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Florida executes Eric Branch for 1993 rape and killing of UWF student

Florida to execute Eric Branch for 1993 slaying of UWF student

A man convicted of raping and killing a University of West Florida college student literally went out kicking and screaming during his execution.

"Murderers, murderers, murderers!" is what Eric Branch yelled as the lethal injection was being administered.

Branch was executed pronounced dead at 6:05 p.m. on Thursday for the 1993 murder.

On Jan. 13, 1993, the body of UWF student Susan Morris was found in a wooded area on campus.

Eric Branch was arrested and convicted of her murder.

On death row for 25 years, Branch was sentenced to die Thursday evening at 5 p.m. CT.

The execution didn't stop a group of protestors from gathering and showing their opposition.

"In accordance with Florida law, the department will carry out the sentence of the court in the State of Florida vs. Eric Branch," said Florida Department of Corrections Communications Director Michelle Glady during a news conference earlier on Thursday.

Branch was arrested and convicted for the murder of Morris in 1993.

Throughout his trial, Branch maintained his innocence, claiming another man also named Eric was the one who killed Morris.

On Thursday, WEAR was told Branch is calm and in good spirits. He was visited by his daughter and ate his last meal around 10 a.m.

"He had pork chops, a t-bone steak, french fries, two pints of Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and a bottle of ginger ale," Glady said.

About 90 protesters organized by Father Phil Egitto drove three hours to show his opposition. Eggito doesn't agree with what Branch did, but doesn't think execution will fix what happened.

"When we kill, we end up no better than the killer, because we become killers," he said. "I think no, I'm not condoning what he wanted, at the same time I'm saying all of us are participating in a death machine by having executions in our state."

A stay of execution could have come at any moment leading up to the lethal injection.

According to Associated Press, the U.S. Supreme Court has denied last-minute appeals to halt the execution of Branch.

Watch the full news conference below:


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