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Marshall Lee GORE

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Serial rapist - Robberies
Number of victims: 2
Date of murder: January 31/March 11, 1988
Date of arrest: March 17, 1988
Date of birth: August 17, 1963
Victim profile: Susan Roark, 19 / Robyn Gale Novick, 30
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife - Strangulation
Location: Columbia County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on April 3, 1990. Executed by lethal injection on October 1, 2013
 
 

 

Supreme Court of Florida

 
opinion 75955 opinion 86249
 
opinion SC96127 opinion SC01-1524
 
opinion 05-1848
 
 

 
 

Miami killer Marshall Lee Gore is executed at the Florida State Prison

By David Ovalle - MiamiHerald.com

October 1, 2013

STARKE -- Marshall Lee Gore, the notorious Miami rapist and murderer, was known for his outrageous courtroom antics: insulting lawyers, storming off the witness stand and howling at a guilty verdict.

But after more than two decades on Florida’s Death Row, Gore displayed no insolence in his final moments.

Instead, on Tuesday night, as he lay strapped in a gurney awaiting death by lethal injection at Florida State Prison, he refused to open his eyes.

“Inmate Gore, do you have a last statement you’d like to make,” a prison official asked just past 6 p.m.

Gore, 50, his jowls quivering side-to-side slightly, said not a word.

A lethal cocktail of drugs began coursing into his veins through tubes hooked into both arms. Moments later, his mouth opened in a deep labored breath, then stayed agape as color drained from his ruddy face.

From behind a thick pane of glass, four rows of observers, including relatives of victims Robyn Novick and Susan Marie Roark, leaned forward in their chairs as minutes ticked away. A white-smocked doctor walked in. He pried Gore’s eye lids open, shining a light in. No response. At 6:12 p.m., the prison official pronounced Gore dead.

“I thought that was quite ironic, that he had nothing to say at the end,” said retired Miami-Dade Detective Dave Simmons, who investigated Gore’s slew of rapes. “He played the system for years faking insanity, saying outlandish things to judges and witnesses, and in his moment of truth, he had nothing to say for himself. He was the ultimate coward in the end.”

As the relatives filed out of the gallery, Novick’s sister, Pamela Novick, winked at journalists. Gore stabbed and beat Robyn Novick to death in March 1988, leaving her discarded corpse in a trash heap near Homestead.

Pamela Novick recalled her 30-year-old sister’s “heart of gold” and “zest for life” and the horror of her body dumped “as if one was throwing out garbage.”

Novick read a statement after the execution lamenting that Gore had lived for so long after her sister’s death.

“My sister Robyn wasn’t given a choice of how or when she wanted to die,’’ she said. “She was violently murdered by a serial killer with no mercy and no appeals.’’

Novick’s elderly mother, Phyllis Novick, who lives in Ohio, did not attend Tuesday’s execution. Neither did her father.

“Our dearest father, Alvin, had hoped to see this day. Unfortunately, he passed away too soon,” Pamela Novick said.

Gore’s execution was ultimately quick and drama-free, unlike the 25 years of legal wrangling since he murdered the two women and nearly killed another. It had been Gore’s fourth scheduled execution in recent months. Twice before, courts halted executions as Gore’s lawyers sought to stave off his death because of questions about his sanity.

Then, in a move roundly criticized, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi rescheduled a September execution date so she could attend a political fundraiser; she later apologized. Bondi’s decision still riled many involved in the case.

“It was a slap in the face, not only for the law enforcement officers involved but for the families who have waited 25 long years,” said retired Columbia County Sheriff’s Lt. Neal Nydam, who investigated the Roark murder and attended Tuesday’s execution. Nydam said afterward: “It’s been a roller coaster. But finally, it’s over.”

Nydam attended the execution with former Columbia prosecutor Bob Dekle, who also put away serial killer Ted Bundy. Former Miami-Dade prosecutor Flora Seff also witnessed the execution.

Authorities arrested Gore in 1988 after he kidnapped a stripper Tootsie’s Cabaret in North Miami-Dade. After raping the woman, he slit her throat, bashed her head in with a rock and left her to die in an isolated stretch near Homestead. The woman lived, alerting police officers that Gore had made off with her car, with her 2-year-old son in the back seat. The child was later found alive.

Officers looking for the boy stumbled across Novick’s remains. She was last seen with Gore leaving a tavern.

Novick, originally from Cincinnati, was a General Motors credit services representative who met Gore during a brief stint moonlighting as a dancer at Solid Gold in North Miami-Dade.

Suspicion soon fell on Gore for the disappearance of Tennessee college student Susan Marie Roark, who had disappeared two months earlier. She was last seen in his company. In April 1988, Columbia County deputies found Roark’s body, reduced to almost a skeleton, off a forest road.

In all, Gore was suspected of at least 15 sexual assaults, the attempted murder of a girl in Broward and the two murders.

After he was convicted in a slew of trials, Gore’s lawyers claimed the convicted killer was mentally ill. His execution, they said, would violate a constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment. In documents penned himself, Gore tried to prove his insanity by claiming he was being executed as a “human sacrifice” and for “organ harvesting.”

Ultimately, court after court rejected Gore’s claims. Late Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to give Gore a final stay.

“I think the system is set up in a way that makes it very difficult for everybody involved, especially the victim’s families,” former prosecutor Seff said. “Despite that fact so much time has passed, the execution brought some peace to these people.”


Gore executed for murder of two Florida women

By Jeff Schweers - Gainesville.com

October 1, 2013

RAIFORD — After 23 years on Death Row, filing appeal after appeal that he was mentally ill and unfit to be put to death, Marshall Lee Gore was executed Tuesday evening as the families of two of his victims watched in silence through a glass window.

Gore, 49, made no last statement and took no sedative before he was killed by lethal injection. The last meal he ordered — a pepperoni and sausage pizza — went uneaten, prison officials said. The state pronounced him dead at 6:12 p.m.

In 1988, Gore was convicted for the brutal slayings of Robyn Gale Novick and Susan Roark. He was also convicted of attempting to murder Tina Coralis and kidnapping Coralis' 2-year-old son. The death warrant was for Novick's murder.

“Robyn Gale Novick was only 30 when Marshall Lee Gore savagely beat, raped, stabbed her in the heart and strangled her to death with her own belt,” Pamela Novick, her sister, said after witnessing Gore's execution.

She choked up and had to start over before continuing the 2½-page handwritten statement.

“He continued to squeeze the life out of her until she took her very last breath,” Novick said, surrounded by other family members. “He then dumped her beautiful body as if one was throwing out garbage.”

Robyn Novick lived in Fort Lauderdale and had been working as an exotic dancer when she met Gore, who killed her and dumped her body in rural Miami-Dade County.

Months earlier, Gore had kidnapped a 19-year-old Roark from Tennessee, using her car, and then killing her and dumping her body in Columbia County.

Members of Roark's family declined to comment, prison officials said.

Pamela Novick said her sister had been a petite, beautiful free spirit who thought people were basically good. “As a free spirit, she enjoyed meeting all types of people,” Pamela Novick said. “Her trusting personality ultimately led to her untimely death.”

Novick also criticized people who empathized with Gore, who got to live for more than two decades, exercising, watching television, breathing and eating, she said. “My sister Robyn wasn't given a choice of how or when she wanted to die.”

Gore was originally scheduled to die on June 24, but an hour before the set time, the federal 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta ordered a stay based on a claim by Gore's attorney that Gore was ineligible for execution because he was insane.

A federal appeals court lifted the stay on June 28. Gov. Rick Scott rescheduled the execution for July 10, but Circuit Judge Ysleta McDonald in Bradford County found reasonable grounds that Gore was too insane to be executed following an emergency appeal filed by Gore's attorney.

The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits execution of insane inmates. McDonald also ordered more hearings on Gore.

The execution was rescheduled for Sept. 10, but postponed a third time by Gov. Rick Scott at the request of Attorney General Pam Bondi. Bondi had a campaign fundraiser in Tampa on Sept. 10.

The last inmate executed prior to Gore was John E. Ferguson on Aug. 5. He was convicted and sentenced to death for eight counts of first degree murder in 1978. Ferguson's lawyers had made the same argument that he was insane and that executing him would be illegal.

Ferguson understood that he was going to be executed, but he thought he was being targeted in a communist conspiracy, his lawyer said. Ferguson's final statement that he was the prince of God and would rise again also pointed to a lack of understanding about his execution, his lawyers said.

Gore's mental status has long been the subject of numerous motions and appeals by his attorneys, but several judges struck down those claims over the years. His lawyers claimed he was delusional, that his execution was part of a conspiracy among the elite to harvest his organs after he was dead.

Mark Elliott, of Floridians for an Alternative to the Death Penalty, said the state “unnecessarily killed an obviously mentally ill prisoner,” and said the governor should devote more money to solving the thousands of unsolved murders in the state.

Bob Dekle, one of the prosecutors in the case, said he felt empty after watching Gore be put to death. “He did some horrible things to a vast number of undeserving people, and he got what he deserved.” Dekle said. “It took too long.”

On June 14, Scott signed the Timely Justice Act, which requires the governor to sign a death warrant within 30 days of review by the Florida Supreme Court; and it requires the state to execute the defendant within 180 days of the warrant.

The next execution is scheduled for Oct. 15. William Frederick Happ was convicted and sentenced to death in 1989 for the murder of Fort Lauderdale resident Angela Crowley, whose body was found in the Cross-Florida Barge Canal near Crystal River.


Marshall Lee Gore

AKA Mars. L. Gore

DC#  401256
DOB: 08/17/63

Third Judicial Circuit, Columbia County Case # 88-607
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable E. Vernon Douglas
Attorney, Trial: Jimmy Hunt – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Direct Appeal: W.C. McLain – Assistant Public Defender
Attorney, Collateral Appeals:  Frank Tassone, Jr. – Registry

Date of Offense: 01/31/88

Date of Sentence: 04/03/90

Circumstances of Offense:

On 04/02/88, the skeletonized remains of Susan Roark were found in Columbia County, Florida.  Forensic investigation determined that the body was placed in that location at death, or within two hours following death.

Susan Roark was last seen alive on 01/30/88, in Cleveland, Tennessee, in the presence of Marshall Lee Gore.  Gore was waiting at a convenience store for a friend to pick him up and travel to Florida.  Gore struck up a conversation with Roark and the two left in Roark’s black Ford Mustang.

Gore arrived in Tampa on 01/31/88, driving a black Ford Mustang.  He convinced a friend to help him pawn several items that were later determined to have belonged to Roark.  Gore then proceeded to Miami, where he abandoned Roark’s car after it was involved in a two-car accident.  Gore’s fingerprint and a Miami police traffic ticket, issued to Gore, were found in the car.

Lisa Ingram testified that she was riding in a car with Gore on 02/19/88 when she saw a woman’s purse in the back seat.  According to Ingram, Gore told her that the purse belonged to “a girl that he had killed last night.”

Prior Incarceration History in the State of Florida:

Gore had a criminal record in Florida, prior to the Roark murder.

Trial Summary:

07/28/89          Indicted as follows:

Count I            First-Degree Murder

Count II           Kidnapping

Count III          Armed Robbery

03/14/90          Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

04/02/90          Jury recommended death by a vote of 11-1

04/03/90          Sentenced as follows:

Count I            First-Degree Murder – Death

Count II           Kidnapping – Life Imprisonment

Count III          Armed Robbery – 15 years

Appeal Summary:

Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 75,955

599 So. 2d 978

05/04/90 Appeal filed

04/16/92 FSC affirmed convictions and sentences

07/06/92 Rehearing denied

08/05/92 Mandate issued

U.S. Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC# 92-5955

506 U.S. 1003

09/21/92 Petition filed

11/30/92 USSC denied Petition

Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 88-607

05/03/94 Motion filed

06/04/01 Circuit Court denied Motion

Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Motion Appeal

FSC# 01-1524

846 So. 2d 461

07/10/01 Appeal filed

04/17/03 FSC affirmed denial of 3.850 Motion

05/19/03 Mandate issued

Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

FSC# 02-684

846 So. 2d 461

03/27/02 Petition filed

04/17/03 FSC denied Petition

05/19/03 Mandate issued

U.S. District Court, Middle District – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

USDC# 02-942

10/09/02 Petition filed (pro se)

10/10/02 USDC denied Petition, without prejudice, to allow completion of State proceedings

U.S. District Court, Middle District – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

USDC# 03-474

09/29/03 Petition filed

04/22/05 Petition amended

01/31/06 USDC denied petition

U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus Appeal

USCA# 06-11522

492 F.3d 1273

03/01/06 Appeal filed

05/01/06 COA granted

07/20/07 Lower Court decision was affirmed

09/05/07 Mandate issued

Florida Supreme Court – 3.853 Motion Appeal

FSC# 07-678

04/12/07 Appeal filed (pro se)

06/08/10 FSC affirmed denial of 3.853 Motion

05/20/10 Mandate issued

U.S. Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC# 07-7796

128 U.S. 1226

11/16/07 Petition filed

02/19/08 Petition denied

Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 88-607

06/06/08 Petition filed

06/12/08 Petition dismissed as untimely filed

Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Motion Appeal

FSC# 08-1261

07/01/08 Appeal filed

10/28/08 Appeal stricken and dismissed

Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:

The 3.850 Motion was pending from 05/03/94 – 06/04/01.

Case Information:

Gore filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 05/04/90, citing the following errors: denying a motion to suppress statements to police; allowing the presentation of collateral crime evidence; denying a motion of continuance to secure defense testimony; denying a motion for acquittal on Kidnapping count; failing to sequester Roark’s stepmother; allowing State to question a defense psychiatrist on Gore’s mental state; and finding of aggravating circumstances. On 04/16/92, the FSC affirmed the convictions and sentences of Gore.

Gore filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on 09/21/92 that was denied on 11/30/92.

Gore filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court on 05/03/94 that was denied on 06/04/01.

Gore filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 07/10/01, citing claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. On 04/17/03, the FSC affirmed the denial of the 3.850 Motion.

Gore filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Florida Supreme Court on 03/27/02, citing claims of ineffective assistance of counsel. On 04/17/03, the FSC denied the Petition.

Gore filed a Pro Se Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the U.S. District Court, Middle District, on 10/09/02. On 10/10/02, the USDC denied the Petition, without prejudice, to allow for the completion of State proceedings.

Gore filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the U.S. District Court, Middle District, on 09/29/03 and amended the Petition on 04/22/05. The USDC denied the petition on 01/31/06.

Gore filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the U.S. Court of Appeals, 11th Circuit, on 03/01/06. The lower court decision was affirmed on 07/20/07, and a mandate was issued on 09/05/07.

Gore filed a pro se 3.853 Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court on 04/12/07, which was denied on 04/08/10.

On 11/16/07, Gore filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court. The petition was denied on 02/19/08.

On 07/01/08, Gore filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court. This motion was stricken and dismissed by the court on 10/28/08.

*****

GORE, Marshall (W/M)

DC# 401256

DOB: 08/17/63

Eleventh Judicial Circuit, Dade County Case # 90-11445

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Thomas Carney

Resentencing Judge: The Honorable Leslie Rothenberg

Attorney, Trial: Anthony Genova, Guillermo Pena, John Lipinski – Special Assistant Public Defender

Attorney, Direct Appeal:

(1998) – John Lipinski, Maria Lipinski, Anthony Genova – Private

(2001) – William Norris – Private

Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Steven Hammer – Registry

Date of Offense: 03/10/88

Dates of Sentence: 06/30/95 & 04/19/99

Circumstances of Offense:

On 03/16/88, police found a blue tarp that covered the body of a white female, identified through dental records as Robyn Novick. Forensic investigation showed that the cause of death was multiple stab wounds to the chest and strangulation.

On 03/11/88, witnesses at the Redlands Tavern saw Robyn Novick get into a yellow Corvette and leave the bar, in the company of a man, later identified in photographic lineups as Marshall Gore.

On the morning of 03/12/88, Gore came to the house of David Restrepo, driving a yellow Corvette with “Robyn N” on the license plate. Restrepo was told by Gore that his girlfriend had loaned him the car. Gore and Restrepo then drove to a strip club, and Gore explained that he wanted to change his name to Robyn. The two then went to a convenience store, but after leaving the store, Gore lost control of the vehicle, which flipped several times and came to a rest with two flat tires. Gore and Restrepo abandoned the wrecked car. Police found the abandoned car and discovered credit cards, a driver license, and cigarette case, all belonging to Robyn Novick.

Additional Information:

At the time of conviction for the murder of Robyn Novick, Gore was under a sentence of death for the 01/31/88 kidnapping, robbery, and murder of Susan Roark (Columbia County Case# 88-607) and a sentence of life imprisonment for the 03/14/88 kidnapping, sexual battery, and attempted murder of Tina Corolis (Dade County Case# 88-9827).

In 2002, Gore filed a notice with the Circuit Court that he was incompetent to proceed. The Circuit Court appointed experts for psychiatric evaluation. On 04/09/04, a competency hearing was held in the Circuit Court and Gore was determined to be competent.

Trial Summary:

03/21/90 Indicted as follows:

Count I First-Degree Murder

Count II Armed Robbery

05/05/95 Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

05/06/95 Jury recommended death by a vote of 11-1

06/30/95 Sentenced as follows:

Count I First-Degree Murder – Death

Count II Armed Robbery – Life Imprisonment

10/01/98 FSC vacated convictions and sentences and remanded for a new trial

02/12/99 Jury returned guilty verdicts on all counts of the indictment

03/16/99 Jury recommended death by a vote of 12-0

04/19/99 Sentenced as follows:

Count I First-Degree Murder – Death

Count II Armed Robbery – Life Imprisonment

Appeal Summary:

Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 86,249

719 So. 2d 1197

08/10/95 Appeal filed

10/01/98 FSC reversed convictions and sentences

10/25/98 Mandate issued

Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal (after retrial)

FSC# 96,127

784 So. 2d 418

07/27/99 Appeal filed

04/19/01 FSC affirmed convictions and sentences

05/18/01 Mandate issued

Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 90-11445

06/18/02 Shell Motion filed

08/27/02 Circuit Court granted State motion to strike 3.850 Shell Motion

Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Motion Appeal

FSC# 02-2285

841 So.2d 466

10/21/02 Appeal filed

03/10/03 FSC ordered Gore to file an amended 3.850 Motion in the Circuit Court within 60 days

Circuit Court – 3.850 Motion

CC# 90-11445

06/01/04 Motion filed

09/13/05 CC denied motion

Florida Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus

FSC# 05-1168

913 So.2d 596

05/31/05 Petition filed

09/23/05 FSC denied petition without an opinion

Florida Supreme Court – 3.850 Motion Appeal

FSC# 05-1848

10/10/05 Appeal filed

06/25/09 Appeal denied

12/10/09 Rehearing denied

12/31/09 Mandate issued

United States Supreme Court – Petition for Writ of Certiorari

USSC# 08-7871

129 S. Ct. 1354

12/06/08 Petition filed

02/23/09 Petition denied

Factors Contributing to the Delay in Imposition of Sentence:

Gore’s 1995 convictions and sentences were overturned by the Florida Supreme Court, and he was retried and resentenced in 1999.

Case Information:

On 08/10/95, Gore filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, citing multiple errors. However, the FSC focused on Gore’s claims that the prosecutor’s questions and comments during cross-examination of Gore and closing arguments were improper. On 10/01/98, the FSC agreed with Gore’s argument and reversed Gore’s convictions and sentences, remanding the case for retrial.

On 02/12/99, Gore was again convicted on all counts of the indictment, and on 04/19/99, was again sentenced to death.

On 07/27/99, Gore filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, citing the following errors: double jeopardy protections preclude retrial for the murder and robbery charges; denying motion for mistrial for improper witness questioning; denying a motion for judgment of acquittal; admitting improper collateral crime evidence; finding of the aggravating circumstance of cold, calculated, and premeditated murder; allowing Gore to represent himself during the closing argument of the guilt phase and during the penalty phase of trial; and ineffective assistance of counsel during the penalty phase. On 04/19/01, the FSC affirmed the convictions and sentences.

On 06/18/02, Gore filed a 3.850 Shell Motion with the Circuit Court. On 08/27/02, the Circuit Court granted a State motion to strike the 3.850 Shell Motion.

On 10/21/02, Gore filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court. On 03/10/03, the FSC ordered Gore to file an amended 3.850 Motion in the Circuit Court within 60 days.

On 06/01/04, Gore filed a 3.850 Motion with the Circuit Court that was denied on 09/13/05.

On 05/31/05, Gore filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus with the Florida Supreme Court that was denied on 09/23/05.

On 10/10/05, Gore filed a 3.850 Motion Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court that was denied on 06/25/09.

On 12/06/08, Gore filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court that was denied on 02/23/09.

FloridaCapitalCases.state.fl.us

 

 

 
 
 
 
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