Skip navigation
× You have 2 more free articles available this month. Subscribe today.

$1,500,000 Verdict in Half-Way Houses' Failure to Warn

After he was released from a Florida prison, Elmer Leon Carroll went to
live at The Lighthouse Mission of Orlando. Carroll had a history of rape
and had been in prison for nine of the 15 years prior to committing the
crime at issue in this case.

That crime was the rape and murder of an 11-year-old girl. Carroll had
been stalking the girl and picked the lock on her house. While her
step-father slept and her mother was at work, Carroll entered the girl's
bedroom and violently raped and strangled her to death.

Her parents contended the half-way house was negligent in failing to do a
background check to determine if Carroll was suitable for community
placement near young girls. They also asserted the Mission had a duty to
inform the public of the dangerousness of its residents, which were mostly
ex-convicts portrayed as only homeless men.

The jury found the Mission 100% negligent, awarding in October 1995
$500,000 past pain and suffering and $1,000,000 in future pain and
suffering. See: McGowen v. The Lighthouse Mission of Orlando, Inc.,
Florida, Orange County Circuit Court, Case No: 92-6770.

As a digital subscriber to Prison Legal News, you can access full text and downloads for this and other premium content.

Subscribe today

Already a subscriber? Login

Related legal case

McGowen v. The Lighthouse Mission of Orlando, Inc.