A convicted murderer who was given a get-out-of-jail pass last year has been charged with killing a 33-year-old Florida woman who was last seen in late September.
Eric Pierson has been charged with killing Erika Verdecia of Sunrise after police say he confessed to stabbing her multiple times and dumping her body, according to WFOR-TV.
In 1995, Pierson was sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to killing 17-year-old Kristina Whitaker. However, he was freed last September after serving 27 years of that sentence, WFOR reported.
Previously, in 1985, he pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder after slashing a woman’s throat and hands with a kitchen knife. His victim survived. Pierson was sentenced to 18 years in prison but served only four, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
“Why is this guy in the streets? Why?” said Erika’s mother, Carmen Verdecia. “He’s going to pay this time. We’re not going to stop until we see him in the electric chair.”
She said the system failed her daughter.
“Why is this killer on the street?” Verdecia said, according to WPLG-TV. “Why did the justice system fail us?”
She said she did not know about Pierson’s record until after her daughter disappeared
“She didn’t know she was with a killer,” Carmen Verdecia said. “I don’t know how she met him.”
Pierson had been with Verdecia during a traffic stop at 2:15 a.m. on Sept. 25, the Sun-Sentinel reported.
When police questioned him about her disappearance, they found discrepancies between his story and video surveillance.
On Friday, police searched Pierson’s truck and found blood.
Later that night, police say, Pierson’s girlfriend called them to report that he was acting strangely. She said Pierson would look at the canal behind the mobile home where they lived and say, “Damn that b**** stinks.”
She said he also told her, “If they don’t find a body, they don’t have a case.”
Police said Pierson eventually confessed to the killing, claiming it was self-defense. They said he told them he stabbed Verdecia twice in the neck and once in each eye with a screwdriver, and he dumped her body in the canal after trying to weigh it down with rocks.
Pierson was charged with first-degree murder and locked up in Broward County Main Jail.
Erika Verdecia leaves behind a 6-year-old daughter.
“She still thinks her mom’s coming back,” Carmen Verdecia said Sunday, according to the Sun-Sentinel. “This is not going to stop here. The man left my granddaughter without a mother. I don’t know why they are letting these criminals out. They are letting killers out. These people should not be let out.”