Local News

Tears of Relief and Sorrow Fill the Cumberland County Courthouse

Posted May 12, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT

— The actions of two killers have forever changed three families.

Two families shed tears of relief and satisfaction in knowing that the killers of their loved ones will die.

Another family sheds tears of sorrow for the men sentenced to die.

Tilmon and Kevin Golphin were sentenced to die for the murder of state trooper Ed Lowry and Cumberland County Sheriff's Deputy David Hathcock.

Tilmon and Kevin Golphin barely blinked as the judge sentenced them to death. When they were allowed to address the court, the brothers were extremely defiant.

Kevin Golphin told the court that the state has no justice at all. He singled out the only black juror.

The jurors cried as they announced their decisions, and the families of the slain officers wept. The grandmother of the brothers also cried.

But there was no reaction from Tilmon and Kevin Golphin until they were allowed to address the court.

"I wasn't disappointed in you jurors, sentencing a black man to death," Kevin said, "'cause I know you've been doing that for years. I was just disappointed in you; all eyes are on you, Ms. Watson."

District Attorney Ed Grannis also cried when the jury returned a death sentence. He said that the brothers' defiant comments shows the evilness of Tilmon and Kevin Golphin.Note: Sound bite contains language that some might find offensive.

"Until those sons of (expletive) are dead, I hope they die a very painful death," Grannis said. "I am sorry I say that, but I mean that from the bottom of my heart."

The hearts of the officers' families will always be broken, but they said that it is time to move on.

Because of those comments the brothers made to the jury, jurors chose not to speak to the media about their decision.

The addition of the Golphin brothers will bring the death row population at Central Prison in Raleigh to 182.

They will be the only brothers currently on North Carolina's death row, but they may not be the only brothers executed.

Since 1910, seven pairs of people with the same last name and with convictions in the same county have been executed on the same day.

However, the Department of Correction can not say how or whether the pairs were related.