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Florida Executes Rape/Murderer:  A Florida sex offender, who murdered his last rape victim, screamed "murderers" repeatedly as he was put to death Thursday.  Jason Dearen of the Associated Press reports that Eric Branch started screaming just as officials administered the lethal injection, and passed out seconds later.  Facts presented in the Florida Supreme Court's unanimous decision affirming Branch's conviction and death sentence describe a brutal and vicious rape and murder.  On the night of January 11, 1993, Branch, who was wanted by police in Indiana, decided to ditch his car and steal another one from a parking lot at the University of West Florida.  When 21-year-old coed Susan Morris approached her car, Branch forced her into the car and drove off.  Her nude body was later found in a shallow grave in nearby woods.  She had been beaten severely, raped, and strangled.  Branch was arrested three days later.  Witnesses testified to seeing Branch driving the victim's car on the night of the murder and the victim's blood and DNA were found on his shorts and shoes.  Branch had earlier convictions for raping a 14-year-old girl in Indiana and another woman in Panama City, Florida.

Wife Beater Kills Maryland Police Officer:  A 13-year veteran of Prince George's County Police Department and married father of four was gunned down Wednesday as he responded to help a female neighbor whose husband was threatening her with a shotgun.  The Associated Press reports that Officer Mujahid Ramzziddin left his home to help the woman, who lived a few doors away, and was shot and killed by Glenn Tyndell.  Tyndell, who had three open warrants for assault and several arrests for domestic violence, fled the scene and was later shot and killed by pursuing officers.  Federal authorities are investigating the case, and the Police Chief believes that with his criminal record Tyndell should have been barred from owning a firearm.

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