The state executed a man for the 1993 rape and murder of a Florida college student Thursday.

  • Man guilty of 1993 brutal murder executed
  • Eric Branch convicted of rape, slaying of Pensacola woman
  • U.S. Supreme Court denies final appeals

Eric Scott Branch, 46, was found guilty for the 1993 rape and murder of Susan Morris in Pensacola. 

Authorities said Branch attacked Susan Morris in January of 1993 as she walked to her car at the University of West Florida. 

Branch dragged Morris into a nearby wooded area, where he beat, strangled, and sexually battered her. 

Branch then left Morris' body in a shallow grave and stole her car to flee the state. 

Branch was previously convicted for the 1991 sexual battery and beating of a 14-year-old girl in Indiana.

He was also convicted in Bay County, Florida for another sexual battery. 

His execution was put on hold at 6 p.m., pending final appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court rejected the appeals without comment.

Information from the Associated Press used in this report.