For the second time in less than three weeks, a court has stayed the execution of Miami killer Marshall Lee Gore, who was set to die by lethal injection Wednesday.
Gore 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 heap near Homestead.
On Tuesday, a Bradford County circuit judge agreed with Gore’s defense lawyers and found “reasonable grounds” that the Death Row inmate was too insane to be executed. Circuit Judge Ysleta McDonald ordered more hearings.
The U.S. Supreme Court has said that executing insane inmates is cruel and unusual punishment.
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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.
His attorneys turned to the state court in Bradford County, where Florida State Prison is located.
Gore — notorious for his outrageous courtroom outbursts during his trials — is also 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.
On Tuesday afternoon, retired Union County Sheriff’s Lt. Neal Nydam talked to her father, who had been planning to attend the execution.
“It’s upsetting, but they’re dealing with it,” said Nydam, who was the lead investigator on the case. “After 25 years of this up-and-down roller coaster, they’re actually a little bit understanding, knowing how [the legal] system works.”
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.