Second man executed for Oklahoma City killing

Friday, February 1st 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

McALESTER, Okla. (AP) _ Hopes by a murder victim's daughter were dashed when her father's killer met death with bravado instead of remorse.

Twyla Alvarez, the only child of Roger Sarfaty, said she wanted David Wayne Woodruff to offer some explanation or apology for his crime. But Woodruff provided neither.

``We're not here for a social event, we're here for a killing,'' Woodruff said just before his execution. ``Name's David Wayne Woodruff, W-O-O-D-R-U-F-F. Let's get this show on the road.''

Woodruff on Thursday became the second inmate of the year to be executed in Oklahoma, dying two minutes after a lethal dose of drugs were injected into his veins.

``He demonstrated what I heard about him full-force,'' Alvarez said. ``I will say it took me by surprise, that he could be so unconcerned.''

``He's had the same attitude the whole time,'' said Tommy Thompson, the nephew of a second man killed by Woodruff and co-defendant John Joseph Romano.

Thompson and Alvarez offered condolences to Woodruff's family, saying they were crime victims, too.

``I do feel sorry for his (Woodruff's) mother and dad as I've met them both and they seem like good people,'' said Eulys Thompson, brother of Lloyd Thompson and another execution witness. ``But, as far as David Woodruff is concerned, I have no feelings except it's over and he's getting exactly what he deserves. He brought it on himself.''

Woodruff's execution drew no anti- or pro-death penalty protesters at the penitentiary's main gate. Except for visits from relatives and his lawyer, Woodruff's final hours were quiet, prison officials said. He requested two cheeseburgers, tater tots and a lemon-lime slush for a last meal.

Police and prosecutors said Woodruff and Romano picked Sarfaty as a victim because of the jewelry he traded. The killers also believed Sarfaty and Lloyd Thompson carried cash because of bets they had seen the men place with a city gambling operation.

Woodruff was also convicted of solicitation to commit murder after an informant told police Woodruff asked him to kill everyone in an Edmond coin shop so they could rob it. Woodruff reportedly stopped at the last minute when he saw a police officer in the store.

Alvarez, a crime analyst for a suburban Boston police department, said she was also disappointed by Romano's last words when he was executed Tuesday. The former car salesman asked forgiveness from anyone he may have wronged.

``That falls far short of accepting responsibility for my father's death, much less of apologizing for it,'' she said. ``It is, I suppose, better than nothing.''

Alvarez said she did have trouble imagining the meek-voiced Romano involved with something as violent as the stabbing and strangling of her father, who was also apparently tortured.

Thursday's final statement made it easy for her to picture Woodruff at the scene, she said. But the executions have strengthened her convictions against the death penalty, Alvarez said.

Before Woodruff's execution, Alvarez said watching Romano die on Tuesday had left her empty.

``John Romano was dead. What, exactly, had been improved by that fact? My father is still dead, and the pain and suffering he endured are no less than before Romano died. Moreover, John Romano is no longer able to suffer the guilt and remorse I hope he felt every day that he lived behind bars. I don't see that anything has been gained.''

After Woodruff's death, she said she felt the same way even though Woodruff made no pretense of feeling remorse.

``He got off too easy,'' she said.

Alvarez said she was impressed by how lethal injection seems to give as little pain as general anesthesia.

``Still, it would be wrong to discount the weeks, days and hours of mounting stress and fear,'' she said.

``Certainly psychological pain must accompany an execution even if the physical process is clinical to the point of sterility.''