Thursday, February 22, 2018
Eric Scott Branch was executed by the state of Florida on Thursday, February 22, 2018. He was pronounced dead at 7:05 pm EST, inside the execution chamber at the Florida State Prison near Raiford, Florida. Eric was 47 years of age. He was executed for the murder of 21-year-oldSusan Morris, which occurred on January 11, 1993, in Pensacola, Florida. Eric spent the last 24 years of his life on death row in Florida.
Eric allegedly had a difficult and unstable childhood growing up. At the time of the murder, Eric was wanted for sexually assaulting a girl in Panama City on New Year’s Eve. He was also in violation of his parole in Indiana, where he had been convicted of sexually battery and beating a 14-year-old girl.
Eric Branch knew he was wanted by the police for a parole violation and that his vehicle could be traced back to him. In an attempt to avoid arrest by the police, he decided to steal a vehicle from the University of West Florida in Pensacola. He targeted Susan Morris as she walked to her vehicle after an evening class on January 11, 1993. He took off with her in her car.
Her nude body was later discovered in nearby woods. She had been severely beaten and stomped. She had also been sexually assaulted and strangled to death. She had numerous bruises and lacerations throughout her body.
Branch was arrested a few days later in Indiana, where Susan’s car was also discovered. Branch had also been seen on the campus of the University of West Florida on the night Susan disappeared. Susan’s blood was found in the recovered vehicle and on clothing belonging to Branch. He was convicted and sentenced to death on May 3, 1994.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Susan Morris. Please pray for strength for the family of Eric.