Prosecution Witnesses *

 Key Star Witness For The State At Trial Honest Edward Williams?

Ed Williams helped build the Zeigler store. He had worked for Tommy and the Zeigler family for years. When Ed Williams was picked up across the street from the Zeigler store murder crime scene, in front of the KFC restaurant, it had just closed. It was just after the 9:00 pm closing of the KFC store, when Ed was seen shaking and asking for help by witness for the prosecution Rogenia Thomas and her sister Catherine Thomas. This puts Ed Williams at the KFC inside the store using the telephone at 9:00 pm, by his own admission and by witnesses for the prosecution who picked him. This means that when Ed Williams was at the KFC at 9:00pm closing time, he was just steps away from the reported “averted armed robbery” at the Tri-City Plaza stores, TGY and Food World at the same time that the ” averted armed robbery” was happening, 9:00 pm. This is why the ” averted armed robbery report was hidden from Mr. Zeigler’s defense team and not available to them at Mr. Zeigler’s murder trial. Ed Williams old both Rogenia Thomas, her sister Catherine and also anyone who would listen that it was ” a white man” that had just tried kill him by pointing a gun at him and pulling the trigger 3 times. Ed said the “white man” then gave him the gun and then a ” a white man” begged Ed not to frame him. There is no way Ed Williams who had worked for the Zeigler family for over a decade would have said ” A white man” tried to kill me, if the real ” white man” was Tommy Zeigler. It was after found out that Tommy Zeigler actually was alive that his story turned ” the white man” into Tommy Zeigler.

Ed Williams Testified He Put The Gun In His Pocket And Jumped Over A 6 Foot Fence

Then Ed Williams says he put the gun in his pocket and jumped over a 6 foot fence to run for his life. Initially Ed never mentioned Tommy Zeigler as being the name of the ” white man”. Later that evening when Ed found out that Tommy Zeigler was in fact still alive then ” the while man” was turned into the name of Tommy Zeigler. Hours later Ed was asked by the police to turn in the clothes he claimed he was wearing. The description of the clothes Ed turned in is nothing like the clothes his landlady Mary Wallace, who is now a retired Sheriff’s department dispatcher, testified that she saw him wearing within the hour of the murders. Ed swears he did not change his clothes and that he gave the police the same clothes and shoes he was wearing. Forensic testing on those clothes proved there was no gun shot residue in Ed’s pants pockets. Ed’s high heeled boots had no scuff marks on them. The boots also had the original price tag on the bottom.

The Orlando Sentinel Published The Wrong Name Of Key Star Witness For 3 Weeks After Murders

 Oddly both the prosecution and the newspaper did nothing to correct the name. They now claim it was just a typo

For the first 3 weeks after the Zeigler murders newspapers stated the two star key material witnesses against Tommy Zeigler were Edward Williams and Robert Foster. At the time there was not a photo of Robert Foster in the newspapers. All the defense had to go on was the detailed description of the large man by Mary Wallace who was Ed Williams landlady. Mary and her husband Dean ran and played on the same softball team with Robert Foster and his friend Charlie Mays in the months leading up to the murders. Mary Wallace saw all of the men together and knew Robert Foster personally. Retired sheriff’s department dispatcher Mary Wallace has identified the same Robert Foster that investigator Lynn-Marie Carty found as the same Robert Foster she knew from the softball games that Charlie Mays played in. Orlando Sentinel Newspapers printed stories that Robert Foster was scared for his life and that he begged to be put into protective custody. Mr. Zeigler’s defense team tried to locate Robert Foster. They were never given access to Robert Foster during the time frame the state was claiming Foster actually existed. The prosecution used Robert Foster’s sworn statements implicating Mr. Zeigler as the perpetrator on the sheriff’s report used to arrest Mr. Zeigler from his hospital bed. Three weeks later Robert Foster was off the radar when the lead detective Don Frye told Tommy’s defense Attorney Ralph Hadley that Robert Foster was a a mere mistake, nothing more than a “typo”. Ed Williams land lady, retired sheriff’s office dispatcher, Mary Wallace met with Zeigler’s Investigator. Ms. Wallace identified the felon Robert Milton Foster that Zeigler’s investigator Lynn-Marie Carty has recently unearthed as the Robert Foster she and her husband knew and played on the softball team with in Winter Garden, Florida. She verified, ” They all knew each other, Williams, Foster and Mays. I saw them all together on many occasions with my very own eyes,” Ms. Wallace said.

“Extinguished” By The Prosecution Witness For The Defense NAACP Tipster Nathaniel Brown

The original Investigator notes from 1975 also prove that Mary Wallace is correct. Robert Foster aka “Jerry” Freeman and Williams knew each other. Robert Foster had many alias’. They were were both involved in the plot. One of the original tips by NAACP member Nathaniel Brown tells us that ” a white man” hired the gang of men who attacked and shot Tommy, his wife and in-laws. One of the gang was Charlie Mays, who had no intention of paying for the new television set. The “white man” paid them $1,000.00 each to do the job.They pulled up in a van. They were there to get Tommy’s father because he was going to ” best” someone on a land deal. That there were still more men from the gang that were at large. One of the men had a bullet in his right shoulder.This tipster was trying to help by telling all that he had heard. The only part that is wrong is the plot was against Tommy’s father-in-law, Perry Edwards Jr. and Tommy, not Tommy’s father. The gang was hired to get Tommy’s father-in -law because he was ” besting” his son Perry Jr. on a land deal. Perry Jr. was just about to lose ” the farm,” literally.Perry Edwards Sr. wanted to make his son in law Tommy Zeigler the new executor of his Will. The Will contain Perry Jr.s inheritance of his parent farm land in North Florida. Nathaniel Brown came forward with this tip on January 7,1976. He had contacted Tommy’s family and his attorney. Contrary to what has been previously reported, Nathaniel Brown did not ask for reward money from anyone at all. Attorney H. Vernon Davids did not dismiss his valuable tip either. Brown was there to help Tommy because of the assistance to the African American Community the Zeigler family had been all of their lives. Nathaniel’s name was put on the original witness list. Months before the trial State Attorney Bob Eagan told Tommy’s defense lawyer Ralph Hadley that Nathaniel Brown was dead. That he was killed in a shoot out in New York. He was taken off the witness list and his testimony died with him. That was the end of this very important and informative tip. Realizing that there were many lies by the prosecution to the defense, Mr. Zeigler and his investigator, Lynn-Marie Carty wondered if the death of Nathaniel Brown in a shoot out in New York, which prevented this witness from testifying on Tommy’s behalf, was true at all. Investigator Carty decided to see if Nathaniel Brown really died in a shoot out in New York before the trial in 1976. Investigator Carty found out that Nathaniel Brown was actually alive until 2006. That statement made by State Attorney Bob Eagan to Attorney Ralph Hadley and Lesley Gift about Brown being killed in a shoot out, was a lie. When Investigator Carty shared this news with one of Mr. Zeigler’s original defense attorney Vernon David’s, who has assisted her for the past 4 years of her investigation, he was shocked, upset and felt extremely deceived. Attorney David’s then obtained for Investigator Carty the death certificate of Nathaniel Brown really died July 4, 2006 in Ocoee, FL. Nathaniel Brown’s tip tells so much of the truth about the real motive and mastermind of the Zeigler Furniture Store murders. What a shame the tip was lost to a lie.

Robert Milton Foster Former Original Key Star Witness for the state turned into “typo” before trial

Original Prosecution Witness Robert Milton Foster was the dead customer Charlie’s Mays’ friend and fellow softball team member.  Career felon Robert Foster has many armed robbery convictions. His felony criminal record spans several decades and states. Armed robbery was his specialty.  His record of prison escapes is stunning. Only prisoners working on road crews can escape prisons as many times of Robert Foster did. Here he is pictured in the crowd outside the Zeigler store in the crime scene photos. He is the big man to the left of the sign. Above are a few of Robert Milton Foster’s mug shots. Robert Foster also showed us his most recent prison ID badge. Within in the hour of the murders Robert Foster robbed the Gulf Station directly across the street from the Zeigler store. One of Foster’s robbery victims was Mrs. Susan Ambler, who worked at the Gulf Station and wrestled with Foster and his gun through the customer window. Mrs. Ambler  often had to take her daughter to work with her. The other victim was her daughter Suzi Ambler Graden. Suzi was sure that if we found the man who robbed her on Christmas Eve 1975 he would look just like the actor in the movie The Green Mile, Michael Clarke Duncan. Robert Foster’s friend Charlie Mays was found dead on the floor of the Zeigler floor at the Christmas Eve murder scene. Mays was labeled a victim by the state. After finding a person who she believed was the correct Robert Foster, Carty asked her associate former Pinellas County, Fl Sheriff Captain Cal Dennie to go meet him face to face.Robert Foster then spoke to Carty on the telephone.

Key Star Witness for the state of Florida at the trial Felton Thomas Jr.

This is Felton Thomas Jr. He was born in Pelham, Ga. His family has lived and died in Moultrie, Ga. After 3 weeks of the names of the key star material witnesses Ed Williams and Robert Foster appearing in the newspapers and on the arrest report, some how witnesses changed to Felton Thomas Jr. and Ed Williams. Even though journalists had reported on the identity of the two star witnesses for the 3 weeks after the murders that lead up to the day of the preliminary hearing, none of them questioned the sudden shift by the prosecution in the identity of the witnesses against Mr. Zeigler. Why? If the journalists who reported the names of the witnesses had printed the wrong names in the newspaper, do you think anyone on the side of the prosecution would have perhaps noticed a huge error like that? Does it make sense to believe that the newspaper printed the wrong witness name for 3 weeks and the prosecution did nothing to correct the errors? On the day of the preliminary hearing January 17, 1976, Robert Foster was never mentioned again. Instead Felton Thomas Jr and Ed Williams became the new star witnesses duo against Tommy Zeigler. Many of the detailed actions that Robert Foster told detectives that he did with the white man, were now being said to have been done by Felton Thomas. His testimony in 1975 helped put Tommy Zeigler on Florida’s death row. When Mr. Zeigler’s investigator took on the case 4 years ago she was told Felton had been dead for a long time. No one had been in contact with him since the original trial. Realizing that many statements by the prosecution to the defense over the years have been proven to be less than accurate, Investigator Carty decided to search for Felton Thomas Jr. After finding a person who she believed was the correct man, Carty asked her associate former Pinellas County, FL. Sheriff Captain Cal Dennie to go meet him face to face. Felton Thomas Jr. then spoke to Investigator Carty on the telephone. Subsequently Felton Thomas Jr. asked to meet with Mr. Zeigler’s investigator, Lynn-Marie Carty and two of her law enforcement associates at a local police station. Felton Thomas brought a woman with him to the meeting at the police station. She had a plaster cast on her arm and another plaster cast on her leg. Felton Thomas said the woman’s name was Mavis and that she was his daughter. This name rang a bell because both prosecution witnesses Frank Smith and his mother-in-law Mary Stewart testified that Ed Williams girlfriend at the time of the murders was named Mavis Barclay. She’s got lots of alias’ and arrests too. Mr. Zeigler’s Investigator Lynn-Marie Carty did some additional investigating to determine if Felton Thomas’s daughter named “Mavis” really was the woman who he brought with him to their meeting at the police station. The woman Felton brought with him to the meeting at the police station with him who had the cast on her arm and the cast on her leg who is possibly his daughter is named Tamiko Stephens. Here is some of her most recent rap sheet. So many of these people who were witness surrounding Tommy’s case, the cozy little connected cast of characters who supplied fraudulent links to the chain of evidence that led to Tommy’s conviction, have rap sheets. Tommy had never been arrested his life.

Charlie Mays ( friend of Robert Foster) found dead at the crime scene

Charlie Mays had a cousin who was on the Grand Jury in Tommy’s murder case. Charlie Mays was found dead on the floor of the Zeigler furniture store. In his pockets he had stuffed the stores daily receipts and money. He also had a bail bonds card in his pocket. State of Florida claimed Charlie Mays was just an innocent customer who had never been in trouble with the law. Lead Detective Don Frye said he checked him out and found no record of any arrest. But in the state attorney’s file there was an arrest report for Charlie Mays in the months before the murders. Charlie Mays was a compulsive gambler. He was arrested for gambling. He had gambled away all of his pay roll money and he could not pay his fellow migrant workers for their work at the end of the week. He asked Tommy Zeigler to help him out and cover the pay roll. Tommy helped him out and loaned him the money to cover the debt. On Christmas Eve 1975 Mays parked his van on the opposite side of a 6 foot fence to ‘ purchase’ a color TV from the closed store. The defense has always known he was one of the gang who shot Tommy and his family and left them all for dead. DNA testing in 2002 proved May’s has victim Mr.Perry Edwards blood on him. Those same DNA tests proved that the states theory of the murders was all wrong. The prosecution actually did a demonstration in front of the jury to explain why Tommy Zeigler had his father-in-laws Type A blood on his shirt. In the demonstration for the jury states attorney Robert Eagan held another person in a headlock and proceeded to explain to the jury that this is the way Tommy Zeigler beat and bludgeoned his father in law to death. Tommy was convicted. The prosecution had never taken the time to sub type the blood. The Orange County, Florida State Attorney Robert Eagan and prosecutors Lawson Lamar and Jeff Ashton all took an oath to be on a search and quest for the absolute truth in all of the cases they bring to trial. The Orange County, Florida prosecutors office now run by State Attorney Jeff Ashton pictured handling the murder weapons without any gloves on, has fought against every single DNA testing motion request Mr. Zeigler’s defense team has filed over the past 20 years. Jeff  Ashton  mocked the defense investigators finding of Robert Foster as he was interviewed by WFLA News Anchor Keith Cate in the news special he did about Tommy’s case called ” Death On Hold.” When the only DNA testing request ever was granted to Mr. Zeigler by the court, the tests proved that William Thomas Zeigler did not have a drop of his father-in-laws blood on his shirt. The DNA test results disproved the state of Florida’s theory.Orange County, Florida Judge Reginald Whitehead did not think the DNA finding were significant and after waiting one year to announce his verdict, Judge Whitehead then refused to grant Tommy a new trial.

Lead Detective for the State of Florida Prosecutors Investigator Donald Frye

It’s now the year 2015. With all the new evidence that has been unearthed to prove Mr. Zeigler’s innocence, still lead detective for the prosecution Don Frye  apparently continues to suffer from ” Ostrich Syndrome,” perhaps out of necessity. As you can read for yourself in the Grand Jury trial testimony in 1976, the states lead investigator Don Frye actually told the Grand Jury members all kinds of horrible lies about Tommy’s life. Don Frye did not seem to care if what he said was really true at all. Even Tommy’s mother was a target for Don Frye to exploit and he did. Detective Don Frye told the Grand Jury that both Tommy Zeigler and his mother Beulah did not have souls. As also documented in the Grand Jury testimony state’s lead detective Don Frye lied to the Grand Jury when he told them that Tommy Zeigler was such a vicious boy, he cut the leg off of his own dog. The truth is, the Zeigler’s dog was hit by a car, they were given a choice, put the dog to sleep or amputate the dogs leg so he could still live. Tommy and his family picked life for their family dog and the vet amputated the dogs leg so it could keep on living. In his deposition  Don Frye finally admitted that he knew that rumor was a lie. Too bad Don Frye did not go back to the Grand Jury and let them know what he told them about ” vicious Tommy” was all lies.

This Upstanding Community Minded Family Was Defamed And Vilified By The Orange County Florida Prosecutors Office In Their Efforts To Obtain A Conviction Against William Thomas Zeigler Jr.

As documented in more of the Grand Jury testimony, Detective Frye also told the Grand Jury that there were rumors going around that Tommy Zeigler was a homosexual, which he claimed was a motive for the murders. In his opinion that is why Mr. Perry Edwards Sr. and Charlie Mays was beaten and bludgeoned to death because Tommy was gay and they were men. Now we know the rest of the story because Don Frye stated in his May 14, 1976 deposition that his secret confidential informant was telling him ” which way to go” in his investigation of Mr. Zeigler. Don Frye was ” dancing with the devil” and to this day refuses to admit the whole truth. However lead detective Don Frye recently admitted that he/Frye and Perry Edwards Jr., who was Frye’s confidential informant were the best of friends. Prosecution detective Don Frye says he and Perry Jr. spent the nights at each others homes. Now we know that it was Perry Edwards Jr. who started all the rumors about Tommy Zeigler’s homosexuality. Perry Jr. fed those lies to Detective Don Frye and Police Chief Robert Thompson. Lead detective for the state Don Frye and the prosecution bought Perry Jr.s lies, hook, line and sinker. The prosecution claimed falsely that Tommy was a married man who was in a homosexual involved in a sex ring with just about every prominent business person in town except his defense attorney’s secretary and that was a motive for the murders. Interesting to note that out of all the ” others” who were men that Don Frye named as being involved with Tommy Zeigler, many on the list were witnesses who were testifying in Tommy’s favor. For example, Frye claimed that Tommy’s long time family business attorney Ted Van Deventer was having a secret affair with Tommy. Frye claimed the same thing about Tommy’s neighbor Mr. Reeves. Back in 1975 the way to smear a married man and ruin his reputation in his community was to spread lies that Tommy was a homosexual cheating on his wife with other men. Add to all of this the fact that the dead man found on the floor of the Zeigler furniture, Charlie Mays had a cousin who was on the Grand Jury! How can these officials get away with treating our fellow human beings this way? It appears that Orange County, Florida is it’s own country.The officials there apparently get away with making their own rules and ignoring the truth to protect their egos from having to admit they have made a horrible ” mistake” with the life of the only living suffering victim of the 1975 Christmas Eve Zeigler Furniture store quadruple murders, Mr. William Thomas Zeigler Jr. They actually have the audacity to act this way in their home state of Florida which holds the record for the most number of wrongful convictions out of any other state in the United States of America. Still Detective for the prosecution Don Frye refuses to entertain the notion that anything about his investigation, which lead to Mr. Zeigler’s death penalty conviction could have possible been wrong, flawed or in error. His attitude toward his investigation with a man’s life on the line speaks for itself in his own words in the last paragraph of one of the pages from his May 14, 1976 deposition. This guy was in charge of people’s lives with such a cocky attitude… He and Perry Edwards Jr. spent the nights at each others house, admittedly This is beyond ridiculous and all wrong. Don Frye thinks everything is just fine the way it is with Tommy Zeigler in his cage for the 39th year.

Orange County Fl. 1975 State Attorney Robert Eagan

Prosecutors take an oath to be on a fair quest for the truth and for justice. Bob Eagan had some things to say during the murder investigation about the integrity of the investigation of Don Frye. He was also ” disturbed” when information about loan sharking came up. On April 1,1976 the defense filed a motion requesting the names of all the Confidential Informants whose information was being used in the investigation and on the case. On April 16, 1976, State Attorney Robert Eagan filed the State’s response with Judge Maurice Paul in answer to the Defense motion by saying the state is not using any Confidential Informants information. Fast forward one month later to the May 14, 1976 sworn deposition of states lead investigator Don Frye. He can’t say enough about how he is using Confidential Informants and how the ” Confidential Informants” he was using were telling him all about Tommy being a ” homosexual” and ” telling me which direction to go in” with his investigation. This is directly contrary to the response motion that Robert Eagan filed on April 16, 1976 telling the court there is no using of any Confidential Informants going on in Mr. Zeigler’s murder case. The documents speak for themselves, more violations to add to the heap. Lady Justice is most likely lying on the ground at this point, over burdened with the lopsided unfairness and out right lies told in court during Mr. Zeigler’s murder trial. With a man’s life on the line, this is what was going on. With all of this new evidence that has been unearth, Robert Eagan has remained silent.  A few years ago he appeared in court at one of Tommy Zeigler’s recent DNA hearings, to be sure the judge would deny the motion. He sat with the son’s the Charlie Mays, who the state has always claimed was just a poor victim in the wrong place at the wrong time and the defense has always known was one of the killers. As you can see by Orange County, Florida law enforcement officer Ed Rowe’s sworn statement, even one of Charlie Mays’ son’s Ernie Mays knows that his father was a perpetrator and not a victim. Eagan’s presence in the courtroom worked perfectly. In a ruling that makes no sense what so ever, Judge Reginald Whitehead denied Mr. Zeigler’s DNA test request motion when former State Attorney Bob Eagan showed up for the hearing, even though Judge Whitehead had previously granted a motion for Zeigler to have $10,000.00 set aside for a DNA testing expert! Which of these men, if any will now have the courage to admit that William Thomas Zeigler Jr. is a victim and for 39 years they have been all wrong? Or will they all continue to deny, deny and look away while all eyes are cast right at them for their answers as to what they have to say for themselves?

Lynn-Marie Carty copyright © all rights reserved 2014