Florida is set to execute a man who murdered two people while dressed as a ninja in 1989.
Louis Bernard Gaskin, 56, is scheduled to be executed by lethal injection at 6.00pm on Wednesday night.
He committed both attacks dressed in all black ‘ninja’ garb, armed with a .22-caliber rifle.
Gaskin was convicted of murder for the deaths of Robert and Georgette Sturmfels after breaking into their Flagler County vacation home.
He attacked the couple while they were lounging in their living room by shooting them through a window. He struck Robert five times as he sat in a recliner.
He only managed to shoot Georgette once, after which she fled further into the home.
Gaskin hunted Georgette through the house before shooting both victims again execution-style in the head.
He then stole a clock, two lamps and a videocassette recorder from the Flagler County home. All of the stolen items were later found in Gaskin’s home. Investigators say he intended to give to them to his girlfriend as Christmas gifts.
He was also convicted of attempted murder for a similar attack on Joseph and Noreen Rector the same night. He attacked the couple in their living room, shooting Joseph once but missing his then-wife.
Both victims managed to survive by fleeing to their car, then driving to a hospital.
After he was arrested, Gaskin confessed to the attacks to a psychologist: ‘the devil had more of a hold than God did,’ he said. ‘I knew that I was wrong. I wasn’t insane.’
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed Gaskin’s death warrant on March 13. He is expected to become the second person executed in Florida after the state briefly paused executions in 2019.
Florida resumed executions earlier this year when Donald Dillbeck was killed on February 23.
Gaskin argued that his constitutional rights were violated because he was sentenced to death without the unanimous support from the jury.
In 1990, a jury voted 8-4 to recommend the death penalty for Gaskin, and the presiding judge accepted the recommendation. Florida law now requires a unanimous jury decision to recommend a death sentence.
Attorneys for Gaskin filed an emergency stay on his execution, but the high court declined to hear the case.
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