Ronald Phillips, Ohio

 

Update: July 1, 2014 11:35 am EDT

Ronald Phillips was scheduled to be executed at 10 am on Wednesday, July 2, 2014, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Mansfield, Ohio. Ronald was granted a temporary stay of execution by Judge Gregory Frost. His execution has been rescheduled for September 18, 2014. Forty-year-old Ronald is convicted of killing 3-year-old Sheila Marie Evans on January 18, 1993. Ronald has spent the past 20 years on Ohio’s death row.

Ronald was originally scheduled to be execution on November 14, 2013. He was granted a last minute stay of execution by Ohio Governor John Kasich after Ronald requested to donate his organs to his mother and sister upon his death. The stay was granted in order to allow time to consider this request. His execution was rescheduled to July 2, 2014. State law requires that the inmate have 100 days to recover from surgery before an execution. In order to perform the surgery, specifically donating his kidney to his mother, Ronald's mother needed to lose weight. She was unable to do so before the 100 day deadline, meaning Ronald was unable to donate his organ.

In January of 2014, Ohio executed Dennis McGuire using a new two-drug execution process. The execution took far longer than expected and resulted in McGuire making unusual sounds. Following his execution, Ohio examined their execution protocol and McGuire's death, eventually concluding that McGuire was indeed unconscious for the execution. However, the state plans to increase the dosage of each drug given to alleviate any further concerns regarding the execution process. Federal Judge Gregory Frost, in late May, ordered a moratorium on executions in Ohio until August 15, at the earliest, to allow time for appeals of Ohio's new execution procedure. This means Ronald's July 2, 2014 execution, was stayed. His execution has been rescheduled for September 18, 2014.

 

Fae Evans, Sheila’s mother, was dating Ronald Phillips and occasionally co-habitating with him, along with her three children, Shelia, 29-month-old Sara, and Ronald Jr. , Phillips’ infant son. On January 18, 1993, Fae took Ronald, Jr. to a doctor’s appointment and left Shelia and Sara to be watched by Phillips. Fae returned to the apartment around 11:25 and found Phillips sitting in the kitchen. When Fae called for her daughters, they failed to respond. Phillips went into the girls’ bedroom, where she found Sheila laying cold, motionless, and pale. Phillips took Sheila downstairs to his grandmother’s apartment, where they called an emergency operator. Since Sheila was not breathing, the operator told Phillips how to perform CPR until paramedics arrived.

 

Once paramedics arrived, they immediately transferred Sheila to the Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio. Dr. Eugene Izsak, the first doctor to examine Sheila, noticed that she had multiple bruises on her torso, a distended stomach, apparent internal abdominal injuries, and a stretched anus with acute, recent changes. After obtaining a steady pulse, surgery was performed on Sheila, which showed the extent of her severe internal injuries. Sheila died from her injuries later that day.

 

An autopsy discovered that Sheila had over 125 bruises, many which occurred within hours of her death. Shelia had been severely beaten around her head, face, upper and lower torso, arms, legs, and genitalia. Blows to her abdomen resulted in severe internal injuries. Shelia died as a result of cardiovascular collapse which was the result of sever, blunt force trauma to her abdomen, and numerous complications. Furthermore, it was determined that Shelia had been raped.

 

That night Phillips was questioned by police. A few days later, Phillips confessed to the police that the morning of Sheila’s murder, she had failed to appear at breakfast after he called her three times. Phillips went into her room, pulled her covers off and began beating her. Phillips admitted to hitting her, throwing her against the wall, and dragging her by her hair. He also admitted to penetrating her anus with his finger, but denied going further, although he confessed that had on two other occasions, because, allegedly, Fae had paid him. Phillips gave a written statement and was arrested shortly thereafter.

 

Phillips was found guilty by a jury on August 18, 1993. He received the death penalty on September 14, 1993. During his trial evidence was presented that Phillips had a difficult childhood, as his mother was an alcoholic. She would frequently leaver her children, including Phillips, home alone for days at a time, forcing them to beg for food and eat paint chips and garbage. Phillips also spent time in several foster homes in which he was repeated raped and abused.

 

Fae was tried and convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangering and received a 13 to 30 year sentence. She died of leukemia while in prison on July 8, 2008.

 

Following the announcement of Ronald Phillips' new execution date in September, he has, once again, requested that his execution be postponed, so that he may donate his kidney to his mother. In order to perform the surgery, Ronald's mother would need to lose a significant amount of weight. Ronald has requested his execution be postponed until 2016, which would give his mother time to lose the necessary weight for the surgery.

 

Please pray for peace for the family of Shelia. Please pray for strength for the family of Ronald Phillips. Please pray that Ronald may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.

 

 

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