The scheduled execution in Florida of convicted killer Oscar Ray Bolin was delayed while the U.S. Supreme Court considered a final appeal, but the court ultimately denied that petition. Bolin was executed by the state at 10:16 p.m.
Bolin was set to die by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Florida State Prison in Starke, but there were several hours of review for the appeal.
The 53-year-old Bolin has been convicted of killing three women. His death warrant is for the 1986 slaying of 26-year-old Teri Lynn Matthews, who was abducted from a post office north of Tampa.
Earlier in the day, Bolin ate a final meal that included steak, baked potato, salad and lemon meringue pie, Corrections Department spokesman McKinley Lewis said. Bolin was also visited by his wife, Rosalie, and Dale Recinella, his spiritual adviser.
The 26-year-old Matthews was abducted from a post office in Pasco County, just north of Tampa.
Bolin was also sentenced to death for the killing of 17-year-old Stephanie Collins. A jury also gave him the death penalty for killing 25-year-old Natalie Holley, but that verdict was thrown out because of legal errors. Another jury eventually convicted him of second-degree murder in that case. All three killings happened in 1986.
Each of Bolin's cases ended in new trials. Every one of the verdicts delivered by juries in three separate trials was reversed at least twice by appeals courts, although ultimately he was convicted again in each case.
Kathleen Reeves, the mother of Matthews, told The Associated Press it doesn't matter that Bolin is not awaiting execution in all three cases "because he only dies once."
"He dies for all of our girls."
The mothers of the three victims attended many of the trials together. Reeves and Collins' family planned to attend the execution. Holley's mother died in 2012.
The cases went unsolved until someone called an anonymous tip line in 1990, when Bolin was already serving a 22- to 75-year prison sentence in Ohio for kidnapping and raping a 20-year-old waitress outside Toledo in 1987.
Authorities later discovered it was the new husband of Bolin's ex-wife who called in the tip; the ex-wife said Bolin had told her about the killings in 1986.
Bolin's trials received widespread publicity in the Tampa Bay area — but not just because of the seemingly endless legal processes or the brutal nature of the killings.
While on trial, Bolin and a woman on his defense team fell in love. Rosalie Martinez had been a paralegal at the Hillsborough Public Defender's office who was married to a prominent Tampa attorney. Martinez divorced him and married Bolin, on live TV, in 1996 — 10 years after the slayings. Rosalie Bolin says her husband is innocent in Matthews' killing, and she has become one of the state's most outspoken death penalty opponents.