Death Row Inmate Sues for Victims’ 1971 Pickup

A red 1971 Chevrolet Cheyenne pickup truck is at the heart of a lawsuit filed by a Florida death row inmate.

According to the St. Petersburg Times, William Deparvine, 57, was convicted of murdering the pickup’s owner, 58-year-old Richard Van Dusen and his 49-year-old wife, Karla, in November 2003, the day after he answered a classified ad for the truck. A jury found Deparvine guilty of killing the couple and fabricating a bill of sale. Prosecutors were able to prove that his plan was to make it look like he legitimately purchased the truck and someone else shot the Van Dusens.

Richard Van Dusen bought and refurbished the ’71 Chevy Cheyenne in the 1990s and spent weekends attending car shows, where he won Best of Class trophies. After he remarried, he put the truck up for sale.

Deparvine, who had earned a law degree before compiling a lengthy list of arrests for various crimes, has spent his time on death row since 2006 fighting for ownership of the truck.

Last summer, a Circuit Judge granted a summary judgment in favor of the Van Dusen estate, pointing out that Deparvine never possessed the truck’s title. Deparvine has appealed the ruling. In the meantime, he is housed in a 6- by 9-foot cell at the Union Correctional Institution in Florida.

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