Local News

Brothers Charged With Trooper, Deputy Deaths Could Face Death Penalty

Posted February 15, 1998

— Two brothers charged with killing a North Carolina Highway Patrol sergeant and a Cumberland County Sheriff's Deputy may face the death penalty if convicted.

Tilmon Golphin and his younger, but taller brother Kevin, were arrested last September following a high speed chase on Interstate-95. Police say the two gunned downed Trooper Ed Lowry and Deputy David Hathcock during a traffic stop.

Pre-trial motions rounded out parts of the case. It was decided Monday that jurors will be selected from Johnston County, and that the brothers may be tried separately. A damaging confession may or may not be allowed in court.

SBI detective Neil Godfrey says he heard Tilmon Golphin confess to the killings.

Jim Parish, the older brother's attorney says the 19 year old's rights were violated.

Superior Court Judge Coy Brewer, Jr. will continue hearing those arguments Tuesday. The Golphin brothers are being kept apart in jail. When they sat at the same table in the courtroom Monday, it was the closest they have been to each other since their arrests. Their attorneys' strategies couldn't be farther apart. Parish says he wants the brothers to have separate trials.

Kevin Golphin's attorney, Jim Walen, says he'd rather have the brothers tried together.

Hathcock's wife and son were present in the courtroom watching the two men accused of the killings. They left without comment.

When the Golphin brothers walk into the courtroom it's hard not to notice their hair. Both wear dredlocks, and say their religion forbids them to cut their hair.

Tilmon Golphin's attorney says he respects his client's religious beliefs and hopes a jury doesn't judge Tilmon's guilt or innocence by his appearance.

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