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Murderer Executed in Florida’s Electric Chair

May 12, 1992 GMT

STARKE, Fla. (AP) _ A man who raped, robbed and murdered a college student was executed in Florida’s electric chair Tuesday after courts dismissed his claims of mental incompetence.

″I may not be insane right now, but I was insane when I committed this horrible crime,″ 43-year-old Nollie Lee Martin said minutes before a black- hooded executioner turned a switch, sending 2,000 volts through his body.

Martin was condemned for the 1977 murder of Patricia Greenfield, 19, who was working a summer job as a convenience store clerk.

In a rambling statement that lasted several minutes before the execution, Martin apologized for the murder and said it was torture living on death row for 15 years before being executed.

″My suffering will be over in a few minutes. I just hope that those who are involved emotionally, spiritually and psychologically ... can understand when I say I am sorry,″ Martin said. ″I am truly sorry from the bottom of my heart.″

He also spoke to the victim: ″Patricia, maybe I’ll be able to meet you in heaven because I truly believe that is where I’m going.″

When he finished speaking, a thick rubber flap was draped over his face. Prison superintendent Everett Perrin, overseeing his first execution, spoke briefly to Gov. Lawton Chiles and then nodded to the executioner.

When the power was turned on, Martin surged slightly backward. His right hand balled up, and the fingers of his left tried to dig into the arm of the chair.

The Supreme Court had cleared the way for the execution Monday, unanimously rejecting two applications for a stay of execution and one petition requesting a review of Martin’s case.

Martin was under his fourth death warrant for the June 26, 1977, slaying.

He also was convicted of setting an apartment-building fire that killed three people in Guilford County, N.C., in 1972. He was given 18 to 30 years in prison in that case, but was paroled after four.

Martin’s lawyer, Richard Burr, claimed his client was brain-damaged and mentally ill, that his lethal urges were the result of a history of beatings, sexual abuse and childhood accidents.

In his appeals, Burr showed a videotape taken last winter showing Martin rocking back and forth, cradling his head and picking at sores on his skin. The tape failed to convince Chiles that he should grant clemency.

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Ms. Greenfield, a George Washington University student from Boynton Beach, was working at a store in Delray Beach when Martin and his cousin walked in, grabbed two cases of beer and robbed the store.

They kidnapped Ms. Greenfield and drove to Martin’s apartment where Martin and Gary Forbes, the cousin, both raped her. She was then taken to a Lantana dump where Martin strangled her and stabbed her repeatedly in the throat.

Forbes is serving a life term.

Martin was the 28th person executed in Florida since the state resumed the death penalty in 1979.