Hours before his execution by lethal injection, a convicted murderer in Florida was tearful and full of regrets during a candid interview.
Fifty-three-year-old Mark Asay will be the first white Florida convict to be executed for killing a black man, the Daily Mail reports. He is scheduled to be put to death at 6 p.m. on August 24.
In his first and only interview since he was sentenced for first-degree murder, Asay confessed his crimes. He told News4Jax that he killed McDowell, a Hispanic transgender woman who went by “Rene.” However, Asay denied killing Booker, who was black.
Booker's body was found under the porch of an abandoned house close to where McDowell was shot to death. Both took place just hours apart from each other.
Asay was given two death sentences because prosecutors told the jury that the murders were racially motivated. According to reports, police thought McDowell was a light-skinned black person, a mistake that police recently acknowledged.
“Well, really, just that I'm sorry and things just got out of control,” Asay said in the interview. When asked if he had regrets, he teared up but he also said he is not afraid of dying.
About the murder of McDowell, Asay said, “That just happened as I was having a meltdown apparently. That's all I can say. I knew Robert McDowell as Rene. I had previous encounters with him, and we were sociable, and he did take money from me one time. I had said, in my mind, 'When I see him, I’m going to kick his ass.' But I never intended to murder him. It just happened.”
When asked if he had tattoos connected to white supremacy, Asay responded, “I did, but I got these tattoos when I was incarcerated in Texas. I was 19 years old, forced to survive in a hostile prison environment, and I got these tattoos in that environment so that I could blend in so that I could be safe in that environment."
On trying to remove them, he explained, "I have covered them up. I had a swastika on my elbow; I covered that up. I had an SWP on my arm; I burned it off. I've removed every racial tattoo I had, except for the ones that I can't reach.”
He denied being a white supremacist and said, “I've had to live in very hostile environments, and I've had to manage the best I could. While it's a poor choice, it's a choice I made, and I can't undo it.”