The Fayetteville Observer reports that four convicted murderers are trying to again elude the death penalty.
They want the state Supreme Court to give them another chance to show racism affected their trials, the paper reports. All four killers took advantage of the Racial Justice Act (RJA) to escape death sentences in 2012. But after the repeal of RJA, the state high court sent their cases back to Cumberland County Superior Court, putting the four at risk of the ultimate penalty again.
The four, who all committed their crimes in Cumberland County:
- Quentel Augustine, who in 2002 gunned down Fayetteville Police Officer Roy Turner Jr.
- Marcus R. Robinson. He and an accomplice got a ride in 1991 from Erik Tornblom, a 17-year-old. The pair forced Tornblom to drive to a field, where they shot him in the face with a sawed-off shotgun. After the murder, they took his wallet and car.
- Tilmon Golphin. He and his brother, Kevin Golphin, were on a crime spree in 1997 when they were pulled over by Trooper Ed Lowry and Cumberland County Deputy David Hathcock. Tilmon wounded both law officers with a rifle; Kevin took one of the officers’ pistols and shot them to death at point-blank range. Kevin, however, was 17 at the time, and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling said juveniles could not get the death penalty.
- Cristina Walters was the leader of a gang of women who abducted three women in 1998 as part of a gang initiation rite. They murdered two of the women. A third woman they shot seven times survived.