Florida executes Michael Zack III, convicted in 1996 murders

RAIFORD, Fla. — A man who killed two women in the Florida Panhandle during a crime spree in 1996 was executed by lethal injection on Tuesday, prison officials said.

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Michael Duane Zack III, 54, was executed at the Florida State Prison in Raiford, according to The Associated Press.

“I love you all,” Zack said in his final words before he was injected with the lethal cocktail, the Pensacola News-Journal reported.

The drugs were administered at 6:02 p.m. EDT and he was pronounced dead 12 minutes later, according to the newspaper.

On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to halt the execution, the News-Journal reported.

Zack was put to death for the June 13, 1996, murder of Ravonne Smith, 31, an employee he befriended at a bar, USA Today reported. Prosecutors said that Zack beat and raped Smith at her Escambia County home and then fatally stabbed her with an oyster knife, according to the AP.

In 1997, a jury convicted Zack of first-degree murder, robbery with a firearm and sexual battery in Smith’s slaying. He was sentenced to death on Nov. 24, 1997, USA Today reported

Zack also killed another woman, Laura Rosillo, in neighboring Okaloosa County, after meeting her at a different bar, the News-Journal reported. He was sentenced to life in prison for her death, according to USA Today.

Rosillo’s murder occurred on June 12, 1996. Prosecutors said Zack invited to the woman to the beach “to do drugs,” the AP reported. He then beat her, dragged her partially clothed into the dunes, strangled her and kicked sand over her face, according to court records.

Zack met Smith the next night.

Floridians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty shared a written statement by Zack moments after his death, according to the newspaper.

“Twenty-seven years ago, I was an alcoholic and a drug addict. I did things that have hurt a lot of people — not only the victims and their families and friends, but my own family and friends as well,” Zack wrote. “I have woken up every single day since then filled with remorse and a wish to make my time here on earth mean something more than the worst thing I ever did.”

Zack’s execution was the sixth in seven months this year, according to the News-Journal.

The others were Donald Dillbeck, executed on Feb. 23; Louis Gaskin, on April 12; Darryl Barwick, on May 4; Duane Owen, on June 15; and James Barnes, on Aug. 3.