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Florida executes man who killed two women over six weeks in 1988

By Bill Cotterell

TALLAHASSEE, Florida (Reuters) - A man whose execution was delayed for a political fundraiser was put to death by lethal injection on Tuesday for the murders of two women over a six-week span 25 years ago.

Marshall Lee Gore was the third death row inmate executed in Florida since late May. His execution was rescheduled three times, twice when courts halted the proceeding as his lawyers argued he was mentally incompetent for execution.

A third postponement occurred in September when Florida's Attorney General Pam Bondi asked Gov. Rick Scott to delay Gore's execution to allow her to attend a political fundraiser. Bondi later apologized.

Gore, 49, was pronounced dead at 6:12 p.m. EDT (1812 GMT) from a lethal injection at the Florida State Prison near Starke, said Misty Cash, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections. He died without making a final statement.

Gore fought for more than half his life against a string of convictions for violent crimes against women. His attorneys claimed that Gore - who laughed and cursed during one trial and made up bizarre claims that he was on death row because powerful state leaders wanted to harvest his organs - was mentally ill.

Prosecutors, however, described Gore as ruthless and claimed he attempted to dupe a psychiatric panel that once examined him.

Gore was sentenced to die for the 1988 killing of Robyn Novick, a 30-year-old exotic dancer whose nude body was found at a rural trash dump in Miami-Dade County.

Gore was seen driving Novick's yellow Corvette a day after she disappeared. Gore said he had borrowed the car and abandoned it, but denied the killing.

He was also convicted in the slaying of Susan Roark, whose body was found in northern Florida months after she vanished.

Gore also received five life sentences and three 30-year terms for a string of felonies including the beating, raping and stabbing another woman just three days after the Novick murder.

The victim, Tina Corolis, survived the attack and she was found near the same trash heap where Novick's body had been dumped.

In all, Gore was suspected in 15 sexual assaults and one other attempted murder. He had also served time in a federal prison on a firearms conviction.

(Editing by Kevin Gray and Bob Burgdorfer)

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