North Carolina Department of Correction news release

November 17, 1998

Witnesses selected for Nov 20 execution
(adds Corwin for witness who could not serve)

Raleigh - Central Prison Warden James French named six official witnesses and five media witnesses for the Nov 20 execution of John Thomas Noland.

The official witnesses are Investigator Mark Corwin, Investigator William E. Ward, Jr., Major Paul A. Cash, Captain Roy J. Rivers, Ann Rhyne and Elizabeth A. Autry.

Media witnesses are Gary Wright, The Charlotte Observer, Iris Carter Gross, The Madison Messenger, Steve Litz, WSOC-TV, Charlotte; Jon Repp, WBT Radio, Charlotte; and Estes Thompson of the Associated Press.

Noland is scheduled to be executed at Central Prison at 2 a.m., Friday, Nov. 20 by lethal injection. Mecklenburg Superior court sentenced Noland to death on Nov. 5, 1982 for the murders of Cynthia and Troy Milton.

Under the Department of Correction policy, the district attorney and sheriff in the county of conviction nominate the six official witnesses. These witnesses may include members of the victim's family. A 1997 amendment to the state statute ensures the crime victim's family the right to witness the execution.

The Radio Television News Directors of the Carolinas selected the broadcast reporters and the N.C. Press Association selected the two print reporters. Following the execution, the media witnesses are required to relate their experience to other reporters immediately in Central Prison's visitors center.

Ten people have been executed since 1977 when the death penalty was reinstated:

James W. Hutchins of McDowell County was executed March 16, 1984.

Velma 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 January 24, 1995.

Phillip Ingle of Rutherford County was executed Sept. 22, 1995.

Ricky Lee Sanderson of Iredell County was executed Jan. 30, 1998.

Zane Brown Hill of Buncombe County was executed Aug. 14, 1998.