Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Federal court blocks execution of Florida mass killer

STARKE — A federal appeals court on Tuesday night blocked the scheduled execution of a mass killer convicted of eight slayings that jolted South Florida in the 1970s. Florida officials immediately asked the U.S. Supreme Court to lift the stay.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals' decision came during a flurry of court rulings over claims that 64-year-old John Errol Ferguson suffers from mental illness so severe he cannot be executed.

The Supreme Court did not immediately rule on the state's motion to lift the stay. The appeals court set a schedule for motions that could delay the execution at least until November.

In 1977, Ferguson and two other men bound eight people in a drug-related robbery in Carol City, near Miami, before shooting them. Six victims died.

Six months later, Ferguson, posing as a police officer, robbed Belinda Worley and Brian Glenfeldt, a teenage Hialeah couple. Glenfeldt was shot before Ferguson raped and killed Worley.

After his arrest, authorities linked Ferguson to the May 1977 deaths of Raymond and Katherine Berry, an elderly couple who had recently moved to St. Petersburg from Miami. The Berry's had returned to Miami to attend a funeral when they were tied up in their hotel room and shot. The couple was killed with the same gun used in the other murders, but Ferguson was never charged.

Federal court blocks execution of Florida mass killer 10/23/12 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 8:12am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Lightning takes defenseman Cal Foote with top pick in draft

    Lightning Strikes

    CHICAGO — Former Avalanche defenseman Adam Foote said his son Cal lived in the locker room.

    Cal Foote, second from left, is welcomed to the Lightning by GM Steve Yzerman, far left.
  2. It's Rays' turn to pound Orioles pitching (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG - Ah, the fantastic four.

    The Rays smashed the reeling Orioles 15-5 on Friday, scoring a season-high in runs, to climb four games above .500 for the first time since July 1, 2015.

    Rays third baseman Evan Longoria scores on a triple by Logan Morrison during the first inning against the Orioles.
  3. Lightning picks defenseman Cal Foote

    Blogs

    Cal Foote is the son of former Avs defenseman Adam Foote.
  4. Kids today: They don't work summer jobs the way they used to

    Business

    WASHINGTON — It was at Oregon's Timberline Lodge, later known as a setting in the horror movie The Shining, where Patrick Doyle earned his first real paycheck.

    Teens Ben Testa, from left, Hannah Waring and Abby McDonough, and Wegmeyer Farms owner Tyler Wegmeyer walk the strawberry rows at the Hamilton, Va., farm in late May.
  5. Jeb Bush back in the hunt for the Marlins, now opposing Derek Jeter

    Blogs

    Associated Press:

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has switched sides in pursuit of the Miami Marlins, and he’s trying to beat out former teammate Derek Jeter.