Florida inmate nicknamed 'Ninja Killer' set to be executed for 1989 double homicide
A man convicted of killing a couple in Florida in 1989 is scheduled to be executed next month after Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a death warrant on Monday.
Louis Bernard Gaskin, now 56, was convicted of first-degree murder for killing Robert and Georgette Sturmfels on Dec. 20, 1989, in their home in Flagler County. He was also convicted of armed robbery, burglary and attempting to murder another couple who resided nearby that same night.
Dubbed the "ninja killer" for wearing all-black ninja clothing during his crimes, Gaskin shot his victims with a .22-caliber rifle. Items he stole from the Sturmfels' home — a clock, two lamps and a videocassette recorder — were found at his residence. He intended to give the items to his girlfriend for Christmas.
Gaskin confessed to the crimes and told a psychologist ahead of his trial that he was aware of what he was doing.
"The guilt was always there," Gaskin said at the time. "The devil had more of a hold than God did. I knew that I was wrong. I wasn’t insane."
In 1990, jurors voted 8-4 to recommend the death sentence, a sentence the judge accepted.
Under Florida's current law, a unanimous jury vote is required for capital punishment. However, the state Legislature is considering lowering the threshold.