Florida inmate refuses final meal earlier than he’s executed for 1988 homicide of nurse

A Florida man who confessed to the 1997 homicide of his spouse was executed for the 1988 homicide of one other girl who he repeatedly raped, strangled along with her bathrobe belt, and killed with a hammer, earlier than setting her mattress on hearth.

James Phillip Barnes, 61, refused a final meal and had nothing to say on Thursday earlier than receiving a deadly injection at Florida State Prison in Starke. He was pronounced useless at 6.13pm.

Barnes was the 104th individual executed in Florida because the demise penalty was reinstated in 1976, in line with Department of Corrections data. His execution was Florida’s fifth prior to now six months underneath 2024 Republican presidential candidate Gov Ron DeSantis.

The inmate had been serving a life sentence for the 1997 strangulation of his spouse, 44-year-old Linda Barnes, when he wrote letters in 2005 to a state prosecutor claiming duty for one more homicide.

DNA proof later linked Barnes to the 1988 killing of 41-year-old nurse Patricia “Patsy” Miller and in December 1997, he was sentenced to demise.

The sentencing order said that on 20 April 1988, Barnes broke into Miller’s condominium by means of a bed room window and repeatedly raped her, strangled her along with her bathrobe belt, killed her by putting her head with a hammer, after which set her mattress on hearth along with her physique on it to get rid of proof.

In the letter mailed to Assistant State Attorney Michael Hunt in Viera, Barnes mentioned a fellow inmate, who he described as “my Muslim brother,” had satisfied him to “confess an unresolved matter” that occurred in 1988 in Melbourne.

“Contrary to popular opinion, I’m not looking to go to death row,” Barnes wrote. “As you can tell from the video, I like fresh air and sunshine and being healthy. I plan on living another 40+ years.”

Just 18 years later, nevertheless, Barnes was executed with about 20 witnesses gathered inside an execution-chamber viewing room. The curtain opened to indicate Barnes on a gurney with IV tubes in his left arm

“James Barnes was a violent and ruthless criminal,” Melbourne Police Chief David Gillespie mentioned in a press release.

“And, while today’s execution ensures he will never harm another individual again, let us not forget the victims and the torture they had endured. My heart goes out to the victims and their families.”

Andrew Miller, the brother of the sufferer, spoke following the execution praising Melbourne police for his or her laborious work. He additionally famous the similarities between his sister and Barnes’ different sufferer, his spouse.

“The commonality between these two women? They were both hard-working professionals. They were someone’s daughter. They were someone’s sister. They were someone’s mother,” Miller mentioned.

“No one should live in fear within the safety of their own home. We do. My family does,” he mentioned.

“The execution took place without incident,” Kayla McLaughlin, spokesperson for the Department of Corrections, mentioned throughout a press convention on Thursday.

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