SEPTEMBER 19, 1995
RALEIGH - Central Prison Warden James French named six official witnesses and four media witnesses for the Sept. 22 execution of Phillip Lee Ingle.
The official witnesses are Captain Lester R. Collins and Lt. Detective Ransome H. Epley of the Rutherford County Sheriff's Department and SBI Agent Charles R. Hess. Representing the N.C. Law Enforcement Officer's Association is Lt. Gary Gold of the Cleveland County Sheriff's Department. Representing the Rutherford County District Attorney's office are Cleveland County Sheriff Dan Crawford and Stephen Davis of Shelby.
Media witnesses are Ron Paris from the Forest City Daily Courier, Anna Turnage from the Gaston Gazette, Estes Thompson from the Associated Press and Joey Popp from WCNC-TV, Charlotte.
Ingle is scheduled to be executed at Central Prison at 2 a.m., Friday, Sept. 22. Rutherford Superior Court sentenced Ingle to death on Feb. 12, 1993 for the murders of William and Margaret Davis. Gaston Superior Court also sentenced Ingle to death on Dec. 2, 1994 for the murders of E.Z. and Sarah Willis. Phillip Lee Ingle asked that all his appeals be dropped.
Under the Department of Correction policy, the district attorney and sheriff in the county of conviction each nominate two witnesses and the State Bureau of Investigation and the N.C. Law Enforcement Officers Association each nominate one. The six official witnesses sign an affidavit of execution following the execution.
The Radio Television News Directors Association of the Carolinas selected the broadcast reporter and the N.C. Press Association selected the two print reporters. The Associated Press selects its own wire service representative. The media witnesses are required to relate their experience to other reporters immediately following the execution in Central Prison's visitors center.
Seven people have been executed since 1977 when the death penalty was reinstated. James W. Hutchins of McDowell County was executed March 16, 1984. Velma M. Barfield of Bladen County was executed Nov. 2, 1984. John W. Rook of Wake County was executed Sept. 19, 1986. Michael V. McDougall of Mecklenburg County was executed Oct. 18, 1991. John S. Gardner, Jr of Forsyth County was executed Oct. 23, 1992. David Lawson of Cabarrus County was executed June 15, 1994. Kermit Smith of Halifax County was executed Jan. 24, 1995.