“I know I hurt people when I was young. I really messed up,” Dillbeck, 59, said while strapped to a gurney at Florida State Prison, according to the Tallahassee Democrat. “But I know Ron DeSantis has done a lot worse. He’s taken a lot from a lot of people. I speak for all men, women and children. He’s put his foot on our necks. Ron DeSantis and other people like him can suck our d***s.”
Dillbeck was pronounced dead at 6.13pm on Thursday after being convicted of the capital murder of Faye Vann, 44, in 1990, the Associated Press reported.
He escaped from prison where he was serving a life sentence for an earlier murder when he stabbed the mother of two to death in a shopping mall parking lot in an attempted carjacking.
Dillbeck was the first prisoner to be executed by lethal injection in nearly four years, and the third during Mr DeSantis’s governorship.
In a statement to the AP, Vann’s children Tony and Laura said: “11,932 days ago, Donald Dillbeck brutally killed our Mother. We were robbed of years of memories with her, and it has been very painful ever since.”
They praised the Florida governor for giving them some “closure”.
According to court records, Dillbeck’s criminal offending began at the age of 15 when he stabbed a man in Indiana.
He fled to Florida where he shot and killed Lee County Sheriff’s deputy Dwight Lynn Hall with his service weapon in a Fort Myers Beach parking lot in 1979. He was sentenced to 11 years to life in prison for the murder before escaping while on a work release programme in 1990.
Two days later, he approached Vann in a parking lot in Tallahassee and demanded a ride, according to court records. When she tried to raise the alarm and drive away, he stabbed her 20 times and slit her throat.
Dillbeck crashed the car shortly afterwards and was arrested while trying to flee on foot.
Earlier this month, the Florida Supreme Court denied a plea for clemency on the grounds that Dillbeck suffered from fetal alcohol syndrome. His final appeal was denied by the US Supreme Court on Wednesday.