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Florida Inmate Robert Power Dies of Natural Causes While Awaiting Execution

Florida Inmate Robert Power Dies of Natural Causes While Awaiting Execution for Rape, Murder
Robert Power (Florida Dept. of Corrections)

RAIFORD, Fla. (CBS) A Florida man who has been on death row for 20 years for the rape and murder of a 12-year-old Orange County girl died in prison Friday from what appeared to be natural causes, authorities say.

A spokeswoman for the Union Correctional Institute said there would be an autopsy to determine the cause of 50-year-old Robert Power's death. The inmate passed away shortly before 4 a.m. Friday, reports The Orlando Sentinel.

Power, the fifth death row inmate to die this year while waiting for a death warrant, was sentenced on Nov. 8, 1990 after a jury convicted him of first-degree murder in the murder of 12-year-old Angeli Bare, says The Sentinel.

Powers was able to avoid execution because he had not yet exhausted his appeals, and thus no death warrant had been issued.

According to The Sentinel, Power broke into Bare's home on Oct. 6, 1987 shortly after her parents left for work.

A neighbor who had come to take Angeli to school was turned away by the young girl who told the man he would be killed if he did not leave. Despite the neighbor's pleas, Angeli refused to get in the car so he left and called 911, but unfortunately his call was too late.

"He hogtied and double gagged her and then, when she was entirely helpless, administered a fatal stab wound that caused her to slowly bleed to death over a period of 10 to 20 minutes," the judge wrote in the sentencing order in 1990. "Some, if not all, of these acts had to have occurred while she was conscious."

In addition to the murder conviction, Powers was also serving eight consecutive life sentences for other crimes, including kidnapping, five charges of sexual battery, and charges of armed burglary and possession of a firearm during felony in the rapes of two young Kissimmee sisters, says The Orlando Sentinel.

Power, who was one of Florida's 392 death row inmates, was arrested in October 1987 at his mother's house in Kissimmee. He had been working at an Orlando auto body shop.