COLUMBIA -- The death sentence has been upheld for a man convicted of shooting a security guard during a robbery attempt and setting him on fire, the state's highest court ruled on Monday. Ron O'Neal Finklea, 36, was sent to death row in September 2007 after a Lexington County jury found him guilty in the death of 56- year-old Walter Sykes Sr., a security guard for Wackenhut Corp. working at a plant that made electronics. The attack that apparently came after Finklea and another suspect tried prying open an ATM at the Solectron plant was captured on the plant's surveillance video, which the court described in its decision. Early on the morning of Aug. 2, 2003, Finklea went to the plant in Springdale with another man later identified as his brother-in-law, 33-year- old Theodore Davis. Thinking he wanted to use the ATM, Sykes opened the door for Finklea, who then followed him into the plant's security office and let Davis in. Davis handed Finklea a gasoline can, which he used to douse the ATM machine. Moments later, Sykes was seen on video running from the security office, engulfed in flames. Sykes left the building and then collapsed on the plant's front lawn. Finklea and the other man fled the plant, taking nothing, authorities said. Authorities said Finklea shot Sykes in the neck and head before pouring gasoline on him and setting him on fire. At the time, Sheriff James Metts said he thought the fires had been set to destroy evidence. Investigators said they found evidence someone had tried to pry open the ATM. The day before the shooting, authorities said Finklea had gone to the same plant to try to use the ATM, which another guard told him wasn't working. During that visit, Finklea asked the guard questions about the company's security and left when another guard showed up. Finklea and Davis were arrested several days later in Monroe County, Ala. Finklea subsequently tried to hang himself in his cell, an event the court wrote resulted a brain injury and amnesia about the shooting and fire. During his trial in September 2007, jurors found Finklea guilty of murder and first degree arson. In the appeal, his attorney argued Finklea should not have been found competent to help his attorneys during the sentencing part of the trial because of his brain damage. The court disagreed, writing that Finklea did help his attorney by identifying possible character witnesses, giving details about his character and expressing remorse. "Even assuming Finklea's amnesia is genuine, we decline to find him unable to assist counsel based on an inability to recall mitigating facts which may or may not exist," the court wrote. "Moreover, any potential prejudice to Finklea's capacity to consult with his counsel due to his inability to recall the circumstances of the crime is lessened by the fact that the incident was captured on video." Finklea's appellate attorney also said the trial court should not have let prosecutors use fire during closing statements. At trial, prosecutor Donnie Myers held a lit fire-starter in front of the jury as he described how Sykes was lit on fire. "Gasoline pouring on another human being and the fire, the fire, the burning," Myers said in his closing statement. "What if it's all over your body and you can't get away from it, it's engulfed you? ... The last, last moments of a good man's life on fire." The judge was right to allow that demonstration, which did not prevent Finklea from getting a fair trial, the justices wrote. On Monday, Finklea's appellate attorney said he had hoped the justices would give more consideration to his client's mental state. "We never challenged Mr. Finklea's guilt, but are disappointed the Court found it acceptable to execute a man who cannot remember why he is being executed," chief appellate defender Joe Savitz said Monday. Davis was convicted of murder in 2008. He is serving a 30-year prison sentence.