Monday, April 30, 2007

Just the Facts: The Philip Workman Case

Fact: Exit wounds, without fail, are larger than entry wounds.

Fact: Lt. Ronald Oliver has an exit wound on his chest almost twice the size of the entry wound on his back.

Fact: Lt. Ronald Oliver was facing Philip Workman at the time that a bullet passed through his body.

Fact: Ballistics experts have said that Philip Workman’s Colt .45 was not the weapon that killed Lt. Oliver.

Fact: The other two policemen on the scene, Aubrey Stoddard and Steven Parker, claim that they never fired their guns at all.

Fact: Witness Steve Craig claims he saw Officer Parker fire a shotgun at Philip Workman.

Fact: Philip Workman had shotgun pellets removed from his buttocks.

Fact: If such a story is to be taken at face value, then Lee Harvey Oswald’s “magic bullet” has been surpassed in sheer absurdity. Perhaps there was a second gunman on the grassy knoll across from Wendy’s on that fateful day? Because it is a fact that a bullet fired from a .45 caliber gun does not abruptly turn 180 degrees in midair.

Fact: Prosecutors have tried to explain the discrepancy in bullet wound sizes by claiming that the bullet fragmented inside Lt. Oliver, and that only a small chunk exited through his back.

Fact: Prosecutors have never been able to provide a single X-ray establishing that the bullet fragmented inside Lt. Oliver at all.

Fact: Prosecutors are also inconsistent on whether or not an X-ray of Lt. Oliver exists at all. It would be highly unusual not to have one, as X-rays had been in use for almost a century by the time the crime was committed.

Fact: The state’s case falls apart if the magic bullet theory is disproved by X-rays. For even the felony murder statute to apply, the fatal bullet would have to have come from the gun of Workman or a Workman accomplice.

Fact: Only one witness ever claimed to have seen Philip Workman fire the fatal bullet.

Fact: There’s no indication he was ever at the crime scene.

Fact: His sister refutes the idea that he could have been there and seen it, as she was with him at the time of the murder.

Fact: He had a habit of making up information to feed to police--- Claiming rewards was how he supported his drug habit.

Fact: He now claims to have been coerced into testifying.

Fact: With no forensic evidence to back up the state’s case and no eyewitness, the remaining facts of this case do not add up to first degree murder. At best, a case could be made for criminally negligent homicide, arguing that Workman’s reckless crime set into motion a chain of events at the end of which a law enforcement officer tragically lost his life.

Fact: To my knowledge, Tennessee has neither sought nor obtained an execution in a criminally negligent homicide case in its entire history.

Fact: Philip Workman has not disputed that he robbed the Wendy’s restaurant on the night of August 5, 1981.

Fact: Philip Workman has not disputed that he shot Officer Aubrey Stoddard in the arm.

Fact: There are too many things that remain unknown about this case for an execution to be anything short of a travesty of justice.

Fact: You should watch this Sharon Cobb joint and see what Lt. Oliver’s daughter has to say about the impending execution of Philip Workman.


nut-meg said...

This is freaking me out. I can't believe they are really going to kill this guy.

Freedonian said...

Sick, isn't it? Even if you believe in the death penalty, you have to want to get it right. That will simply does not seem to exist in this case, nor does the political will to set it right.

He's got one more week unless there's another stay.

David said...

There's a Wiki now:

Feel free to update, correct, or expand with further info.

Anonymous said...

I can't believe they murdered this innocent man. I usually don't feel anything for anybody whose died, only twice ever have I felt anything, for Steve Irwin and for Philip Workman. What is making me real pissed is that he made a mistake and somebody died, he did not have intent to do harm. It's not even he was running shooting at people. He even got caught because he felt bad about it to begin with. Yet I read of people who murder, rape, even a guy beat his 2 year old son to death and gets 30 days. A man who althought had his own life messed up was not trying to harm people gets murdered yet the real dangers to society are free to continue hurtings others.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: "... he did not have intent to do harm."

Riiiiight. He took that loaded firearm with him to Wendy's, because you just never know when some jerk behind a restaurant counter is going to refuse to hand you the money. You just never know when you might have to shoot your way past some jackass police officer who is responding to a holdup alarm.

Poor Philip Worman. Victim, Friend, Humanitarian. It's heart-warming to run across web sites like this one which can cut through the BS and identify the real victims in a case like Philip Workman's.

Freedonian said...

Riiiiight. He took that loaded firearm with him to Wendy's, because you just never know when some jerk behind a restaurant counter is going to refuse to hand you the money.

This is Tennessee. If our gun laws get any looser, that's legal.

Poor Philip Worman. Victim, Friend, Humanitarian.

No one said he's any of those things, jackass, so spare us all your dime store theatrics.

The question is whether or not he actually commtted the crime he was executed for. And the fact is, the originaly conention was shaly enough, and the subsequent ballistics evidence made the conviction an affront to common sense.

So knock off the Bill O'Reilly-ish blather.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

workman was not innocent. He was committing a felony at the time of the officers death. He is still guilty of felony first degree murder. He still deserved the death penalty for his part. Under felony first degree murder, the person charged does not have to commit the murder, but only be involved with the felony in order to recieve the punishment for the crimes committed.