December 13, 2018 / 12:25 PM / in a month

Florida executes man convicted of killing woman during 1992 burglary

(Reuters) - Florida on Thursday executed a death row inmate who was convicted of beating and stabbing a 63-year-old North Miami woman to death during a burglary more than two decades ago.

FILE PHOTO: Florida death-row inmate Jose Jimenez is seen in this undated photo released by Florida Department of Corrections in Tallahassee, Florida, U.S., December 12, 2018. Courtesy Florida Department of Corrections/Handout via REUTERS

Jose Jimenez, 55, was put to death by lethal injection at 9:48 p.m. EST at Florida’s execution chamber in Raiford, according to Patrick Manderfield, a spokesman for the state department of corrections.

Manderfield said Jimenez made no final statement. He ate a final meal of a turkey and ham Cuban sandwich, five over easy eggs, French fries, root beer and vanilla and chocolate chip ice cream with chocolate syrup.

Jimenez was convicted of first-degree murder and burglary in 1994, stemming from the beating and stabbing to death Phyllis Minas, 63, two years earlier.

Prosecutors said at trial that Jimenez broke into her North Miami apartment on Oct. 2, 1992. Neighbors heard her screaming and tried to enter the apartment but Jimenez locked the door and fled out the bedroom balcony, court documents showed.

Jimenez, who lived in the same building, cleaned himself up and changed before speaking to neighbors in the hallway after the attack. He was arrested three days later at his parents’ home nearby after police matched his fingerprints with those found at the scene.

State and federal courts have denied numerous appeals in Jimenez’s case, challenging his conviction and sentence on several grounds.

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected an 11th hour appeal by Jimenez’s attorneys on Thursday, clearing the way for the execution.

On Wednesday, the Florida Supreme Court denied an appeal that argued a referendum approved by voters in 2018 allowed Jimenez at least a new sentencing hearing based on guidelines established in 2016 and 2017 rather than those in place in 1994.

He was the second inmate to be executed in Florida and the 24th in the United States in 2018, according to the Death Penalty Information Center, which tracks the use of the death penalty in the United States.

Reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles; Editing by Paul Tait and Clarence Fernandez

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