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Virginia Executes 11th This Year

October 22, 1998

JARRATT, Va. (AP) _ A man convicted of killing a friend and a taxi driver during a one-day crime spree that also included two abductions and two rapes was executed Wednesday night.

Ronald Lee Fitzgerald, 29, was put to death by injection at the Greensville Correctional Center.

His lawyer, David J. Damico, said Fitzgerald declined to seek clemency from Gov. Jim Gilmore because he knew the killings were wrong and because the governor had refused all 10 previous requests since he took office in January.

Fitzgerald was convicted of capital murder in the Jan. 29, 1993, slayings and robberies of acquaintance Coy M. White and a taxi driver, Hugh E. Morrison.

Fitzgerald also was convicted of abducting and raping a 13-year-old girl on the same day at White’s Chatham home and an 18-year-old woman in an Altavista motel room’s bathroom while her children watched television.

After his crime spree, Fitzgerald asked a couple for a ride to the county courthouse.

At the courthouse, Fitzgerald stuck a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. The gun jammed and police took him into custody.

Fitzgerald’s execution was the 11th in Virginia this year, the most since 1915.