STARKE, FLA. (970 WFLA)- The leader of an escape attempt that left a prison guard dead is set to be executed.
William Van Poyck is scheduled to die Tonight at Florida State Prison for the 1987 murder of guard Fred Griffis.
Van Poyck and Frank Valdes ambushed a prison van outside a West Palm Beach doctor's office in a failed attempt to free James O'Brien. Griffis was fatally shot after he threw the van's keys into the bushes to foil the escape. Van Poyck and Valdes were captured following a car chase. Valdes was stomped to death in prison in 1999. Seven guards were charged with his death, but none were convicted.
The 58-year-old Van Poyck has claimed Valdes fired the fatal shot. Prosecutors say that's irrelevant since Van Poyck planned the attack.