Jury Needs More Time to Decide Golphins Fate
Posted May 11, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — A jury deciding the fate of two teen-age brothers who murdered a state trooper and a Cumberland County deputy deliberated for three hours Tuesday without reaching a verdict.
The same jury took only 2-1/2 hours last month to convict Kevin and Tilmon Golphin of first-degree murder in the Sept. 23 deaths of Trooper Ed Lowry and Deputy David Hathcock.
The jury of 10 women and two men will decide whether the Golphins should be sentenced to death or to life in prison. They deliberated for about an hour before taking a lunch break Tuesday, then resumed deliberations about 2 p.m. At 4 p.m., they informed Superior Court Judge Coy E. Brewer Jr. that they needed at least one more day to determine the Golphins' punishment.
Lowry had stopped the Richmond, Va., brothers on Interstate 95 while they were driving a car stolen in Kingstree, S.C., near where they were staying with their grandparents. Testimony showed Tilmon Golphin shot Hathcock and Lowry with a semiautomatic rifle, then Kevin Golphin took Lowry's pistol and shot Lowry again.
Tuesday's court session began about 10:40 a.m. after a delay caused by minor revisions in jury instructions. Tilmon Golphin entered the courtroom smiling, and Kevin flashed a peace sign at his supporters, including his grandparents. Their mother was not there.
Jim Walen, Kevin Golphin's attorney, saw the jury's delay as a good sign for his client.
``As a general rule of thumb, the longer the jury goes, the better it is for us,'' said Walen. ``But I don't think you can put a lot of weight into what's happened today.''
Defense attorneys have asked the jury to consider 60 mitigating factors related to the Golphins' troubled childhood and to weigh them against the eight aggravating factors against Tilmon Golphin and the nine against Kevin Golphin.
``I know the jury has a lot to think about,'' said Lowry's widow, Dixie, who wore a blue ribbon on her dress in honor of her husband. ``Sometimes it's very difficult to just sit there, but I know the end is close. I've always felt like the jury has done a good job.''
Barbara Hathcock, the widow of the other slain officer, won't attend Wednesday's court proceedings. She will instead fly to Washington, D.C., for a memorial service for police officers killed in the line of duty.
``I thought it would be over today,'' Hathcock said. ``If I'm not back here when the jury decides, I will be here in spirit. I have no worries about what the jury will decide.''
Before court proceedings began, a memorial service was held in front of the courthouse to honor all the officers killed in Cumberland County since 1907.