A former escort service owner who was scheduled to die by lethal injection at Florida State Prison received a stay of execution Tuesday.
Attorney Todd Scher said a Bradford County judge ordered a stay for Marshall Lee Gore, who was set to die on Wednesday. Scher said he filed a motion to halt the execution because he says his client is insane.
This isn't the first judge who has looked at whether Gore is mentally ill.
The 49-year-old was supposed to be executed on June 24, but the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals halted the proceedings less than two hours before he was to have received a lethal injection. A federal appeals court lifted the stay on June 28.
Gore was convicted of the March 11, 1988, killing of Robyn Novick, a 30-year-old exotic dancer whose naked body was found in a rural part of Miami-Dade County, partly covered by a blue tarpaulin. Gore was also sentenced to die for the slaying in January 1988 of Susan Roark, whose body was found a few months later in Columbia County in northern Florida.
In addition to the two death sentences, Gore was given seven life sentences plus another 110 years in a case involving the attempted murder of a third woman.
The woman, an exotic dancer, testified during the trial for the Novick killing that she was beaten with a rock; choked, raped and stabbed; and left near the spot where Novick's body was found. The woman was attacked two days after Novick disappeared. Novick had been stabbed and strangled.
It was the attempt against the third woman's life that led to Gore's arrest: He was convicted of stealing the victim's Red Toyota, which the FBI tracked to Paducah, Ky.
Gore's attorneys have argued before that he is mentally ill. One previous lawyer claimed Gore was "mentally deranged" and not responsible for his actions. But several judges concluded he was using a claim of mental illness to manipulate the judicial process.
When asked by a judge in the Novick case if he felt competent to proceed he replied, "I'm absolutely competent. I'm absolutely lucid." He had frequent verbal outbursts during the trial, laughed out loud and even howled.