Thursday, January 18, 2018
Public safety

Florida executes man convicted of killing 2 decades ago

STARKE — Florida executed an inmate Thursday who was convicted of killing two people after a night of drinking decades ago.

Michael Lambrix, 57, died by lethal injection at 10:10 p.m. in the death chamber at Florida State Prison in Bradford County, according to the governor's office. He was the second inmate put to death by the state since it restarted executions in August.

Before then, the state had stopped all executions for months after a Supreme Court ruling that found Florida's method of sentencing people to death was unconstitutional. In response, the state Legislature passed a new law requiring death sentences to have a unanimous jury vote.

Lambrix's attorney, William Hennis, argued in an appeal to the nation's high court that because his client's jury recommendations for death were not unanimous — the juries in his two trials voted 8-4 and 10-2 for death — they should be thrown out. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that Lambrix's case is too old to qualify for relief from the new sentencing system.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday night denied Lambrix's last-ditch appeal.

Lambrix was convicted of killing Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant in 1983 after a night of partying in Labelle.

He and his roommate, Frances Smith, had met the victims at a bar and returned to their trailer to eat spaghetti and continue the party, prosecutors said. At some point, Lambrix asked Moore to go outside. He returned about 20 minutes later and asked Bryant to come out as well, according to Smith's testimony.

Smith testified that Lambrix returned to the trailer alone, his clothes covered in blood. Smith said that the two finished the spaghetti, buried the two bodies and washed up.

Prosecutors said Lambrix choked Bryant, and used a tire iron to kill Moore. Investigators found the bodies, the tire iron and the bloody shirt.

Lambrix has claimed in previous appeals that it was Moore who killed Bryant, and that he killed Moore only in self-defense.

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