Local News

Death Row Inmate Denied Hospice Request Dies Of Liver Failure

Posted April 22, 2002 4:58 a.m. EDT

— 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 was Saturday 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 who suffered from cirrhosis, hepatitis C and possibly liver cancer, his attorneys said. The hemophilia made him unable to receive treatment for the other illnesses.