biographical data

Carman Deck biography: 13 things about St. Louis County, Missouri man


Carman L. Deck Jr. was a resident of St. Louis County, Missouri, United States. As a child, he was abused and neglected by his biological parents.

Deck was also beaten to the point of having welts and sexually abused by men his mother brought home when he was young. Here are 13 more things about him:


  1. He has three siblings including Tonia Cummings. When they were young, they were often left alone without food and their mother taught them how to steal.
  2. When he was a teenager, he lived with a relative in De Soto, Jefferson County, Missouri where he knew couple James B. Long and Zelma L. Long. He and one of the couple’s grandchildren would sneak into the couple’s home and steal money from a safe.
  3. By 1985, he had lived in 23 different houses, including foster homes. In the same year, he was arrested for stealing a riding lawnmower. After spending a week in jail, he went back and was caught helping two men escape. He was sent back to prison for burglary and aiding an escape. Upon his release to a halfway house in St. Louis, Missouri, he worked as a server at an Italian restaurant but was soon back to prison on a parole violation. He was raped while in jail that year, according Elizabeth Unger Carlyle, a lawyer who represented him before his death.
  4. In June 1996, he planned a burglary with his mother’s boyfriend Jim Boliek to help Boliek obtain money for a trip to Oklahoma, USA. He targeted James and Zelma and planned to break into the couple’s home in De Soto on a Sunday while the couple was at church. To prepare for the burglary, he and Boliek drove to De Soto several times to canvass the area. Unemployed, he lived in an apartment on Enderbury Drive in St. Louis with Cummings at the time.
  5. At around 9:00 p.m. on July 8, 1996, he and Cummings knocked on the door at James and Zelma’s house in De Soto and asked for directions to Laguna Palma reservoir in De Soto. Zelma invited him and Cummings inside and James drew them a map. He pulled a .22 caliber High Standard automatic loading pistol owned by Boliek, demanded money, shot James and then Zelma in the back of their heads and robbed them of $400. Later that evening, he was arrested. Earlier that day, Boliek told him that Boliek and his mother wanted to leave for Oklahoma on July 12, 1996.
  6. On April 17, 1998, he was convicted and sentenced to death while Cummings was sentenced to 70 years in prison for participating in the deaths of James and Zelma.
  7. In 2002, the Missouri Supreme Court upheld his convictions for murder but overturned the death sentences, citing a problem with missing jury instructions.
  8. In 2003, Jefferson County prosecutors retried his penalty phase. The second jury recommended his death penalty.
  9. In 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned his death penalty sentence, citing the prejudice caused by him being shackled in front of the sentencing jury.
  10. On November 7, 2008, he was sentenced to death for a third time.
  11. In April 2017, U.S. District Judge Catherine Perry said his third penalty-phase trial was “fundamentally unfair” because a decade of delays prevented him from arguing for a sentence other than death.
  12. On October 19, 2020, a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court judge’s ruling and reinstated the death penalty against him in the deaths of James and Zelma.
  13. At 6:10 p.m. on May 3, 2022, he died by injection at the state prison in Bonne Terre in St. Francois County, Missouri, making him the fifth person executive in the U.S. in 2022. He was 56. In a final statement, he wrote, “My hope is that one day the world will find peace and that we all will learn to be kind and loving to one another. We all are a part of this journey through life, connected in every way. Please give love, show love, BE LOVE!”

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