FORT LAUDERDALE (CBS4) –A South Florida man on death row for killing a pair of young sisters in 1996 and stuffing their bodies in his attic went before a Broward judge Friday to drop his death penalty appeals and set an execution date, but once there, he said he wasn’t quite sure he’s ready to die.
According to The Sun Sentinel, convicted child killer Howard Steven Ault said, “Your Honor, I’m still wavering.”
He told Broward Circuit Judge Marc Gold that he had not been given his prescribed psychiatric medication since arriving at the Broward Main Jail from state prison on Thursday night, but he would still be wavering even if had taken his pills.
Gold said he could not proceed with a hearing if Ault was not certain about wanting to drop his appeals. He dismissed Ault’s motion but gave the defendant the option of re-filing.
Ault was convicted in 1999 of raping and murdering 11-year-old DeAnn Mu’min and murdering her 7-year-old sister, Alicia Jones, in Oakland Park in 1996.
At the time of the murders, the girls’ mother, Donna Jones was homeless and living with her daughters in Easterlin Park in Oakland Park. Ault had befriended Jones at the campground.
On Nov. 4, 1996, Ault offered her daughters a ride home from school in his truck. Instead, he drove them to his house in Fort Lauderdale, where he raped DeAnn, then strangled her and her sister. He then hid their bodies in his attic. Their bodies were found two days later.
After the original jury recommended the death penalty, Gold sentenced Ault to death. But the sentence was overturned in 2003 by the Florida Supreme Court, which ruled that Gold erred in dismissing a potential juror who expressed opposition to the death penalty.
Four years later, another jury again recommended the death penalty. And again, Gold sentenced Ault to die.