Jury recommends death sentence for child killer

Tuesday, December 4th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

TULSA, Okla. (AP) _ A jury has recommended a death sentence for a man convicted of murdering a 13-year-old boy and dismembering his body parts.

Jurors deliberated about two hours Monday night before deciding on the ultimate punishment for Wayne Henry Garrison. The panel convicted him last week of first-degree murder in the 1989 death of Justin Wiles.

Formal sentencing will be later this month.

Prosecutors told jurors Garrison was connected to the deaths in 1972 and 1974 of two other children.

Former Tulsa Police Department officers testified that they had questioned Garrison about the death of his cousin. They said Garrison, when he was 13, strangled his 4-year-old cousin with a ribbon and hid the body in the crawl space beneath his uncle's home.

While on a pass from a state hospital in 1974, he killed a 3-year-old, stuffed him in a garbage bag and hid the body under a home.

He pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and received a four-year prison term.

Defense attorneys, arguing for a life sentence, said Garrison was born to unwed parents, abandoned and physically and sexually abused by an older brother.

The sentencing phase of the trial was delayed when Garrison, 43, was found unconscious in a Tulsa County jail cell last week. Authorities believe he took an overdose of an antidepressant.

Wiles' mother, Dorothy Farrar, told jurors the 12 years since her son's murder have been a ``horrifying nightmare.''

She said after the verdict she was relieved Garrison would be sentenced to death.

``He deserves it,'' she said. ``Justice will be served when they execute him.''

First Assistant District Attorney Steve Sewell said Wiles' head, limbs and penis were severed from his torso.

District Attorney Tim Harris said not all of Wiles body parts have been found.

``There will be no more children murdered in Tulsa County at the hands of Wayne Henry Garrison,'' Harris said.