Larry Eugene Mann, convicted in 1981 of viciously murdering a 10-year-old Florida girl, was put to death by lethal injection on Wednesday. The execution, carried out at Florida State Prison, was witnessed by 28 individuals — including several members of the young victim’s family.
According to the Florida Department of Corrections, the 59-year-old convicted killer was pronounced dead at 7:19 pm EDT. Mann, considered one of the longest serving death-row inmates in the state, was reportedly denied a last-minute appeal shortly before the Florida execution took place.
Larry Eugene Mann, was sentenced to death for the abduction and brutal slaying of 10-year-old Elisa Vera Nelson. On the morning of November 4, 1980, Mann reportedly kidnapped the young girl as she rode her bicycle to school, forcing her into his vehicle. The abduction occurred less than 100 yards from Elisa’s school.
According to a statement by Elisa’s family following the Florida execution, the child was transported to a nearby orange grove. As the young girl fought against her attacker, Mann beat the child so severely that Elisa’s blood and hair were later found strewn throughout the man’s vehicle.
Larry Mann reportedly slit the child’s throat twice before ending the horrific ordeal by crushing her skull with a steel pipe encased in cement. Police reportedly discovered Elisa’s body the next day, the bloody killing instrument discarded beside her.
Mann, who had previously spent time behind bars on a sexual battery charge, was convicted and sentenced to death for Elisa’s murder. Despite numerous appeals, the child-killer’s sentence was upheld twice in the following years. In the moments leading up to his execution, Mann reportedly declined to offer any final words.
Instead, Larry Mann chose a Bible verse to be read aloud after his execution. The handwritten verse read, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” According to Jeff Nelson, Elisa’s brother, the girl’s family questions whether Mann felt any regrets for the killing.
Throughout his time behind bars, Mann was reportedly known to pray and express remorse for Elisa’s death. However, Jeff Nelson expressed skepticism regarding Mann’s true feelings on the matter. “He just had his chance to say something and he didn’t say anything,” Nelson explained following the Florida execution. “We question whether he was really remorseful.”
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