Florida to execute man in 1993 rape, slaying of college student

Eric Scott Branch convicted in death of Susan Morris


STARKE, Fla. – Florida is scheduled to execute a man convicted of raping and killing a college student in 1993 so he could steal her car.

Barring a last-minute stay, 47-year-old Eric Scott Branch will be put to death by lethal injection at 6 p.m. Thursday at Florida State Prison.

Branch was convicted of the rape and fatal beating of 21-year-old University of West Florida student Susan Morris whose naked body was found buried in a shallow grave.

Evidence in the case shows that Branch approached Morris after she left a night class on Jan. 11, 1993, so he could steal her red Toyota and return to his home state of Indiana. He was arrested while traveling there.

Branch was also convicted of another rape in Florida and one in Indiana.