RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – A man convicted of six slayings in one of the worst killing sprees in North Carolina history was executed early Friday.

Charles Wesley Roache, 30, had dropped all but a mandatory appeal on the trial record required by state law. Legal wrangling could have extended his life for up to five years, but Roache said he gave up all appeals to show his remorse to the survivors of his victims.

He was pronounced dead at 2:18 a.m. of lethal injection.

Death penalty opponents argued the state shouldn’t execute Roache without examining his mental fitness, but Roache asked his lawyers to do nothing to keep him alive. He also declined to seek clemency from Gov. Mike Easley, who decided Thursday night that he saw no reason to stop Roache’s execution.

Roache and Christopher Wayne Lippard, 25, were convicted in the Sept. 29, 1999, shooting death in Alexander County of Chad McKinley Watt, 22. The pair then headed west to Haywood County in a stolen pickup truck. A day later, after that vehicle was struck, they went to a home near Interstate 40 to steal a car.

The Phillips family returned home from the Haywood County Fair during the robbery attempt. Earl Phillips, 72; his wife, Cora, 71; their son, Eddie, 40; daughter-in-law Mitzi, 44; and granddaughter Katie, 14, were killed.

Lippard was sentenced to life in prison at a separate trial.

Roache was the third person executed in North Carolina this year and the 33rd executed in the state since capital punishment was reinstated in 1977. Two more executions are scheduled before the end of the year.

AP-ES-10-22-04 0343EDT

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