Update: September 10, 2014  1:46 am CDT

 

Earl Ringo, Jr., was executed at 12:31 am CDT, on September 10, 2014, at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic, and Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri.  Earl was 40 years of age.  He was executed for the murder of the 22-year-old JoAnna Baysinger and 45-year-old Dennis Poyser in Columbia, Missouri, on July 4, 1998.  Earl spent the last 16 years of his life on Missouri’s death row.

 

Earl had a violent and abusive childhood.  His father died when he was young and his family lived in poverty.  As a child, Earl was beaten by his mother’s boyfriend with an aluminum baseball bat.  The injuries prevented him from returning to school for several weeks, yet Earl was not allowed to receive medical treatment.  His mother was threatened with death if she told anyone.

 

Earl Ringo, Jr. planned to move from Columbia, Missouri to Jeffersonville, Indiana.  Quentin Jones, a friend of Ringo, was going to assist with the move.  On July 3, 1998, Ringo and Jones rented a U-Haul truck to move Ringo’s belongings.  Ringo persuaded Jones to participate in a robbery of a Ruby Tuesday restaurant the following morning.  Ringo, who was previously employed at Ruby Tuesday, was familiar with the early morning routine and thought that would be the best time to rob it, as it would have the cash from the previous day in the safe and the least amount of people.  

 

Early the next morning, around 4:30 am, Ringo and Jones drove to within walking distance of the restaurant and parked.  Ringo had bulletproof vests, gloves, two Ruby Tuesday shirts, ski masks, and jeans for Jones.  The two were going to dress as employees and convince the manager, who would be in the only person in the restaurant, to let them in.  Jones expressed reluctance to participate and was convinced by Ringo to continue.

 

At 5:55 am, a delivery truck, driven by Dennis Poyser, arrived at the restaurant.  Jones panicked and, once again, tried to back out of the robbery.  Ringo convinced him to stay and the two hid and put on their ski masks.  JoAnna Baysinger, the manager in training, opened the back door to let Dennis in.  Ringo ran in after them and immediately shot Dennis in the face.

 

Jones entered the building after hearing the gunshot and found Dennis laying on the ground.  Ringo grabbed JoAnna and forced her into the office and told her to open the safe.  Jones checked to see if there was anyone else present before joining Ringo in the office.  Ringo was loading his backpack with cash.  JoAnna continued to try and open the lower safe that contained the previous day’s cash.

 

Another employee arrived and knocked on the back door.  Ringo gave Jones the gun and told him “If she moves, shoot her.”  Ringo dragged Dennis’ body into the cooler.  The employee eventually left to try calling from a nearby McDonalds.  When Ringo returned to the office, JoAnna had not been able to open the lower safe.  Ringo, no longer wearing his ski mask, looked dumped JoAnna’s purse looking for money.

 

Ringo instructed JoAnna to find a piece of paper and write “I’m sorry.”  Ringo asked Jones if he wanted to kill JoAnna.  Jones shook his head but took the gun.  At Ringo’s encouragement, Jones shot JoAnna in the head.  The two fled the scene, disposed of the gun in pieces, and split the cash.  Ringo was arrested nine days later.  Jones turned himself in the same day, pled guilty, and testified against Ringo in order to avoid being sentenced to death.  

 

Please pray for peace and healing for the families of JoAnna Baysinger and Dennis Poyser.  Please pray for strength for the family of Earl Ringo, Jr. 

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