This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Florida carried out its fifth lethal injection of 2014 with tonight’s scheduled execution of 47-year-old Robert Hendrix.
Hendrix was convicted of the 1990 death of his cousin, Elmer Scott, and Elmer’s wife, Susan Michelle Scott. Prosecutors say Hendrix killed Scott to prevent him from testifying against Hendrix in an upcoming burglary case. According to case documents, Hendrix told several friends about his plans, and discussed it with his live-in girlfriend at the time. The day before his court date, Hendrix shot, stabbed and beat Scott with the gun, as well as shooting and slashing the throat of Susan Michelle, prosecutors say.
Hendrix spent his final morning visiting with his parents and a Catholic spiritual adviser, according to Florida Department of Corrections spokeswoman Jessica Cary.
Robert Hendrix’ last meal: pork chops, sausage gravy and biscuits, German chocolate cake and Mountain Dew.
— Brendan Farrington (@bsfarrington) April 23, 2014
Hendrix’s time of death was 6:21 p.m. and according to Orlando Sentinel reporter Susan Jacobson he made no final statement. His execution is the 16th in Florida since Gov. Rick Scott took office.
Robert Hendrix was pronounced dead at 6:21 p.m. at Florida State Prison in Starke, shortly after the lethal injection procedure began. @AP
— Amy Hollyfield (@amy_hollyfield) April 23, 2014
According to the Associated Press, Hendrix sought a last-minute stay, “as his lawyer argues that two witnesses for the prosecution were unreliable and that no forensic evidence links him to the crimes.” From the AP:
Brody [Hendrix’s attorney] said the two main witnesses against Hendrix, Turbyville and Roger LaForce, who claimed Hendrix told him details about the murders while they shared a cell in the Lake County Jail, are unreliable. According to Brody, both had a self-interest in testifying for prosecutors.
His attorney also claimed the judge had a conflict of interest, that Hendrix being shackled during the trial gave jurors a biased impression of him and that during sentencing, Hendrix’s attorneys failed to call mitigating witnesses who could have testified to problems with drugs and abuse by his father.
However, the U.S. Supreme Court denied the appeal, allowing the execution to proceed as planned. The execution is the 85th in Florida since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.