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Guy Tobias LeGRANDE





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Murder for hire
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: July 27, 1983
Date of birth: 1949
Victim profile: Ellen Munford
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Stanley County, North Carolina, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on April 26, 1996. Declared mentally incompetent to be executed on July 1, 2008

Chronology of Events

01/25/2007 - Superior Court Judge Robert Bell extends the stay until March 5 for doctors to complete mental competency evaluations.

11/27/2006 - Superior Court Judge Robert Bell delayed LeGrande's execution for at least two months, after which he will hold hearings to evaluate his mental competency.

10/13/2006 - Execution date is set for Guy Tobias LeGrande.

10/2/2006 - U.S. Supreme Court denies defendant LeGrande's petition for Write of Certiorari to review the decision of the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of appeals, dismissing his appeal following completion of initial state and federal post-conviction proceedings.

07/24/1997 - The North Carolina Supreme Court affirms defendant LeGrande's conviction and sentence of death. 

04/26/1996 – LeGrande, 47, was sentenced to death in Stanley County Superior Court for the first-degree murder of Ellen Munford, with a consecutive sentence of nine years for conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.


Guy Tobias LeGrande

On July 27, 1993, Guy Tobias LeGrande entered the home of Ellen Munford and shot her twice in the back, killing her.

LeGrande was 34 and worked with the victim's husband, Tommy Munford, at Jay's Downtowner Restaurant in Albermarle. Tommy Munford and LeGrande conspired to kill Ellen Munford. Munford and Ellen had been estranged for two years.

At the time of the murder, Ellen was living with another man. Munford had repeatedly harassed Ellen and trespassed on the property where she was living with her new boyfriend. 

Munford told numerous people that he wanted to "do in" the victim. Munford took out a life insurance policy in the amount of $50,000 on Ellen's life, naming himself as the sole beneficiary. He promised to pay LeGrande $6,500 if LeGrande would kill Ellen Munford.

On the day of the murder, Munford arranged to take his and Ellen Munford's two children to the beach so that she would be alone in the house.

Prior to picking up the children, Munford dropped LeGrande off in the woods next to Ellen's house. LeGrande was carrying a shotgun. As Munford left Ellen's house, he blew his horn to signal to LeGrande that Ellen was alone. LeGrande watched Ellen Munford for hours from the woods before he entered her home and killed her.

Following the murder, LeGrande bragged to a friend about having "capped that ass."  Tommy Munford was sentenced to life plus twenty years in prison.

There are many claims on the internet about LeGrande being mentally ill, however, an appellate court found that he had attended college, was an aircraft mechanic, worked for the post office for six years, and was described as a "very intelligent young man."

LeGrande insisted on representing himself and during his sentencing testimony, called the jurors the "antichrists" and declared that they could "kiss his natural black ass in the window of Heilig-Meyers," that they could "pull the switch and let the good times roll," and that he would meet them in hell where they would be required to worship him.

The competency evaluation found that LeGrande did not appear to have a serious mental disorder, such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Although at times he appeared hypomanic, he seemed to be able to control his behavior when he so desired. LeGrande also demonstrated characteristics of a personality disorder with antisocial and narcissistic features.



Death Row inmate Guy LeGrande declared mentally incompetent to be executed

July 1, 2008

ALBEMARLE, NC – As North Carolina and the nation are beginning to recognize the inhumanity and unconstitutionality of executing the mentally ill, a superior court judge in Stanly County today ruled that death row inmate Guy LeGrande is too mentally ill to face the ultimate punishment.

Serving as his own lawyer, wearing a Superman t-shirt and communicating with Oprah through the television, Guy LeGrande was sentenced to death in 1996 in Stanly County for his role in the murder for hire plot masterminded by the victim’s husband. 

LeGrande, a Black man, was tried before an all-White jury by the District Attorney’s office that handed out gold noose lapel pins when the attorneys won a death verdict.  The victim was white, as was her husband, the mastermind.

“This order addresses only one of the injustices in this case,” said LeGrande’s attorney Jay Ferguson.  “If the Legislature enacts the Racial Justice Act, the courts can examine serious issues, such as why prosecutors excluded every African-American citizen from Mr. LeGrande’s jury, and why they chose to prosecute the less culpable, mentally ill Black man for death, while giving a life saving deal to the White mastermind.”

LeGrande rambled incoherently during his trial, cursed the jury and called them “Antichrists.”  In his testimony to the jury, he told them that “[h]ell ain’t deep enough for you people.  But you remember when you arrive, say my name, Guy Tobias LeGrande.  For I shall be waiting.  And each and every one of you will be mine for all eternity.  And we shall dance in my father’s house.  And you will worship me and proclaim me Lord and master.  But for right now, all you so-called good folks can kiss my natural black ass in the showroom of Helig Meyers.  Pull the damn switch and shake that groove thing.”

“Guy LeGrande was delusional at the time of the crime, he was delusional while representing himself in his own trial for his life, and he is delusional today,” said Ferguson.  “The court has finally stepped in and halted a colossal miscarriage of justice, the execution of a seriously mentally ill man.”  LeGrande is also represented by attorney James Monroe.

LeGrande was scheduled to be executed on December 1, 2006, until Judge Robert Bell stayed the execution in order to evaluate LeGrande’s competency.  Judge Bell heard from three mental health experts during a two-day hearing in June.  One expert was hired by the State, one by the defense, and one served as the Court’s expert.  Both the Court’s and the defense’s experts found LeGrande mentally ill and incompetent, while the State’s expert found him mentally ill but competent.

The Court’s expert, a Dorothea Dix psychiatrist who previously had never found a death row inmate too mentally ill to proceed, could not conclude that LeGrande was competent.  The expert cited LeGrande’s belief, written in a letter to his sister, that “my pardon is coming through and I’m getting three billion dollars” as evidence of his delusional disorder.  In the Court’s expert’s opinion, LeGrande’s delusional disorder “interfere[s] with his appreciation of the nature and object of the proceedings against him.”

“Execution is to be reserved for the worst crimes and the most culpable offenders,” said Triangle psychiatrist Holly Rogers.  “Both the mental health and legal communities are asserting that seriously mentally ill offenders, like Mr. LeGrande, simply cannot understand the consequences of their actions enough to make the death penalty a just punishment.”

Recently the American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, The National Alliance for the Mentally Ill, and the American Bar Association called for changes in the law, to ensure people with serious mental illness are not executed.  A bill was introduced in the North Carolina General Assembly last year that would exempt the seriously mentally ill from capital punishment.  Other states have also introduced bills and are considering the issue.

An April 2007 poll found that a majority of North Carolinians believe that mentally ill offenders should not be subject to execution.



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