Christopher Goss – white, age 28

Sentenced to death in Ashe County, North Carolina
By: A jury
Date of crime: 9/22/03
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Deborah Veler was at home with her 4-year-old grandson when Goss beat her until she was unconscious. After Veler was unconscious, Goss went to his parent’s house to retrieve a roll of duct tape and a change of clothes. Goss tied up Veler with the duct tape, stabbed her over thirty times, and slit her throat. Veler’s body was found with a knife in her throat and a knife in her back. After Goss killed Veler, he ransacked her house and wrote ‘I will kill’ on the sofa to make the murder appear as if it had been in a robbery or done by a crazy person. The prosecution’s evidence included a 23 page confession Goss made to the police. The defense admitted Goss killed Veler but contested premeditation with psychiatric testimony stating Goss had a personality disorder and used alcohol at the time of the murder. The prosecution also presented psychiatric testimony that stated Goss had an anti-social personality disorder but the disorder would not impair his ability to think or plan. During the penalty phase the defense argued Goss had a mental disorder and low IQ.
Prosecutor(s): Graham Green, Tom Horner Defense lawyer(s): Scott Fisher
Sources: Winston-Salem Journal 10/25/2003, 2/1/2005, 2/2/2005, 2/3/2005, 2/5/2005, 2/8/2005, 2/9/2005

Eric Lane – white, age 31

Sentenced to death in Wayne County, North Carolina
By:  A jury
Date of Crime:  2002
Prosecution’s case/defense response:  Lane kidnapped and raped five-year-old Precious Whitfield.  Lane killed Whitfield by stuffing her in a trash bag and throwing her into a river.  The prosecution presented hair and DNA evidence.  During the penalty phase, Lane did not offer any evidence or give a closing statement.
Prosecutor(s):  Unknown
Defense lawyer(s):  Unknown
Sources:  AP Alert – NC 6/22/2005 (2005 APALERTNC 16:48:09), 7/8/2005 (2005 APALERTNC 21:35:37), 7/11/2005 (2005 APALERTNC 22:28:46).

Dane Locklear – Native American, age 29

Sentenced to death in North Carolina
By:  A jury
Date of Crime:  2/27/2000
Prosecution’s case/defense response:  Locklear and Frances Persad were arguing about Persad’s missing gun when Locklear hit Persad in the back of the head, knocking her unconscious.  Locklear set Persad’s house on fire and Persad died of smoke inhalation and carbon monoxide poisoning.  The prosecution presented a video tapped confession that Locklear made to police.  During the penalty phase, the defense argued Locklear was verbally and physically abused as a child.  The defense also presented evidence that Locklear was mentally retarded based on a low IQ.  Locklear is also charged in the similar death of Cynthia Wheeler in 1997.
Prosecutor(s):  Johnson Britt
Defense lawyer(s):  Donald Bullard, William Davis
Sources:  The Robersonian (

Alexander Polk – Native American, age 35

Sentenced to death in Randolph County, North Carolina
By: A jury
Date of crime: 4/27/2003
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Two officers went to Polk’s house to serve an arrest warrant on him for assaulting his wife. Polk began fighting with the officers, took one of the officer’s weapons, and began shooting. Deputy Tony Summey was shot three times and killed and Deputy Nathan Hollingsworth was shot in the arm and injured. Polk pled guilty. During the penalty phase the defense argued Polk had taken responsibility and was remorseful for killing Deputy Summey.
Prosecutor(s): Andy Gregson Defense lawyer(s): Bruce Cunningham, Steve Lapping
Sources: News & Record (Greensboro, NC) 4/28/2003, 4/30/2003, 5/9/2003; AP Alert – North Carolina 8/5/2004, 2/1/2005, 2/8/2005

William Raines – white, age 26

Sentenced to death in Henderson County, North Carolina
By:  A jury
Date of Crime:  12/11/2002
Prosecution’s case/defense response:  The Holder family took in Raines when he was nine-years-old, after Raines was abandoned by his mother and his father died.  Philip Holder and Rains had a brotherly relationship.  Years later, after Raines served a prison sentence, Phillip Holder and his wife, Pam Holder, gave Raines a place to live.  Raines stole the Holders’ credit card and police caught Raines trying to use the credit card.  The Holders refused to press charges and instead asked Raines to move out of the house.  Raines responded by beating Phillip and Pam Holders with a wrench and shooting them.  During the penalty phase, the defense presented evidence that Raines had a personality disorder as a result of early childhood abuse and adult drug abuse.  The prosecution offered evidence that Raines did not kill the Holders as a result of a personality disorder but instead needed money to buy crack cocaine.
Prosecutor(s):  C.C. Walker
Defense lawyer(s):  Vince Rabil, Mike Klinkosum
Sources:  Asheville Citizen Times 9/7/2005 (2005 WLNR 14133457), 9/10/1005 (2005 WLNR 14476542); AP Alert – NC 9/10/2005 (2005 APALERTNC 03:21:13).

Eddie Taylor – black, age 21

Sentenced to death in Harnett County, North Carolina
By:  A jury
Date of Crime:  2003
Prosecution’s case/defense response:  Taylor and his cohorts planned to rob a small general store.  During the robbery, there was a shootout between the owners of the store and the robbers.  Husband and wife owners, Joseph and Dawn Faciane, were both shot.  Joseph Faciane died from the gunshot wounds and Dawn Faciane survived.  Taylor’s cohort was also shot and killed during the shootout.
Prosecutor(s):  Unknown
Defense lawyer(s):  Unknown
Sources:  The News & Observer (Raleigh, North Carolina) 12/6/2003 (LEXIS USPAPR file).