Thursday, December 12, 2002

December 6, 2002

Why request a special meal when you can have three-bean salad?

Last Meal:
Basden chose instead to eat what all others at Central Prison ate: Breaded veal, brown gravy, mashed potatoes, three-bean salad, mixed vegetables, slices of loaf bread, an orange and fruit punch.

The Skinny: Basden was executed nearly 11 years after he murdered an insurance salesman in a contract killing. Basden shot the man in a January 1992 murder-for-hire scheme devised by co-conspirators James Lynwood Taylor, his nephew, and Sylvia Ipock White, the victim's wife.

Basden and Taylor lured the victim to a remote logging road in Jones County under the pretense of buying insurance. There, Basden, drunk on alcohol and high on drugs supplied by Taylor, shot the victim twice with a single-shot shotgun. Taylor gave his cash-strapped uncle $300 for the killing.

Last words: Basden, a self-professed Christian, made a last statement asking his victim's family for forgiveness. "I killed Billy White, I'm sorry for it and I pray that his family will come to forgive me and let time heal their wounds and that's all we can do. There's got to be forgiveness for the healing to start and the only way to do that is through Jesus Christ."

Process Notes: Basden, lying on a gurney and covered by a sheet, made no eye contact with his family or any other witnesses as lethal doses of chemicals were administered to him intravenously. The 50-year-old Jones County man appeared to die in his sleep and without pain.

Meeting the Big Guy: In an interview Tuesday, Basden, who spent his last days ministering to fellow inmates, had said he expected to go to heaven if he died today. He said he wasn't sure what he would say to God when he got there. "I expect I'll be in awe for a few days," Basden said.

Factoids: Six jurors signed statements that they would have opted for life without parole if that sentence had been available. Such a sentence has since been approved by the Legislature in first-degree murder cases.

Basden was the 22nd criminal executed in North Carolina since the death penalty was reinstated in 1977.