“They just said a [state] trooper was down. I knew it was my brother. He was killed by Tilmon and Kevin Golphin. Tilmon had Cheri Beasley trying to get him off. She said he was actually a good person. Here is a person that killed two law officers, and bragged about the killing, and she is standing up for the killers.”
With those words, presented on camera in a new television advertisement, Al Lowry finally has his say. The ad opposes Democrat Cheri Beasley’s candidacy for the U.S. Senate. Lowry, the brother of murdered Cumberland County state trooper Ed Lowry, targets the legal system that has denied his family justice for 25 years. Al Lowry discusses one of the people he holds most responsible for his family’s deep suffering and grave injustices: Beasley.
“Cheri Beasley says she is against crime, knowing she is telling a lie. She is not on the right side,” Al Lowry added in the TV spot.
Kevin Golphin, then 17, and his older brother, Tilmon Golphin, who was 19, were found guilty of killing Ed Lowry and Cumberland County Sheriff’s Deputy David Hathcock. Lowry stopped their stolen Toyota Camry, and Hathcock, 57, responded to offer assistance. As Kevin Golphin resisted arrest by Lowry, Tilmon Golphin broke free from Hathcock, retrieved an SKS semi-automatic rifle from the Camry and shot Lowry multiple times. Kevin Golphin fatally wounded Hathcock with Lowry’s revolver.
Club for Growth Action released the new television advertisement about Beasley’s record on crime.
“When Cheri Beasley backed a child predator and a cop killer over children and law enforcement, she showed North Carolinians what a radical leftist she is,” said Club for Growth Action President David McIntosh. “When voters start casting ballots Thursday, they have a clear choice between Ted Budd, a candidate who sides with the police and victims, and Cheri Beasley, who sided with a child predator and a cop killer.”
Club for Growth Action’s previous ad highlighted Beasley’s ruling to prevent GPS tracking of a child predator.
The new ad is part of a nearly $1 million statewide ad purchase.
The Golphin brothers received the death penalty, with both sentences later reduced to life in prison without parole. Kevin Golphin was resentenced because of his age at the time of the murders. Tilmon Golphin’s death sentence was commuted in accordance with the Racial Justice Act.
As noted in the ad, Beasley not only represented the trooper’s killer. She actually called him a “good person.”
How anybody could even utter those words is astonishing, after the two brothers murdered two respected law enforcement officers and tried to kill a witness. Before that horrific day in September 1997, the two young thugs had already had many run-ins with the law.
If Beasley thinks a killer of two law enforcement officers who bragged about the killing to others is a good person, who exactly in Beasley’s mind would not be good?
During the trial, Beasley became the face of their defense to some in the victims’ families. And seeing her all these years later during her run for U.S. Senate being portrayed as a friend of law enforcement is not sitting well. Al Lowry, Ed’s brother, spoke with Carolina Journal on Sept. 22, saying every time he sees an ad for her U.S. Senate campaign, he said he wants to “jump through the screen,” adding, “It makes me sick every time I look at her because I know she’s not the right person for the job.”
“I just think it’s B.S,” Lowry said of ads portraying her as pro-law enforcement. “She’s for the criminals and not for the law officers, which my brother was one of them that got killed. … The ad says law enforcement stands behind her. I don’t believe that for one second. People just don’t understand what she stood for 25 years ago, and people don’t change their attitude.”
Al Lowry has suffered many injustices in his quest to obtain justice for his brother. The last 25 years have been hell. First the senseless murders by the remorseless killers. Then a never-ending nightmare in the courts.
In 2005 the U.S. Supreme Court in Roper v. Simmons ruled the death penalty for 17-year-old offenders was unconstitutional. Then another blow came in 2012 when the U.S. Supreme Court in Miller v. Alabama held that mandatory sentences of life without the possibility of parole are unconstitutional for juvenile offenders. Now the Lowry family has to attend parole hearings for Kevin Golphin, seeing it as their public duty to fight to keep him in prison.
“A part of me died that day, and I will never get that back,” Dixie Lowry Davis told the judge earlier this year. “After my husband lay bleeding out and dying, Kevin took his service revolver and shot him again and again and again. My husband will not have that opportunity to be paroled to come home, and the consequences for Kevin should be forever.” CityView columnist Bill Kirby called the hearing heart-wrenching, painful to witness, and deeply emotional. Kevin Golphin has not been paroled, but the Lowrys fear that day is coming.
Al Lowry has other reasons to question Beasley’s commitment to law enforcement and law and order beyond her conduct in the 1998 Golphin trial.
Beasley, while on the N.C. Supreme Court, played a direct role in removing Tilmon Golphin from death row. The older brother was 19 when he killed both officers and should have long ago been executed and sent to meet his maker.
In 2008 N.C. Democrats attempted to end the death penalty by passing the misnamed Racial Justice Act, which had little to do with race and nothing to do with justice. Republicans quickly repealed the measure once they took control of the legislature and had the power to pass bills over Democrat objections.
However, Beasley and other Democrats on the Supreme Court ruled that the repealed law had to apply to all the roughly 150 death row inmates including Kevin Golphin. In August 2020 Beasley voted to free killer Marcus Ray from death row. After Beasley helped set that precedent, just one month later Tilmon Golphin was also freed from death row. Beasley recused herself from Tilmon Golphin’s case, but her prior rulings cast the die to free one of North Carolina’s most notorious double murderers from facing the ultimate justice handed down by a jury.
When all is said and done, well over a hundred vicious killers will in all likelihood be freed from death row thanks in part to Beasley’s rulings. We have previously highlighted her other soft-on-crime actions.
You can agree or disagree with Al Lowry that “Beasley is on the wrong side” of law enforcement. But the TV ad is powerful, tough, raw, and honest. In 2008 Democrats in the General Assembly did not care what the Lowry family had to say. Gov. Bev Perdue did not care what Al Lowry had to say when she signed the Racial Justice Act that had little to do with race and nothing to do with justice. Beasley and her fellow Democrats on the Supreme Court did not listen to Al Lowry.
But 25 years after he lost his brother and best friend, Al is finally being heard. Heard by the public on TV screens all across North Carolina. Will voters listen?