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Execution set for Florida man convicted of Palm Beach County rapes, murders

Duane Owen killed Delray Beach teen, Boca Raton woman in 1984
Duane Owen, Florida Department of Corrections photograph
Posted at 7:24 PM, May 09, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A man convicted of killing and sexually assaulting a teenage girl and another woman in separate Palm Beach County attacks in 1984 is set to be executed next month under a death warrant signed Tuesday by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Duane Owen's execution is set for June 15 at 6 p.m. It's the fourth execution scheduled in Florida this year after a break dating back to 2019. Donald Dillbeck was executed in February, and Louis Bernard Gaskin was executed in April. Darryl B. Barwick was executed earlier this month.

The execution would be only the sixth under DeSantis, a far slower pace than recent Florida governors — and ahead of his widely expected presidential campaign.

According to court records, Owen broke into a Delray Beach home in March 1984 and attacked 14-year-old Karen Slattery, who was babysitting two young children. Owen repeatedly stabbed the girl and then sexually assaulted her, investigators said. The young children weren't injured.

About two months later, Georgianna Worden, 38, was sleeping in her Boca Raton home when Owen broke in and fatally struck her in the head with a hammer multiple times before raping her, officials said.

Owen is also accused of attacking two other women in their homes, but they survived.

If you have any information regarding the 2007 crimes with ties to the Town Center at Boca Raton, call Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 800-458-TIPS. Tipsters could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000. You can remain anonymous.

You can also contact the detectives assigned to these cold cases using the information below:

Detective Scott Hanley
Boca Raton Police Department
shanley@myboca.us
561-338-1344

Detective William Springer
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
springerw@pbso.org
561-688-4013