A Johnston County man sentenced to die for a murder committed 23 years ago in Smithfield has died of natural causes.
Death row inmate Malcolm Geddie, 70, died Sunday of natural causes at a Raleigh hospital.
Geddie was convicted in Johnston County Superior Court and sentenced to death for the Thanksgiving 1994 robbery and shooting death of Reginald Dale Emory of Clayton. Geddie also received an additional sentence of 40 years for the robbery.
In 1996, defense attorney’s appealed the verdict saying Geddie did not receive a fair trial, in part because there was only one African American on the jury. However, the state supreme court upheld his death sentence.
On November 25, 1994, Geddie, Emory and two others met at an illegal liquor house. They decided to drive to Finney Drive in Smithfield.
The men became loud inside an apartment and were asked by the occupant to leave. In the parking lot Geddie asked Emory for $5 but Emory stated, “I don’t owe you nothing.”
At gunpoint, Geddie ordered Emory to the ground and for him to remove his shoes and socks. Emory begged three times “please don’t shoot” according to an eyewitness who said Geddie shot Emory in the head. Afterwards Geddie bent down to pick up some coins Emory had dropped on the ground then fled.
Emory was found on the ground by Smithfield Police Officer Thomas Graham. The victim was rushed to Johnston Memorial Hospital where he died.
After the shooting, Geddie went to Maggie Pearl’s nightclub and pool room where he purchased $10 worth of crack cocaine from a man in the parking lot.
This was not the first violent crime for Geddie. In October, 1979, he shot Charles Edwards Atkinson three times in the leg. Atkinson’s leg had to be amputated. In 1984, the Johnston County Sheriff’s Department investigated the shooting of James Lemon who was shot in the shoulder by Geddie. He was also convicted of an attempted robbery in Washington, D.C. in 1989.
During the 1996 appeal, a clinical psychologist and counselor testified Geddie was a victim of child abuse, a substance abuser and was an antisocial person but he did understand the difference between right and wrong.