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Crime & Courts

Death row inmate to appeal to U.S. Supreme Court


Published:   |   Updated: July 24, 2013 at 10:12 AM

STARKE - The attorney for a man scheduled to die by lethal injection says he will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case.

John Errol Ferguson is set for execution on Aug. 5.

Ferguson's attorney Christopher Handman wrote in an email to The Associated Press on Tuesday that his client has a "documented history of severe mental illness" and shouldn't be executed.

Ferguson was convicted of killing eight people in South Florida in two separate incidents in 1977 and 1978.

In the first incident, Ferguson gained entry into a Carol City home on July 27, 1977, by posing as a utility employee. He then bound and blindfolded Margaret Wooden, the woman who let him in, and also let two accomplices into the home.

Seven more people - Henry Clayton, Johnnie Hall, Randolph Holmes, Michael Miller, Charles Stinson, Livingston Stocker and Gilbert Williams - came to the house and were bound and blindfolded.

Ferguson placed a pillow over Wooden's head and shot her, but she survived. The other seven men were shot execution-style in the back of the head. Hall survived a shotgun blast to the head, but the rest of the men died. Both of Ferguson's accomplices were executed in the 1980s.

While under indictment for the Carol City slayings, Ferguson killed two Hialeah teenagers who were on their way to a church meeting in 1978. Posing as a police officer, Ferguson confronted Brian Glenfeldt and Belinda Worley, both 17. Ferguson shot Glenfeldt in the back of the head, the chest and the arm. Ferguson then took Worley into the woods, raped her and shot her in the back of the head. Ferguson also took the teenagers' money and jewelry.

Gov. Rick Scott announced the new execution date for the 65-year-old Ferguson on Tuesday.

Scott initially signed Ferguson's death warrant last fall, scheduling him to die Oct. 16. But appeals at the state and federal level kept the execution from moving forward.

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