ATMORE, Ala. (AP) _ A man convicted in the 1983 stabbing deaths of a disabled woman and her daughter was executed by electrocution early Friday.

Pernell Ford, 35, was pronounced dead at 12:12 a.m.

In a lengthy last statement, Ford apologized to the victims' family. Awaiting execution, Ford took deep breaths and at times closed his eyes and rested his head on the back of the electric chair.

Ford was condemned for the murder of Willie C. Griffith, a 74-year-old disabled woman, and her daughter, 42-year-old Linda Gail Griffith, during a burglary at their home in Jacksonville, in northeast Alabama. Both were stabbed multiple times.

Ford, then 18, was found in Illinois driving Gail Griffith's car and wearing bloody clothes. Prosecutors said he confessed.

During his trial, he wore a sheet during the penalty phase and said he wanted the victims' bodies brought to court so God could resurrect them.

Calhoun County District Attorney Joe Hubbard, the prosecutor in the case, has said he believes Ford acted mentally ill in an attempt to avoid execution.

Ford dropped his appeals and fired defense attorney LaJuana Davis in 1997.

Davis won a stay of execution for Ford last July after raising questions about his sanity. But a federal appeals court ruled last November that Ford was competent to drop his appeals and fire his attorney.