Miami killer Marshall Lee Gore to be executed Sept. 10 in murders of two women

 

dovalle@MiamiHerald.com

Miami killer Marshall Lee Gore will be executed Sept. 10, Florida’s governor said Tuesday, hours after the state’s high court denied a last-ditch appeal.

The 50-year-old was convicted and set to Death Row for the 1988 slaying of Lauderhill’s Robyn Novick, whose body was found stabbed and beaten in a trash pile near Homestead.

Gore — notorious for his outrageous courtroom outbursts during his trials — also is on Death Row for the 1988 murder of Tennessee college student Susan Marie Roark, whose corpse was found in a rural area of Union County.

He will die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. at Florida State Prison in Starke.

Gore’s lawyers claimed that their client was mentally ill and his execution would violate a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment.

But the Florida Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed with a Bradford judge, who ruled that Gore was faking his mental illness, which included wild claims that the state was harvesting his organs and his eyes were to be given to the son of an unnamed senator.

Judge Ysleta McDonald said there “is no credible evidence that Gore’s mental state is such that he believes he is being executed for any reason other than the murder of Ms. Novick.”

Gov. Rick Scott originally scheduled Gore to be executed on June 24 at the Florida State Prison in Starke. However, one hour before the execution, the Atlanta-based U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Appeal stayed the execution, giving Gore a chance to flesh out the issue.

Three days later, the court lifted the stay, saying Gore had not met the criteria for delaying the execution.

But a July 10 execution date was also stayed after Judge McDonald scheduled a hearing to allow Gore to present a doctor who claimed the man is insane.

Gore followed a similar legal path as another Miami murderer, John Errol Ferguson, whose lawyers said was a long-diagnosed schizophrenic who believed he was the “Prince of God.”

After a 10-month legal battle, Ferguson was executed earlier this month. Unlike Ferguson, Gore does not have a history of diagnoses of mental illness.

“I’m gratified the Supreme Court saw through his shenanigans,” said retired Miami-Dade Detective Dave Simmons, who helped investigate Gore’s strings of crimes in the 1980s. “He’s crafty as a fox and will do anything to circumvent being held responsible for his actions.”

Gore was arrested after he kidnapped a stripper named Tina at Tootsie’s Cabaret in North Miami-Dade. He raped the woman, slit her throat and bashed her head in with a rock before leaving her to die in a rural area near Homestead.

She survived and alerted police that Gore had stolen her car — with her 2-year-old son Jimmy in the back seat. Police later found the child in an abandoned Georgia home; Gore soon was arrested.

Officers who had been looking for the toddler stumbled across Novick’s corpse in a trash heap near Homestead. She was last seen leaving a nearby tavern with Gore.

Novick, 30, originally from Cincinnati, was a General Motors credit services representative who met Gore during a brief stint moonlighting as a dancer at Solid Gold in North Miami-Dade.

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