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Florida executes killer

A Florida man convicted of killing two female co-workers by beating them with a hammer and setting them ablaze during a robbery at the store where they worked was executed Thursday evening.

One witness to the lethal injection blurted out "Die!" as the inmate read his last statement.

Authorities say 55-year-old Robert L. Henry was pronounced dead following the injection at the Florida State Prison.

He was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in the Nov. 2, 1987, slayings of 53-year-old Phyllis Harris and 35-year-old Janet Thermidor.

Thermidor lived for hours after being attacked and identified Henry to investigators. Michael Satz, prosecutor at Henry's trial, told jurors the killings were evil.

Before the execution, Henry read a three-minute statement apologizing for his crimes and saying he hoped his death would comfort the families of the victims. He also criticized the death penalty, saying thieves don't get their hands amputated as punishment.

"Why then do we continue to be the murderers of those who have murdered?" he said.

At that point, an unidentified victim family member who was witnessing the execution said: "Die!" The comment wasn't audible through the thick glass partition separating witnesses from the chamber.

Court records show that Henry initially claimed the robbery was committed by three masked intruders who also abducted him, but later he confessed to acting alone.

In addition to two counts of first-degree murder, Henry also had been convicted of armed robbery and arson.


The Canadian Press


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