Starke, FL — Manuel Pardo, a former police officer in Sweetwater, Florida, who was convicted of killing nine people during a 1986 robbery spree, was executed Tuesday.
The Miami Herald reported that the 56-year-old died by lethal injection at 7:47 pm at the Florida State Prison.
The Herald also said that, before Pardo was put to death, he spent time with eight of his relatives and friends and ate a Cuban-style last meal.
Pardo also met with a prison chaplain and retired Catholic Bishop John Snyder, according to corrections spokeswoman Ann Howard.
Howard said, “After visiting with family and friends, it’s best to describe him as calm.”
Pardo’s death came after a last-minute appeal to stay the execution was rejected Tuesday afternoon by the US Court of Appeals. A federal judge in Jacksonville decline to interfere with the state’s decision.
Pardo and an accomplice in the robberies primarily targeted drug dealers. At his trial, Pardo said he was “a soldier” ridding the streets of “the scum of the earth.”
“As a soldier, I ask to be given the death penalty,” he said.
Manuel Pardo’s lawyers said their client should not be executed because he is mentally ill. Ronald Guralnic said, “I think that anyone who would get up and ask a jury to sentence him to death is insane.”
Pardo was once a respected member of the police force, but was fired for lying during a trial. It was after his firing that he went on a three-month crime spree with his accomplice and killed nine people, some of whom were drug dealers, but others who were innocent bystanders.
Prison officials said Pardo’s last words were, “Airborne forever. I love you, Michi baby.”