The first chemical to go through the syringe and into David Alan Gore will sedate him, the second will paralyze him and the third will stop his heart.
He would be the first Treasure Coast serial killer to be executed.
Gore’s execution comes almost two decades after the Treasure Coast saw Florida’s justice system put to death one of its locals — John Earl Bush for the 1982 murder of Frances Julia Slater in Martin County.
TREASURE COAST MEN EXECUTED
City: Fort Pierce
Arrest: May 1982, Stuart
Executed: Oct. 21, 1996
Years on death row: 14
Crime: John Earl Bush was convicted for the 1982 first-degree murder of 18-year-old Frances Julia Slater, the step-granddaughter of outboard motor magnate Ralph Evinrude and singer Frances Langford.A convicted rapist who had served five years in prison, Bush, along with Alphonso Cave, J.B. Parker and Terry Wayne Johnson, drove from Fort Pierce to a small Stuart convenience store about 3 a.m. April 27, 1982. Inside the store, lone clerk Slater was sweeping the floor.
Holding Slater at gunpoint, the men stole $134 from the store, police said. They abducted Slater and took her to a rural area about 13 miles away. Bush stabbed Slater in the stomach, and Parker shot her in the back of the head with a .38-caliber pistol, according to reports.
The men left Slater dead, face-down on the side of the road, and drove back to Fort Pierce. They split the money four ways.
Cave and Parker remain on death row for the slaying. Johnson is serving life because evidence indicated he was drunk, did not know what was happening and cooperated in the investigation.
The United States Supreme Court denied Bush’s last appeal 90 minutes before the execution.
Bush’s final meal included steak, shrimp, lemon pie and orange juice.
Among those who watched his execution were Secretary of State Sandra Mortham; Slater’s twin sister, Cathy Springston; and Ron McAndrew, then warden at Florida State Prison.
“He was calm that day,” McAndrew said during a March interview with Scripps Treasure Coast Newspapers. “I was nervous (because it was my first execution), and (Bush) tried to put me at ease. I got halfway through reading his death warrant out loud and I choked up a bit. His arms were chained to his waist, but his elbow was free, and he sort of nudged me with his elbow and said, ‘Hey boss man, it’s OK. I’m ready.’ ”
Bush’s last statement was an Arabic prayer.
City: Fort Pierce
Arrest: May 1973, Fort Pierce
Executed: May 10, 1984
Years on death row: 10
Crime: The state executed James Adams on its electric chair for the Nov. 12, 1973 murder of Edgar Brown, a millionaire Fort Pierce rancher and former St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Department chief deputy. Brown died after being bludgeoned with a fireplace poker during a robbery in his Indrio road home.
During the murder, Adams was an escapee from the Tennessee prison where he had served 10 years of a 99-year sentence for rape.
Several witnesses said they saw Adams’ car at the scene. Police found Brown’s glasses and jewelry in the trunk of Adams’ wife’s car. But Adams proclaimed he was innocent, saying he was “railroaded” in the crime because he was a poor, black man, and the victim was white.
Adams filed six appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. Then-Governor Bob Graham signed two warrants for his death.
On his last day, Adams ate steak and eggs, baked potato, milk and coffee.
After being strapped into the electric chair, Adams’ last words were, “To all the men on death row, keep on fighting because it is wrong and immoral. I have no animosity toward anyone. I only have love.”
Adams was pronounced dead at 7:11 a.m., becoming the fifth man executed in Florida since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty in 1976, and the first black man executed in Florida since 1964.
Thirty-seven witnesses and six men in the death chamber watched Adams die, including his minister, the Rev. Wayne Griffin.
Past newspaper articles quote Griffin as saying, “I am convinced James Adams was innocent. I say that as a pastor and a fellow human being. We killed an innocent man today.”
Twenty-seven years after his execution, Adams remains the topic of studies that claim Adams’ case was one at least 38 executions in which indications of innocence or strong doubt of guilt were present.
City: White City
Arrest: 1946, Fort Pierce
Executed: Oct. 25, 1948
Years on death row: 1
Crime: Lacy Stewart was put to death by Florida’s electric chair for the Oct. 28, 1946 murder of Erich Emil Spiller, a 65-year-old beer parlor operator from White City who Stewart confessed he fatally shot as the man counted receipts.
At the time of the murder, Stewart was an escapee from a state prison camp near Fort Pierce. He was serving a 10-year sentence for a May 10, 1946 breaking and entering conviction in Volusia County.
Stewart was one of at least eight executed inmates in Florida younger than 18.
On his execution day, the switch was thrown at 9:05 a.m. He was pronounced dead eight minutes later.
He did not make a final statement.
City: Vero Beach
Arrest: 1936, Vero Beach
Executed: 9 a.m. May 12, 1939
Years on death row: 2
Crime: Specific details about Johnny Smith’s crime and execution were not available. However, a Press Journal newspaper article in 1939 said then Indian River County Sheriff William Frick pulled the switch that electrocuted Smith, who was convicted in October 1936 of first-degree murder. He was charged with killing Sam Jones.
Until 1941, the job of pulling the switch fell to the sheriff in the county where the crime had been committed.
Johnny Smith became the 69th person in Florida to be executed prior to the 1976 reinstatement of the death penalty.