TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - A judge has ruled a convicted mass killer is legally competent to be executed next week after spending the last 34 years on death row.
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Circuit Judge David Allen Glant on Friday ruled against 64-year-old John Errol Ferguson in Starke. Ferguson is being held at nearby Florida State Prison.
Defense lawyer Christopher Handman immediately appealed to the Florida Supreme Court in Tallahassee.
Ferguson was convicted of killing eight people in South Florida. Six victims died in a drug related, execution-style mass killing in Carol City in 1977. Two Hialeah teenagers were slain on their way to a church meeting in 1978.
Glant upheld Gov. Rick Scott's finding that Ferguson is competent. The Supreme Court has stayed his execution for two days until next Thursday to hear the case.