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Court refuses to halt execution

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Supreme Court on Monday refused to halt the execution of a man convicted of murdering a state wildlife officer 25 years ago in Pinellas County.

The justices rejected Martin Edward Grossman's claims that he wasn't given a fair chance to prove his trial lawyer had been ineffective nor allowed to present certain mitigating evidence against a death sentence.

Grossman's execution is set for next week.

The high court also ruled Grossman was premature in claiming he may be mentally incompetent.

Grossman, 45, is set for execution Feb. 16 for the 1984 murder of wildlife officer Margaret "Peggy" Park, 26.

Park was shot with her own gun after confiscating a stolen handgun Grossman, then 19, and another teen had been shooting in the woods.

Grossman, who was on probation for a burglary, beat Park with her flashlight as she picked up her radio microphone to call the Sheriff's Office, prosecutors said. They said she drew her gun and fired a shot that missed before Grossman wrestled it from her and shot her once in the back of the head.

Court refuses to halt execution 02/09/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, February 9, 2010 12:00am]
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