Local News

Death Row Inmate Appeals To Governor Easley, U.S. Supreme Court

Posted August 29, 2001

— Time is running out for a death row inmate. Ronald Frye claims a drunken lawyer bungled his case, so he is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Frye is scheduled to die at 2 a.m. Friday. His lawyers met with Governor Easley Tuesday to make a case for clemency. Easley also met with the victim's family.

Frye stabbed Ralph Childress to death in 1993.

"My brother was important. He was more important than the man who took his life," says Evelyn Kay, Childress' sister.

Prosecutors say Frye's attorney, Thomas Portwood, never appeared drunk in the courtroom during the trial, but Portwood admitted in a sworn deposition that he had been drinking heavily in the evenings throughout the trial.

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