The man behind a Friday double murder at a Columbia Ruby Tuesdays restaurant has been executed in the first few minutes of this Wednesday morning. Five grams of pentobarbital ended Earl Ringo’s life at 12:31 a.m., more than sixteen years after the restaurant robbery left delivery man Dennis Poyser and manager-in training Joanna Baysinger dead. He killed Poyser. Accomplice Quentin Jones killed Baysinger at Ringo’s urging, then testified against Ringo in Ringo’s murder trial. Jones is doing life without parole.
A dozen relatives of the victims who have waited more than a decade and a half to see justice have witnessed Ringo’s death. One of them is Poyser’s widow, Jama Brown, who has pleaded with death penalty opponents to redirect their efforts toward keeping what she calls “terrible actions” from happening. Until then, she says, punishments strong enough to make people think about the consequences of their actions should remain. As she put it, “Evil should not win.”