Cop Killer’s Execution a Go

Virginia set to execute man for killing police officer


RICHMOND, Va. -- A man convicted of killing a Winchester police officer a decade ago is set to die by lethal injection Thursday after Gov. Timothy Kaine declined to intervene.

Edward Nathaniel Bell, 43, is scheduled to die at 9 p.m. at Greensville Correctional Center in Jarratt.

Bell maintains he did not shoot Sgt. Ricky Timbrook as the officer chased him down a dark alley on Oct. 29, 1999. Prosecutors, however, claim Bell was a flashy drug dealer who held a grudge against Timbrook for arresting the Jamaican man two years earlier for possessing a concealed weapon.

Bell was initially scheduled to be executed last year, but Kaine pushed that back while the U.S. Supreme Court considered a Kentucky case challenging the constitutionality of lethal injections. The court upheld the method in April.

The following month, the court granted Bell a temporary reprieve to consider whether his lawyer did a poor job representing him. It later dismissed his appeal.

Bell, a father of five, visited with immediate family members Thursday, but Department of Corrections spokesman Larry Traylor would not reveal just who met with Bell. The spokesman said Bell did not request a last meal and will be served the same food as the rest of the inmates.

With all of Bell's appeals exhausted, his lawyers filed a last-hope petition to Kaine for clemency.

James G. Connell III, one of Bell's attorneys, said Bell was trying to remain hopeful.

Timbrook, 32, had been an officer for eight years and was a SWAT team member and DARE instructor. His wife, Kelly, was pregnant with their only child, Ricky Lee Timbrook II, now 9, when Timbrook was shot.

The city has since named a park, a public safety building, a children's outreach fund and a food-and-toy drive in honor of the popular officer.

Kelly Timbrook and her father-in-law plan to witness the execution, friends said. They have been reluctant to talk to the media, but Kelly Timbrook wrote letters and appeared in a television ad for Kaine's opponent in the 2005 governor's race. She questioned whether Kaine, a Roman Catholic who is opposed to the death penalty, would uphold Bell's sentence.

Kaine has allowed eight executions and commuted one sentence since he took office in 2006.

Bell will be the 103rd Virginia inmate executed since the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated capital punishment in 1976. Virginia ranks second only to Texas in the number of executions since then.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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