Killer Robert Waterhouse scheduled to be put to death February 15

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A killer convicted of murdering a woman and throwing her body into Tampa Bay more than 30 years ago is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection on Feb. 15.

Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday signed a death warrant for Robert Waterhouse, who is now 65. Waterhouse was found guilty of killing Deborah Kammerer, whose nude body was found in the mud flats of the bay.

The two were seen leaving a St. Petersburg bar on the night of Jan. 2, 1980. Authorities say Waterhouse raped Kammerer, then beat her in the head and throat about 30 times with what was believed to be a tire iron. Waterhouse drove to the edge of Tampa Bay, dragged Kammerer into the water and left her to drown.

Initially St. Petersburg police could not identify Kammerer and had to turn to the public for help. An anonymous caller gave police the license plate number of Waterhouse and said that they should investigate him.

Waterhouse was in St. Petersburg after getting released on parole for the 1966 murder of a 77-year-old New York woman. He was nearly executed in Florida's electric chair back in 1985.  His execution was held up by judges.

The state Supreme Court in 1988 ordered a new sentencing hearing because jurors were told they could not consider certain factors in deciding whether to recommend a death sentence, including that Waterhouse had been severely abused when he was a child and was an alcoholic. But in 1990, he received another death sentence.

An attorney in 2005 tried to get Waterhouse removed from death row because DNA evidence in his case had been mistakenly tossed out by a court clerk. But the state Supreme Court eventually sided against him.

This is the third death warrant that Scott has signed since becoming governor in January 2011.

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