Ronald Phillips, Ohio


Update: September 15, 2014 10:16 pm, EDT

Ronald Phillips' execution, scheduled for 10 am EDT, on Thursday, September 18, 2014, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Mansfield, Ohio, has been rescheduled for 10 am EST, February 11, 2015. 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. In August, shortly before the moratorium was scheduled to expire, Judge Frost expanded the moratorium until January 15, 2015, to allow time for appeals of Ohio's new execution procedure. Ronald’s July 2, 2014, execution was rescheduled for September 18, 2014. His September execution date has been rescheduled for February 11, 2015. He is scheduled to be the first inmate executed after Judge Frost's moratorium ends.


Fae Evans, Sheila’s mother, was dating Ronald Phillips and occasionally co-habitating with him, along with her three children, Sheila, 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 Sheila 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. Sheila 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. Sheila 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 Sheila 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.


Please pray for peace for the family of Sheila. 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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