Home Take Action Innocence Links Press Releases FL Execution Information Search Get Involved Local Groups Reports DP in the News U.S. Execution Information Yes Florida, There is an ALTERNATIVE to the Death Penalty
William Tommy Zeigler, Jr. A Good Samaritan and Innocent Man Sitting On Floridas Death Row For Over 28 Years.
[This document was created before the DNA test results were known. In addition to the below, the most compelling proof of Tommy Zeigler’s innocence is the fact that DNA testing debunks the state’s theory in the case by establishing the fact that one of the victims (Charlie Mays) must have been involved in the murder of another victim (Perry Edwards), because Mays had Edward’s blood on his clothes, and Zeigler did not. The implications of this are more fully explained at https://www.fadp.orgwordpress/?page_id=3529 ]
TEN COMPELLING POINTS FOR INNOCENCE:
- Witnesses discovered AFTER the trial: Eyewitness accounts of witnesses driving by the store (murder scene) and staying in the Winter Garden Inn behind the store corroborate Zeigler’s story-Ken and Linda Roach heard a large volley of shots being fired at the same time, far too many for one man to have fired; Jellison family saw a police officer with gun drawn behind the furniture store and then later heard shots fired, giving credence to Zeigler’s allegation of police corruption and support the theory that Zeigler was targeted because of his work to expose that corruption.
- Eyewitnesses who saw state key witness Edward Williams (who claims Zeigler tried to kill him and then handed him the weapon when it didn’t fire) after the crime give an account that is corroborated by police logs and discredits this key prosecution witness’ story and in so doing damages the entire state theory of the case. Without Williams storythe State has no case, at least not against Zeigler.
- Position of light switches in furniture store: when the lights were turned back on during the crime scene investigation via the breaker switch that had been turned off outside, the position of the switches corroborates Zeigler’s story, and refutes the state theory.
- Numerous contradictions in the first statements taken from the two state key witnesses-Edward Williams and Felton Thomas.
- Crime scene photo reveals jaw tooth that expert says did not come from victims or Zeigler-this along with an expended cartridge that didn’t belong to any of the weapons on the scene indicate the presence of another person and gives credence to rumors after the murders about a “man holed up in Oakland with a bullet in his shoulder.”
- Zeigler’s cooperation with polygraph testing, sodium brevital interview, and seeking of DNA testing.
- One of the world’s foremost polygraph experts (Dr. John Palmatier, with Michigan State Police) interviewed and tested Zeigler over a two-day period before Unsolved Mysteries would cover the case. He then appeared on Unsolved Mysteries, a nationwide broadcast, and staked his reputation that Zeigler is telling the truth.
- Zeigler says he was involved in ridding the Winter Garden area of corruption and had observed corruption among members of the police department. This theory corroborated by affidavit of former police officer Ed Rowe who was told that Zeigler was “supposed to have been killed” that night.
- Trial attorneys, appeals attorneys, and journalists who have investigated the case continue to work on Zeigler’s behalf at their own expense because of their belief in Zeigler’s innocence. Zeiglers current appellate attorneys were brought in by the NAACPa group that certainly would not have done so if there was any chance that Zeigler maliciously killed his black friend and tried to kill his black employee. After 25 years there has never been any contradiction discovered in Zeigler’s account of the events
- For the State’s theory to work, Zeigler had to have been a master planner who planned the events down to the last minute, allowing no room for error, such as people arriving a bit early or a bit later. Yet for the State’s version to work, he also had to have waited until the day of the “well-planned” murders to decide to include some of the people he would use to cover his crime.
Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty
2603 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Hwy
Gainesville, FL 32609
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