In January 1987, a 22-year-old officer with the Morrow (OH) Police Department was gunned down during a traffic stop of a suspected DUI driver.
Officer Jeffrey Phegley had served with the police department for only six months when he traded shifts with his boss, Chief Dick Kilburn, who had to travel to another city to fulfill a commitment at a law enforcement conference.
In the early afternoon on January 21, Officer Phegley stopped a 1977 Monte Carlo for traveling 48 miles per hour in a 25-mile-per-hour zone.
Officer Phegley approached the stopped vehicle and began to speak with the driver, Anthony Wayne McIntosh. Phegley sensed the presence of alcohol and told McIntosh that he was being placed under arrest.
During the arrest, a physical altercation ensued during which McIntosh shoved Phegley to the ground, grabbed a sawed-off shotgun, and fatally shot the young officer.
McIntosh then fled the scene but was arrested later that day.
McIntosh was convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years to life.
The good news is that he was denied parole in 2006 and 2010.
The bad news is that he is up for parole again next month.
McIntosh should not walk free.
I encourage POLICE readers to send an email to DRC.Victim.Services@odrc.state.oh.us.
Here's the note I sent earlier this week (copy and paste if you want).
To whom it may concern,
I am writing to ask that the Ohio Parole Board and the Adult Parole Authority deny parole for Anthony Wayne McIntosh—also known as inmate #A198370.
In January 1987, inmate #A198370 shot and killed Jeffrey Phegley, a 22-year-old police officer with the Morrow (OH) Police Department. Inmate #A198370 was convicted of murder and sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
Inmate #A198370 should serve the full life sentence for taking the life of a promising young civil servant in Jeffrey Phegley.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
~ Doug Wyllie
Thanks in advance for taking some time to send a note—every last one matters.
No Parole, No Quarter
I'm not a big fan of the death penalty.
In a handful of cases it's probably warranted, but for the most part, death penalty cases result in several decades of appeals—at massive financial cost to taxpayers—and importantly, the very real possibility that a guilty person will be one day freed on a procedural technicality during the drawn-out process.
There is also the fairly high probability that a death sentence alone will elevate a cop killer to near-legendary status in mainstream media and among self-described anti-police "social justice warriors" on the Internet.
The poster child for this "cult of personality" problem is the man convicted of killing Officer Daniel Faulkner of the Philadelphia Police Department in December 1981.
That murderer—Mumia Abu-Jamal—became world famous simply for occupying death row.
His death penalty was eventually overturned and he was sentenced to life in prison, but not before he became an icon for anti-police activists.
So yeah, I'm not big on the death penalty.
However, I am very much in favor of life in prison with absolutely no possibility of parole for cop killers.
End of discussion.
Far too many individuals convicted of murdering a law enforcement officer have been allowed to walk free on parole. Here are just a few examples.
Just this year, Judith Clark was granted parole and released from a New York prison. In 1981, Clark—then a member of the domestic terrorist organization Weather Underground—was among several individuals involved in an armored car robbery that resulted in the death of Nyack police officers Waverly Brown and Edward O'Grady (as well as a security guard).
She was convicted and sentenced to 75 years to life in prison.
However, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo commuted her sentence to 35 years to life, making her eligible for parole.
She walked free in May.
At the time of her release, New York Police Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch said, "Judith Clark is a murderer and a terrorist. Because of her actions, three families have been permanently deprived of husbands, father and sons. Those families cannot escape their loss, but Judith Clark will be allowed to escape accountability for her crimes."
Another famous case of a cop killer being granted parole in the Empire State is that of Herman Bell, who in 1971 murdered Officers Waverly Jones and Joseph Piagentini in an ambush attack.
Bell—then a member of the Black Liberation Army—lured those officers into an apartment building with the intention of killing them in cold blood. Jones died instantly, but Piagentini was tortured and shot 22 times as he begged for his life.
Bell was sentenced to prison for 25 years to life but in April 2018, the New York State Parole Board granted Bell his release.
Adding insult to injury, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo then granted Bell the right to vote.
Also in 2018, the New York State Parole Board has voted to release Robert Hayes—a member of the Black Panthers who murdered New York City Transit Police Officer Sidney Thompson in 1973—despite the fact that Hayes had been serving a life sentence. Hayes had been denied parole 10 previous times.
Just two weeks ago, Brian Keith Stack—who fatally shot Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Ray Lynn Pierson six times at a traffic stop in 1978—was granted patrol.
He will walk free in February 2020.
There are too many to name them all.
I'm not totally devoid of compassion for people who make mistakes resulting in the accidental death of an individual—even the accidental death of a police officer.
A driver who kills an officer in an accidental vehicle collision may potentially be rehabilitated. They may seek—and receive—the forgiveness of that officer's family, friends, and fellow officers. They may seek—and receive—forgiveness from God. They may sincerely regret their actions. They may find productive purpose and contribute to society.
But someone whose accidental actions result in the death of an officer is an entirely different matter than people like Jamal, Clark, Bell, and others who willfully and intentionally take the life of a law enforcement officer.
To carry out an act of homicide on an individual (or individuals) whose sole professional purpose is to protect and serve the community is completely unforgivable.
End of discussion.