On Wednesday, the “ninja killer” who murdered a couple more than three decades ago was executed in Florida.
Louis Bernard Gaskin, 56, was pronounced dead by lethal injection at 6:15 p.m., according to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ office.
Gaskin was found guilty of first-degree murder in the deaths of Robert Sturmfels, 56, and Georgette Sturmfels, 55, on December 20, 1989.
At 9:45 a.m., Gaskin had his last meal of barbecue pork ribs, pork and turkey neck, Buffalo wings, shrimp fried rice, french fries, and water, according to Department of Corrections spokesperson Kayla McLaughlin Smith.
McLaughlin Smith added that his sister visited him before the execution, but Gaskin did not meet with a spiritual adviser.
The Sturmfels’ relatives were not present at his execution.
Gaskin was dubbed the “ninja killer” because he wore all-black ninja garb when he shot and killed the New Jersey-based Sturmfels inside their Flagler County winter home with a.22-caliber rifle, according to investigators.
A clock, two lamps, and a videocassette recorder were all stolen during the double murder and later discovered at Gaskin’s house. Investigators believe they were intended as Christmas presents for his girlfriend.
Gaskin was also found guilty of armed robbery, burglary, and attempted murder of another couple who happened to be nearby that night.
He confessed right away and told a psychologist before his trial that he understood what he was doing, according to local media at the time.
“The guilt was always there,” said Gaskin. “The devil had a stronger grip than God.” I knew I was mistaken. “I wasn’t crazy.”
A jury recommended the death penalty by an 8-4 vote in 1990, which was accepted by the judge, and any appeals Gaskin has filed have been dismissed, with the latest denial coming Tuesday.
Current state law requires unanimous agreement by jurors for the death penalty, but lawmakers could send Gov. Ron DeSantis legislation this week that would allow an 8-4 jury recommendation to be enough for capital punishment.
After only two people were executed in his first four years in office, the Republican governor has increased the number of death warrants issued in the state this year.
Gaskin’s death, which comes six weeks after convicted killer Donald Dillbeck, 59, was put to death, will be Florida’s 100th execution since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.
Another execution is scheduled in three weeks. Nearly 300 inmates are on death row in the state.