Wednesday, January 17, 2018
News Roundup

Governor signs death warrant for Pasco man who killed three

Gov. Rick Scott has signed a death warrant for a Pasco County man convicted of three murders, and his execution is scheduled for June 18.

John Ruthell Henry, 63, was convicted in Pasco of stabbing his wife Suzanne Henry to death in Zephyrhills in 1985. This is the murder for which the governor has signed the death warrant, but it is not Henry's only crime.

He also was convicted in Hillsborough County of stabbing Suzanne Henry's 5-year-old son, Eugene Christian, to death near Plant City.

And in a separate crime, Henry pleaded no contest to second-degree murder for stabbing another woman, Patricia Roddy, to death in 1976. He served less than eight years in prison and was released in 1983.

Defense attorney Baya Harrison III said a key point in upcoming proceedings will be Henry's current mental state. He said he intends to ask the governor to allow a new mental health evaluation.

"In order to be executed, you have to be able to understand, to rationally understand, that you are going to be put to death," Harrison said Monday.

Harrison said the question will be, "Is he so mentally ill that he cannot understand and comprehend what's going to happen to him? And if he can't, the law says he cant be executed."

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