LAKELAND, Fla. - Florida prison officials on Thursday executed a man convicted of the 1994 rape and slaying of an 11-year-old girl. It was the state's sixth execution this year.
Eddie Wayne Davis was executed at Florida State Prison by injection at 6:43 p.m.
In March of 1994, Davis kidnapped then brutally raped 11-year-old Kimberly Waters of Lakeland before killing her and tossing her body in a trash bin.
Four relatives of the victim made the trip to Raiford, Fla., to see Davis be put to death.
"It's finally over. Twenty years, four months, and six days. We finally have justice," said Tom Brimer, Waters' uncle.
Although the family counted down to this day, some could not even bare to watch the execution.
"I don't need to see it done. I just want to know that it's done. I just need to know that it's over," said Micki Hobbs, Waters' grandmother.
She told reporters after the execution that she feels relieved her granddaughter's killer is now dead.
More than 20 years ago, Sheriff Grady Judd was the major in charge of the case and has never forgotten the innocent little girl.
He also made the three-hour trip to witness this final chapter.
"I owe this to the family, and certainly to Kimberly Waters to see that justice is done, and justice was done today," he said. "He earned it, he deserved it, and today he got justice."
Lt. Terry Storie, who was a young deputy at the time, is the one who found Kimberly's body in a Lakeland dumpster.
He almost left law enforcement after making the gruesome discovery he describes as "numbing."
"I stayed to see this to an end," said Storie, who has remained in routine contact with the victim's family.
While he watched Kimberly's killer die, he said all he thought about was her.
Now that he's seen the execution, he said he can happily retire, which he plans to do in the near future.
Witnesses said the execution went as planned. There were no noticeable painful reactions to the drugs that Davis' lawyers argued he could experience because he suffered from a blood disorder.
When asked if he had any final words, Davis replied, "no sir" and then appeared to start praying.
This is the 67th execution reporter John Koch has witnessed.
"Initally you could see him fall asleep, he would yawn, the mouth would open and then close, then you would see deep breaths getting shorter and shorter and shorter, and finally stopping," said Koch, who works for the Florida News Network.
Davis, 45, was convicted in 1995 of first-degree murder, kidnapping and sexual battery in the slaying of Waters, the daughter of a woman Davis had dated briefly.
Davis broke into his ex-girlfriend's trailer in the central Florida community of Lakeland seeking beer money, according to court documents. Prosecutors say he found Waters sleeping, and that he woke the girl and raped her.
After the rape, Davis took Waters to a nearby Moose Lodge, where he beat her and suffocated her with a piece of plastic before dumping her body in a trash can.
Davis' execution was the second in Florida since the lethal injection process came under fresh scrutiny in April when Oklahoma prison officials stopped the execution of Clayton Lockett. They halted it after noticing the deadly drug mixture was not being administered into his vein properly.