Ronald Phillips (murderer)

(Redirected from Murder of Sheila Evans)

Ronald Ray Phillips (October 10, 1973 – July 26, 2017)[1] was an Ohio death row inmate who was sentenced to death and executed for the 1993 rape and murder of Sheila Evans (September 10, 1989 – January 18, 1993), the 3-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, Fae Amanda Evans (March 29, 1967 – July 8, 2008), after an extended period of physical and sexual abuse against the child.[2] Fae Evans was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and child endangering for her involvement and sentenced to a maximum of 30 years in prison. She died of leukemia on July 8, 2008, aged 41, at the state prison hospital in Columbus, Ohio.[3]

Ronald Phillips
Ronald Ray Phillips

(1973-10-10)October 10, 1973
DiedJuly 26, 2017(2017-07-26) (aged 43)
Cause of deathExecution by lethal injection
Conviction(s)Aggravated murder
Felonious sexual penetration
Rape (3 counts)
Criminal penaltyDeath (September 16, 1993)
VictimsSheila Marie Evans, 3
DateJanuary 18, 1993



Phillips was born on October 10, 1973, in Akron, Ohio, the fifth of seven children to William D. Phillips Sr. (August 18, 1948 – September 29, 2009) and Donna M. Phillips (December 17, 1947 – January 11, 2016). His childhood nickname was "Bubby". Ron Phillips allegedly suffered a traumatic childhood which involved mental illness and physical and sexual abuse by his father, mainly, and cousin.[4]

Issues with Ohio's executions


Phillips is notable for having a drawn-out case. He spent over half of his life on death row since he was sentenced on September 16, 1993, and had a total of 9 execution dates set between November 2013 and July 2017.[5][6]

His first execution date of November 14, 2013, was stayed to consider his request to donate his non-vital organs before his execution, a request which was later denied on the grounds that he would not have enough time to recover before his new execution date of July 2, 2014. Several execution dates were set and stayed for not only Phillips, but several other inmates, as a result of questions regarding the constitutionality of Ohio's lethal injection protocol, as well as whether Ohio had access to execution drugs.[6][7][8]

A group of inmates, consisting of Phillips, Gary Otte, and Raymond Tibbetts, challenged Ohio's execution protocol, and thus a federal judge granted them a preliminary injunction on January 26, 2017.[9] The Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled 8–6 in favor of the State of Ohio on June 28, 2017.[10] Otte was executed in September 2017, while Governor John Kasich commuted Tibbetts' sentence to life without parole in July 2018.[11][12]



In an order published by Ohio Governor John Kasich on May 1, 2017, Phillips' execution was rescheduled from May 10, 2017, to July 26, 2017. Following the approval of Ohio's lethal injection protocol four weeks prior to the execution date, Phillips' attorneys filed a flurry of appeals to the Supreme Court of the United States, all of which were denied. Governor Kasich also refused to call off the execution, following a unanimous recommendation against clemency by the Ohio Parole Board. A day before his execution, he had a last meal of a large cheese, bell pepper, and mushroom pizza, strawberry cheesecake, a piece of unleavened bread, a Pepsi, and grape juice.[6] He reportedly used the unleavened bread and grape juice for the sake of a makeshift communion shortly before his execution. Ronald Phillips was pronounced dead at 10:43 a.m. on Wednesday, July 26, 2017, ending a 3+12-year hiatus on executions in Ohio.[13]

See also



  1. ^ "Offender Details". Archived from the original on January 19, 2022. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  2. ^ "Clemency Report" (PDF). December 9, 2016.
  3. ^ Metzger, Stephanie (July 26, 2017). "1,350 days and 17 steps: Why it took so long for Ronald Phillips to die". WCNC-TV. Archived from the original on November 18, 2022. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  4. ^ Glunt, Nick (January 19, 2016). "Mother of death row inmate dies after his failed attempts to give her a kidney". Akron Beacon Journal. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  5. ^ "Upcoming Executions | Death Penalty Information Center". Archived from the original on July 12, 2017. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c Zaranec, Erin (July 26, 2017). "Who is Ronald Phillips? The man executed Wednesday for raping and killing a 3-year-old girl in 1993". News 5 Cleveland.
  7. ^ "Ronald Phillips execution: Ohio plans January death using 3-drug combo after 3-year pause". CBS News. October 3, 2016. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  8. ^ Smith, Mitch (July 26, 2017). "Ohio Carries Out Its First Execution Since 2014". The New York Times. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  9. ^ Palmer, Kim (January 26, 2017). "Federal judge rejects Ohio's new lethal injection process, stays executions". Reuters. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  10. ^ Kenning, Chris (June 28, 2017). "Appeals court lifts injunction against Ohio executions". Reuters. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  11. ^ Connor, Tracy (September 13, 2017). "Ohio Executes Double Murderer Gary Otte as He Sings Hymn". NBC News. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  12. ^ "Ohio death row inmate spared after childhood abuse revelations". BBC News. July 21, 2018. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  13. ^ Connor, Tracy (July 26, 2017). "Ronald Phillips Executed in Ohio, Ending Three-Year Break". NBC News. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
Executions carried out in Ohio
Preceded by
Dennis McGuire
January 16, 2014
Ronald Phillips
July 26, 2017
Succeeded by
Gary Otte
September 13, 2017
Executions carried out in the United States
Preceded by
William MorvaVirginia
July 6, 2017
Ronald Phillips – Ohio
July 26, 2017
Succeeded by
Taichin Preyor – Texas
July 27, 2017