Lettner and Mitchell declined to discuss specifics of the call. He died Dec. 12, 1996. Peterson could hear cheers over the phone. Hundreds of protesters chanted or wept on either side of Belvidere Street as the death hour approached: one side spelling out “F-R-Y,” the other holding candles. “It’s where people live to prey on other people,” taxi driver Richard Batchlor told a reporter at the time. “My God, I’m going to lose my job,” he thought. James would do whatever occurred to him.". I also remember wondering how they managed to pull off such a daring move. They and a third brother were members of a Richmond gang that was active in the late 1970s. I wouldn’t walk out.”, The morning of James’ execution, fellow inmates rioted in hopes of stalling the electrocution. A seventh prisoner, Dennis Stockton, was to have joined the escapees, but backed out at the last minute fearing a bloodbath during the jailbreak. Within three minutes, the inmates took control of the pod. James said he had vowed to be nearby at his brother’s execution, something prison officials didn’t want. Tuggle, minutes after robbing a store clerk at knifepoint, would be arrested June 8 in Vermont’s southwest corner trying to outrace a local constable. Stockton, a moonshine-running country boy, had backed out of the escape; Tuggle figured he would have to drive the getaway vehicle himself. Lee has consulted for many bestselling authors, television and film writers, and for online magazines. Nine guards and one inmate were injured in the fighting, which broke out about 7:45 a.m. as four inmates, wearing pillowcases over their heads and armed with clubs and screwdrivers, tried to drag a guard into a cell. I don't know why it turned out like it did.". Gas masks dangled around their necks. Cook, of Richmond’s major-crimes unit, witnessed the electrocution, calling it “quick and uneventful.”. Descriptions came back fitting the Brileys. Judge D. Dortch Warriner rejected as unreliable the testimony of a woman prisoner who supposedly said that another member of the gang to which Briley belonged committed the murders for which he was sentenced to die. Pretending to be corrections officers, they called the officer working the main gate and said they’d found a bomb. Death-row inmates at Mecklenburg signed a petition, saying they would protest the execution by not eating. Lagging behind, inmate Earl Clanton Jr. darted into the bathroom adjoining the control booth. The six inmates made their way to the front gate, carrying the faux bomb. The events of May 31, 1984, are best described by Richmond Times Dispatch reporter Bill McKelway. They had $758 in cash taken from guards, plenty of clothes and hundreds of marijuana cigarettes. I knew their determination to seek revenge. How could the rough-looking inmates pass for guards if they looked like slobs? “I told them I wouldn’t leave my brother. All were recaptured and later executed. The brothers were executed in the electric chair at the Virginia State Penitentiaryin Richmond; Linwood on October 12, 1984, and James on April 18, 1985. Fairmont in North Philadelphia, where the capture went down shortly after 9 p.m., was a no-questions-asked neighborhood notorious for crime and secrecy. They believed him, and the nurse went elsewhere. “You live here, you get preyed on.”. The total is now 102. The hostages were kept in cells. “What happened?”. Staff photo taken April 16, 1985. “I don’t know if it was cheers or jeers,” a supervisor with the U.S. “I thought of the murders that would happen, the rapes that could follow, as they tried to get away.”. The inmates were Linwood Briley, James Briley, Earl Clanton Jr., Willie Leroy Jones, Derick L. Peterson, and Lem Tuggle. James L. Briley, father of James, Linwood and Anthony Briley. About 9 p.m., James Briley asked the guard in the control booth for a book from the adjoining day room. Prison officials said he "just smiled" instead of making a final statement. The hostage-taking was prevented, that's the important thing. He entered the death chamber and shouted, “Merry Christmas.”, We are actively seeking submissions, from agents or authors, of novels between 70,000 and 100,000 words. A crowd estimated at about 600 had gathered behind barricades a half block from the prison's death row block. James and Linwood Briley masterminded the breakout last May 31 from the maximum security Mecklenburg Correctional Center in Southside Virginia in which they and four other condemned men escaped. “I wish you were going,” Tuggle is said to have told Stockton, the only other white man among the group of likely escapees. It took nearly 30 minutes to quell the violence; some of the injuries were described as serious, but none as life-threatening. May 31, 1984, was a Thursday, a beautiful spring day. The cause—human error. The guard opened the door to the booth, Briley yelled to Clanton, and Clanton burst from the bathroom into the booth, subdued the guard and used the control panel to open all the cells. She was lured away with a fake report that she had an outside call. Willie Leroy Jones was convicted of the May 13, 1983, capital murders of Graham and Myra Adkins, an elderly Charles City County couple and the longtime owners of Gayley's Store, located next to their three-bedroom brick rancher on state Route 609 in the small community of Barnetts. Staff Photo taken January 23, 1980. These three brothers were born into a stable home with two loving parents situated in the Highland Park neighborhood within Richmond, Virginia. Jan 10, 1980 staff. Guards didn’t notice that an unusual number of death-row inmates suddenly appeared clean-shaven with their hair neatly kept that day.

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