Nation

Former officer executed in Florida murders

Manuel Pardo, 56, killed nine people during a 1986 crime spree.
Manuel Pardo, 56, killed nine people during a 1986 crime spree.

STARKE, Fla. — A former police officer who murdered nine people during a 1986 crime spree was executed Tuesday after his attorneys’ last-minute appeals were rejected.

Manuel Pardo, 56, was pronounced dead at Florida State Prison at 7:47 p.m. after a lethal injection. His attorneys tried to block the execution by arguing that he was mentally ill, but federal courts declined to intercede.

Prison officials said his final words were, ‘‘Airborne forever. I love you, Michi baby,’’ referring to his daughter.

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Pardo also wrote a final statement that was distributed to the media, in which he claimed that he never killed any women, but ‘‘accepted full responsibility for killing six men.”

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Officials said most of Pardo’s victims were involved with drugs. Pardo contended in his defense that he was doing the world a favor by killing them.

Frank Judd, the nephew of victim Fara Quintero, read a statement following the execution, witnessed by fewer than 10 family members of the victims.

Judd thanked the state of Florida for bringing closure to his family and said the pain they feel about the murder of Quintero ‘‘continues to this day.’’

Associated Press