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Death Row Inmate Denied Hospice Request Dies Of Liver Failure

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RALEIGH, N.C. — Death row inmate Edward Lemons, 34, died Monday morning at Central Prison's hospital.

Lemons was pronounced dead at 5:22 a.m. Monday. The state Medical Examiner's office listed the cause of death as liver failure.

"There was just medical staff with him, a nurse," said Department of Correction spokesman Keith Acree. "His family had left Saturday and the last time they saw him wasSaturday morning."

On Friday, the state Department of Correction denied a request that would have allowed Lemons to live out his life in a hospice. Mike Unti, Lemons' attorney, faults the state for taking too long to make a decision about the hospice request.

"In this case, it required nine days and when you are dealing with someone who is terminally ill. Nine days may be the rest of his life," Unti said.

Lemons received two death sentences for the 1994 murders of Bobby Gene Stroud, 38, and Margaret Daniels Strickland, 34, both of Goldsboro. He also received an additional 160 years in prison for two counts of first degree kidnapping and two counts of robbery with a firearm.

Convicted in 1995, Lemons was an HIV-positive hemophiliac whosuffered from cirrhosis, hepatitis C and possibly liver cancer, hisattorneys said. The hemophilia made him unable to receivetreatment for the other illnesses.