Earl Ringo, Jr. has been put to death by the state of Missouri for killing two people at a Columbia restaurant in 1998. The Department of Corrections says Ringo died by lethal injection at 12:31 a.m. The execution happened after both Governor Jay Nixon and courts refused to grant a stay or clemency.
Ringo was convicted for the deaths of Joanna Baysinger and Dennis Poyser at the Ruby Tuesday on Bernadette Drive. The murders happened during a robbery committed by Ringo and Quinton Jones. Baysinger was a manager at the restaurant at the time, and Poyser was a delivery driver. Jones later pleaded guilty to the charges against him and testified against Ringo.
Ringo’s attorneys tried unsuccessfully to halt the execution, citing concerns about one of the drugs the state uses in lethal injections.They said the drug, midazolam, could dull his senses and leave him unable to express any pain or suffering during the process.
Jame Brown, who was the wife of Dennis Poyser, read the following statement during the press briefing:
“We are here not to attend an execution of a person but to remember who, 16 years ago, died on the Fourth of July. Dennis Poyser and Joanna Baysinger were murdered and they didn’t deserve what happened to them. They never had a choice or got to appeal. I don’t care if I ever have to hear the name of this person, who diedtoday, but you need to speak of Dennis Poyser — not just a delivery man — but a man that had a family that loved him. He was full of life, and all he wanted to do was to take care of his family. Joanna had a 2-year-old son that she didn’t even get to see grow up. If you want to do anythingtoday, please remember these two wonderful people who just wanted to go to work on the Fourth of July to support their families. Remember all the things they didn’t get to see and do with their children. I can only tell you there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him or wonder what my life would be liketoday, not only for myself, but for my kids. Please do not make this about how executions shouldn’t take place. Put your effort on how we can stop people from committing these terrible actions. If this person hadn’t tried to take what wasn’t his, he would have been able to live his life. Our families would be back to normal. We must stop these senseless crimes, if we can’t, then we have to have punishment strong enough to make people think about the consequences of their actions. Remember he has been able to live another 16 years!! That is way too long for the State of Missouri to have supported him! Things have to change. People need to respect people and evil should not win!!
I also want to thank all the people that worked on this case who kept giving us hope that who did this would be caught and pay for his crime. During that holiday 16 years ago, these people gave up their time to be with their family. We owe them such gratitude. So, to Stephen Monticelli, Brian Liebhart and all the other detectives, police, under cover and to Kevin Crane and his staff, and I hope I didn’t miss anyone, but thank you! Let’s not forget the RubyTuesdayemployees that had to endure going back to work, and the impact that this had on their lives. And most importantly, to our family and friends that helped each of us to get through one of most difficult times that any family has had to go through. Last but not least to the people of Victims Assistance that have helped to answer our questions and heard our tears of pain.
Please let’s remember the victims because going through this was like going through this all over again. Rest in peace Dennis and Joanna you will forever live in our hearts!”
Ringo left a final written statement:
“For they are enemies to me; not so the Lord and Cherisher of the Worlds. Who created me, and it is He who guides me; who gives me food and drink; and when I am ill, it is He who cures me. He will cause me to die, and cause me to live again; and whom, I hope, will forgive me my faults on the day of Judgment. O my Lord bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous. Grant me honorable mention among the tongues of the later generation. Make me one of the inheritors of the Garden of Bliss.”
(Holy Quran 26: 77-85)