isn’t the millionth time I’ve read of them bagging a worldclass piece of criminal filth this way.