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Court Denies Appeal by Convicted Killer of Deputy, State Trooper

Posted March 8, 2008

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— The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals denied an attempt by a man convicted of killing a deputy and state trooper in 1997 to overturn his conviction and death sentence.

Lawyers for Tilmon Golphin claimed that prosecutors created a racial bias at his May 1998 trial by illegally dismissing two potential jurors who were black. Golphin's defense attorneys also argued that the judge who presided over improperly allowed the jury to hear Golphin's confession.

The court, based in Richmond, Va., rejected both those claims Friday.

Golphin and his brother, Kevin Golphin, were convicted in May 1998 for the murders of state Trooper Ed Lowry and Cumberland County Deputy David Hathcock on Sept. 23, 1997. The jury sentenced both men to death.

In 2005, a state judge changed Kevin Golphin's death sentence to life in prison, following a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that juveniles cannot be sentenced to death.

Kevin Golphin was 17 at the time of the shootings, and Tilmon Golphin was 19.

The brothers shot Lowry and Hathcock while the men were trying to arrest them for car theft and armed robbery committed in South Carolina earlier that day, prosecutors said.

Lowry had pulled the two over off Interstate 95 in Cumberland County, and Hathcock came in to serve as back-up.

The Golphin brothers also attempted to shoot a witness who followed them and called 911, according to court documents. The witness said that the rifle Tilmon Golphin pointed at him clicked and did not fire.


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  • hpr641 Mar 10, 2008

    No, shm, I understand your point, but they did NOT get "what they deserved."

    They were convicted of intentionally killing TWO North Carolina LEO's immediately after stealing a car and committing an armed robbery. Just short of 10 years later, it appears that they are not only alive, but also in good health (with NC taxpayers having paid for their room, board, clothing, entertainment, security, transportation to court appearances, etc.). That's what they were legally entitled to, but hardly "what they deserved."

  • getoverurself Mar 10, 2008

    Refreshing to see the court system doing something right. It is disappointing that these degenerates were alive long to even submit an appeal though. There is a special place for people like these two, and it's not jail.

  • djofraleigh Mar 10, 2008

    If either of these two men EVER walk free, then every patrolman, every sheriff's deputy should walk off the job for as long as it takes.

    How do we get people to do what the police have to do?

    People that kill the police, armed police, will kill anyone. Not twenty years, not when 75 should either of these guys be free, ever, not ever. Let them be saved in jail, live reading and learning and preaching and become good people with good souls, but don't let them be free in society. I just don't want to be around them, and feel sorry for most prisoners for who they are FORCED to have live among them.

  • icy148 Mar 10, 2008

    Who cares if two jurors were let go, regardless of their color! These two low-lifes were LAUGHING about the shootings DURING the court proceedings! I just hope that some good ol' Bubba in prison shows THEM the same 'depraved indifference' that they showed our law enforcement officers.

  • GetRight Mar 10, 2008

    Where is the justification for life in prison instead of the death penalty? This happened 11 years ago and it's still being discussed and debated? That's pathetic!

  • PACKFAN08 Mar 10, 2008

    No Appeal, You are Guilty!!!

  • Dr. Dataclerk Mar 10, 2008

    The parents obviously failed in their raising. So I would now say let the state raise them. That mean going to prison for many years. They killed two people. Give them both life without parole. In prison they will not be together. When are these young black boys going to learn? You do the crime, you do the time. Period.

  • shm Mar 10, 2008

    They got what they deserved.