Freed murderer charged in Florida with slaying of single mom

Florida

This undated photo provided by the Florida Department of Corrections shows Eric Pierson. On Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, police charged Pierson, a convicted murderer, with the slaying of a South Florida woman whose body was found in a canal after being missing for three weeks. (Florida Department of Corrections via AP)

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Police have charged a convicted murderer with the slaying of a South Florida woman whose body was found in a canal after being missing for three weeks.

Eric Pierson was charged Saturday with first-degree murder for the slaying of 33-year-old Erika Verdecia. Her stabbed body was found in a suburban Fort Lauderdale canal.

Sunrise police say Pierson confessed to stabbing the single mother with a screwdriver on Sept. 25.

Pierson had been released from prison in September 2020 after serving 27 years of a 40-year sentence for the 1993 beating and strangling 17-year-old Kristina Whitaker.

In 1985, Pierson broke into a home and slit a woman’s throat. He served four years.

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