Louis Bernard Gaskin, dubbed the “ninja killer,” is set to be executed for the 1989 double murder of Robert and Georgette Sturmfels in their Flagler County home. On Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a death warrant ordering Gaskin’s execution on April 12.
Gaskin was convicted of first-degree murder, as well as armed robbery, burglary, and attempted murder for a separate crime that night. He was given the nickname “ninja killer” after wearing all-black ninja clothing during the crimes. Police say he used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot the Sturmfels.
In 1990, a jury voted 8-4 to recommend the death penalty and the judge accepted the recommendation. However, current Florida law requires a unanimous jury vote for capital punishment. Gaskin has filed numerous appeals over the years, but the Florida Supreme Court and U.S. Supreme Court have cleared the way for the death warrant to be signed.
All filings in any new appeals must be completed by March 31. If there are no delays, Gaskin’s execution would mark the second in Florida this year after a long pause dating back to 2019. It would also be only the fourth one under Governor DeSantis, a far slower pace than recent Florida governors.