Convicted Florida killer murdered woman a year after release: cops

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Convicted Florida killer murdered woman a year after release: cops

A Florida man, who was convicted of killing a teenage girl in 1993, confessed to stabbing a woman to death with a screwdriver after being released from prison, cops said.

Eric Pierson, 54, was charged with first-degree murder Saturday after the body of Erika Verdecia, 33, was found in a canal near Fort Lauderdale, according to police.

Pierson admitted to stabbing the missing woman four times with a screwdriver on Sept. 25. The convicted killer was not formally charged with the slaying until Verdecia’s remains were discovered.

The convicted murderer, who is 6 feet 8 inches tall, had been set free last September after serving 27 years of a 40-year sentence for strangling Kristina Whitaker, 17, to death.

Whitaker’s murder led officials to push for longer prison sentences and required that convicts serve at least 85 percent of their bids. However, the new law could not be applied retroactively to Pierson, who was also convicted of slitting a woman’s throat in 1985.

“Why is this guy in the streets? Why?,” Erika’s mother Carmen Verdecia pleaded to the Sun Sentinel.

“He’s going to pay this time. We’re not going to stop until we see him in the electric chair.”

Erika Verdecia's body was found in a canal near Fort Lauderdale.
Erika Verdecia’s body was found in a canal near Fort Lauderdale.
Sunrise Police Department

Police tied Pierson to Verdecia’s disappearance after friends said they last saw her at a sandwich shop with a “grimy” man who identified himself as the killer.

“I flipped out,” Carme reportedly said. “I told (police) my daughter was seen with a killer. And then they started looking for her. But it was too late.”

Police found blood in Pierson’s truck and were informed by his girlfriend that he would stare at the canal behind their home and say, “Damn that bitch stinks.”

Verdecia left behind a 6-year-old daughter.

With AP wires

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