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Paul Howell Florida Execution

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Paul Howell was executed by the State of Florida for the murder of a State Trooper. According to court documents Paul Howell had made a pipe bomb and had placed it in a microwave with the intention of killing someone who could connect him to a murder. Paul Howell would hire another man to deliver the bomb but as he was driving to the witness home he was stopped by the police and taken into custody on an unrelated manner. Soon after the pipe bomb would explode killing State Trooper Jimmy Fulford. Paul Howell would be convicted and sentenced to death. Paul Howell would be executed on February 26, 2014

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Paul Augustus Howell, convicted in the 1992 pipe-bombing death of state trooper Jimmy Fulford, said he was sorry for his crime before he was executed Wednesday night at Florida State Prison.

“I would like to apologize to the Fulford family for what happened back in 1992,” Howell said during a more than two-minute statement. After giving the statement, Howell said prayers as he was given a series of lethal-injection drugs.

Howell, a Jamaican native who learned bomb-making skills in the Army, was a member of the violent Jamaican Posse, which was notorious for trafficking in crack cocaine and guns. He rigged a microwave oven with a pipe bomb to silence a Marianna woman who could tie him to the murder of a South Florida drug dealer.

Howell hired another man, Lester Watson, to deliver the bomb to the woman. On Feb. 1, 1992, Fulford stopped the car for speeding along Interstate 10 in Jefferson County. After examining the gift-wrapped package, the bomb exploded, killing Fulford instantly.

During his statement, Howell said he’d instructed Watson that no matter what, “Don’t let a cop get in the car.” He also said he originally was going to place the bomb inside a television set, but another woman, a cousin described in court documents as another potential witness, told him to put it in a microwave because the woman he intended to kill would be using it to heat up a bottle for her baby.

“So I’m sorry about that,” Howell said as he lay strapped to a gurney with an IV in his left arm.

The execution began about 6:18 p.m. About two minutes later, Howell closed his eyes. A couple of minutes later, the team warden conducted a consciousness check by touching his eyelash and pinching a neck muscle. He was pronounced dead at 6:32 p.m.

Howell visited earlier in the week with his wife and grown daughter at the prison. He asked that they not attend the execution. None of Fulford’s family members attended the execution, said Jessica Cary, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Corrections.

Fulford’s twin brother, Tim Fulford, said Howell’s apology brought “a little bit of comfort.” But he said the only thing that would bring him closure is “if my brother came walking through the door.”

“The main thing I want people to know is the system takes too long,” he said. “But I’m glad it’s finally over.”

Maj. Mark Welch of the Florida Highway Patrol gave a short statement after the execution.

“Twenty-two years ago this month, the patrol lost one of its most courageous and brave officers, trooper Jimmy Fulford,” he said. “And rather than reflect on the incident that happened this night, we prefer to use this opportunity to honor trooper Fulford and let this serve as a reminder of the dangers that law-enforcement officers face each and every day they put on their uniform and leave their homes and their families behind.”

State Attorney Willie Meggs, Jefferson County Sheriff David Hobbs and Wakulla County Sheriff Charlie Creel were among the witnesses at the execution.

“For the Fulford family, I hope it brings them closure,” Meggs said. “I think justice was done. And my basis for that was Paul Howell had the opportunity to not let this happen.”

Dispatchers contacted Howell during the traffic stop, and prosecutors have said he could have signaled to someone to stay away from the bomb but never did.

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