Man convicted in Caroline death dies in prison
A Caroline County man who was serving a 27 year sentence for murdering his supervisor died in prison last week, days after he was notified that he may no longer be able to appeal his convictions.
Thomas Eugene Monroe, 71, formerly of Ruther Glen, died of natural causes on Wednesday, according to an operations officer at Deerfield Correctional Center in Southhampton County, Va.
He was taken to a nearby medical facilty where he was pronounced dead, the officer said.
Monroe was convicted in 2007 of second degree murder, possession of a firearm in commission of a felony and assault and battery. He was sentenced to 25 1/2 years in prison, which was the jury’s recommendation. He would have been 94 years old if he had lived through his sentence.
The shooting occurred Nov. 17, 2006, the same day Monroe was fired from his long-time job as a maintenance worker at Caroline County Schools, where David Sterling Ganoe Jr. was his supervisor.
Monroe told investigators he went to the maintenance shop to return his uniforms and fired the gun because he felt threatened by Ganoe. Monroe’s attorney, Bruce Ganey argued that the intent was never to kill the man.
The independent witness in the trial, Ganoe’s secretary Suzanne Edwards, testified that Monroe pulled out a revolver, walked toward the 51-year-old Ganoe and fired. Edwards grabbed Monroe’s arm to stop him, but said he pushed her to the concrete floor “like an elephant with a flea.” She heard Ganoe say, “Tom don’t, please don’t” and gunfire.
The assault and battery conviction was a result of Monroe throwing Edwards to the cement floor during the incident. She injured her hip and left wrist.
Monroe had filed several appeals to have his convictions overturned, stating that “[Edwards] is the one that jumped on [Monroe], which caused the firearm to go off, and it hit the floor and then it hit Mr. David Ganoe.”
All of his appeals were denied and a written motion by the Attorney General’s Office was mailed out to him on March 9 stating that he has reached the statute of limitations and would be barred from filing anymore petitions.
He died five days later.