Melvin White was sentenced to death by the State of North Carolina for the murders of Georgia Green and Cleveland Wilson. According to court documents Melvin White would murder Georgia Green and Cleveland Wilson during a robbery. Melvin Wilson would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Melvin White 2021 Information
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The State’s evidence at trial tended to show that defendant killed victims Georgia Green and Cleveland Wilson in order to retaliate against his girlfriend, Patricia Green, the granddaughter of victim Georgia Green, for not wanting to be with him anymore and for resisting his attempt to take her to Mexico by force and against her will.
Defendant met Patricia Green when he was twenty-three years old and she was fourteen; at the time of the crimes, defendant was twenty-nine, and Patricia was nineteen. Patricia lived with her grandmother, Georgia Green, who had raised Patricia since age four and who was very much like a mother to her. Two years after defendant and Patricia met, they lived together in the house of victim Georgia Green. Later they moved out to their own home. Defendant began to abuse Patricia and became increasingly possessive of her and violent towards her. He would beat her, hitting her on her face, arms, and legs; but she never went to the doctor because she was too ashamed. On one occasion, 4 July 1994, when Patricia went to a cookout with some friends, defendant arrived and ordered her away with such threats and force that she had her mother, Ella Green, call the police. When Ella Green and other family members went to defendant’s and Patricia’s mobile home, defendant came outside and fired two shotgun blasts before the police arrived.
Defendant continued to assault Patricia, two or three times per month. On occasion she would report the assaults to law enforcement; but when the case came to court, she would not testify against defendant. Defendant told her frequently that if she ever tried to leave him, he would kill her or kill her family members to make her hurt. Defendant knew that Patricia was very close to her grandmother, Georgia Green.
In late April 1995, after she received a beating for threatening to leave him, Patricia left defendant and went to live with a girlfriend. Defendant waited for her outside her place of work and ran her off the road with his car. He forced her into his car and took her back to his house, where he beat her and tied her to the bed with duct tape and rope. Defendant kept her tied up for two days. After untying her, he kept her in the house, which he was able to lock from the outside.
Shortly after this incident, and because of her fear of defendant and his threats to kill her, Patricia went to Florida in May of 1995 and found work there. After about a month she telephoned defendant and told him that she wanted him to stop controlling her and hitting her and that she wanted a friendship with him but not a relationship. The next day defendant appeared in Florida at Patricia’s place of work; he got her to come outside, saying he wanted to talk. He then pointed a nine-millimeter handgun at her and forced her to get into the car. Defendant drove her back through the night to North Carolina, telling her that if she screamed he would shoot her. He told her that he loved her but that if he could not have her, no one would have her and that he would kill her. He took her to his house and again tied her to the bed with duct tape and rope. He later took her with him while he pawned and sold some items, and then he took her to the Sheriff’s Department because someone had reported that defendant had kidnapped her. Patricia told the Sheriff’s Department, out of fear for her life, that defendant had not kidnapped her.
On 8 June 1995, defendant told Patricia that he wanted her to go to Mexico with him. Because of his threats, and feeling that her mother was her last chance to get away from defendant, she agreed to go if he would take her to see her grandmother and mother before leaving. Defendant stopped pointing the gun at Patricia and told her that he wanted her to trust him. When they got to the house of Patricia’s grandmother, Georgia Green, defendant took the gun upstairs and hid it. They then left Georgia Green’s house and drove to Patricia’s mother’s mobile home. While driving there defendant repeatedly told Patricia, “If you try anything ․ I’ll kill you. I’ll kill all of you all.”
Patricia Green’s mother, Ella Green, talked with defendant and her daughter to try to calm or solve the situation. Patricia told her mother that she did not want to be with defendant and that she wanted defendant to leave her alone. Defendant then tried to push Patricia into his car; but Ella Green grabbed Patricia and, standing between her daughter and defendant, told defendant to leave. Defendant got into his car and drove it forward into Ella Green, injuring her legs and damaging her house. He then drove off toward Georgia Green’s house.
Patricia telephoned the police and called for an ambulance for her mother; she then called her uncle, Jake Howard, and asked him to check on Georgia Green. Mr. Howard had known defendant and his family for some time. When Mr. Howard arrived at Georgia Green’s house, he saw defendant coming from the far corner of the house with a gun in his hand. Mr. Howard asked defendant what was the matter; and defendant said, “She’s been treating me nice, just like a honey rose all day, until we got to her mother’s house. And then they tried to jam me up, and I run over Ella.” Mr. Howard then left, without checking on Georgia Green, to see what had happened to Ella Green.
Deputy Sheriff Marvin Haddock spoke with Mr. Howard and went with Patricia Green and other family members to Georgia Green’s house to apprehend defendant. An upstairs window had been raised, and no one responded to their knocking. All the doors were locked; and after Deputy Haddock called for backup, the officers broke into the house. They found Georgia Green’s body facedown on the floor in front of a lounge chair; she had been shot two times in the head. They also found the body of Cleveland Wilson on the couch, shot once through the face and neck and twice through the temple into the head. They found six shell casings near the bodies. Shoe tracks on the tin roof of the front porch led to, and away from, the open upstairs window. Patricia Green told the officers that defendant had threatened to kill her family if she left him. Officers then searched defendant’s mobile home and found rope tied to the bedpost, and tape, with hair stuck to it, on the bedpost and floor. On the ground outside the mobile home, officers found an empty nine-millimeter shell box and shell casings.
Defendant left the state and was found in Tucson, Arizona three months later, on 11 September 1995, by a police officer who saw him walking on the highway. Defendant walked up to the car and told the officer, “I’m the one you’re looking for,” and that he was wanted for murder. The officer found there were outstanding warrants for defendant in North Carolina charging him with two counts of first-degree murder. Officers searched defendant’s car and Arizona motel room and found a black handgun holster.
Arizona officers also sent to North Carolina nine spent nine-millimeter shell casings which they had found on 5 September 1995 after a report of shots being fired near a convenience store within a mile and a half of defendant’s motel room. An examination of three of the shell casings found at defendant’s residence in North Carolina revealed they were fired from the same gun which fired the casings found at the murder scene and the casings found in Arizona, to the exclusion of all other guns. A week or two before the murders, defendant had purchased a nine-millimeter automatic pistol for $350.00 from someone he worked with on his job site.
Defendant testified on his own behalf; he denied committing any act of violence or assault upon or kidnapping of Patricia Green and denied committing the murders of Georgia Green and Cleveland Wilson. Defendant admitted buying a nine-millimeter pistol at his job site. Defendant and another witness testified that when defendant and Patricia visited Georgia Green the day before the murders, defendant had given the handgun to Patricia, who hid it upstairs. Defendant admitted hitting Ella Green with his car, but denied ever threatening to kill Patricia or anyone in her family.
During the sentencing proceeding the State introduced into evidence documents showing defendant’s March 1990 conviction for felonious breaking and entering. Also, Beverly Brown testified that she dated defendant and that he was the father of her child. She testified that defendant became possessive of her and on one occasion fired a shot from a gun to make friends of hers leave. She left him and returned to live with her mother; but in October of 1989 defendant went to her house, kicked the door in, snatched their one-year-old baby, and fired a shotgun blast into the bedroom where Ms. Brown was with other family members. Ms. Brown had to lie and promise that she would move back in with defendant to get him to return the baby.
Defendant presented as witnesses at sentencing several members of his family and friends who testified that he had a good reputation in the community. A former instructor and employer testified that defendant was a good worker, with good work habits; that he listened well and had a positive attitude; and that he was a fast learner. Others knew him as a hard worker who worked full-time as a brick mason and who also worked part-time jobs; some testified that he and Patricia acted happy when they were together and that defendant cared about her. A former teacher of defendant’s testified that he did well in math and vocational studies; she also testified that defendant had been in a special class for students classified as learning-disabled in English and that he had tried very hard to improve.