Cecil Henry Floyd


Cecil Henry Floyd

Classification: Serial killer
Characteristics: Robberies
Number of victims: 6
Date of murders: 1973 - 1974
Date of birth: March 1941
Victims profile: 5 men and 1 woman
Method of murder: Shooting - Stabbing with knife
Location: Kansas/Nebraska/Indiana/Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison in Indiana on June 10, 1975. Sentenced to life in prison in Nebraska.

Cecil Henry Floyd

Friday, April 17, 1998

An Indiana State Prison inmate convicted of murders here and in 2 other states has waived extradition to Florida, where he is charged in 3 other slayings.

Even if Cecil Henry Floyd were to be sentenced to death in any of the Florida cases, he likely would be returned to Indiana to continue serving out a life sentence, Ed Cohn, commissioner of the Indiana Department of Correction, said Friday.

Floyd has been incarcerated since 1975 at the state prison in Michigan City. He was convicted of the fatal 1973 shooting of Henry Maser during a robbery near Lebanon, said prison spokesman Barry Nothstine.

Maser had been hitchhiking when Floyd and 2 others he was traveling with stopped to pick Maser up. He was shot and killed, with his assailant making off with just $5.

Floyd, wearing a yellow prison uniform and shackles on his thin and wrinkled body, appeared before LaPorte Circuit Judge Robert Gilmore on Wednesday to hear Florida authorities wanted to extradite him for 3 counts of murder in Orange County, Fla.

He waived extradition.

"They got me cold turkey. If I fight this thing I'll get the death penalty. To me, the warrant says you're going regardless," said Floyd, speaking with a drawl.

Cohn, speaking from Indianapolis, said it wasn't clear when Florida authorities would try to transport Floyd there. He also said that even if Floyd were tried and convicted and sentenced to death there, Indiana would expect Floyd to be returned to Michigan City.

"That (a death sentence) does not give Florida ultimate control over him. He's an Indiana inmate doing life. We would expect him to be returned to Indiana to continue serving his sentence here," Cohn told said.

Anyone convicted of 1st-degree murder in Florida is eligible for that state's death penalty, the Florida attorney general's office said.

The killings in Florida occurred between November 1973 and May 1974. 1 of the victims, Karen Chitwood, was stabbed and slashed with a knife, Nothstine said.

Floyd was arrested a short time later in connection with an armed robbery in Arkansas, Nothstine said. Indiana authorities were notified, and Floyd confessed to the hitchhiker slaying while in custody on the robbery charge, Nothstine said.

Floyd then was turned over to authorities in Hamilton County, Neb., where he was convicted and sentenced to life for murdering Lester Schmidt in July 1974.

Schmidt, a gas station attendant, was shot 3 times in the head by Floyd, who took the cash register and fled.

Floyd eventually also pleaded guilty to the murder of a man who was slain in Abilene, Kan., 3 days after the Nebraska killing.

Nothstine said that since Floyd has been sentenced to 2 life terms, in Indiana and Nebraska, he cannot be paroled here.

However, Cohn said Floyd's case was not so clearly defined, and it was possible the inmate eventually could be paroled in Indiana and turned over to Florida authorities.


MO: Shot robbery victims.

DISPOSITION: Life terms in Ind. and Nev. (one count each); pled guilty on third count in Kans.