Death Row Inmate: Ralph Baze

For the next few weeks, we’ll be spotlighting residents of Kentucky’s Death Row. You can view the full list anytime by clicking “Killers on Death Row” in the side bar. The first on our list:


Ralph Baze

This killer resided in Powell County, Kentucky.  He had been convicted twice of felonies and was wanted in Ohio for Assault of a Police Officer, Bail Jumping, Receiving Stolen Property, and Flagrant Nonsupport. On January 15, 1992, the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office in Toledo, Ohio, notified the Powell County authorities that they wished to extradite Baze on the felony counts. When Deputy Sheriff Arthur Briscoe arrived at Baze’s cabin to arrest him, Baze escaped through a trapdoor, retrieved his SKS assault rifle from behind the cabin, and fled into the woods. Deputy Briscoe left to recruit additional officers to assist in the arrest. He came back, followed by Sheriff Steve Bennett.

Gunfire ensued. Later, Baze testified that Deputy Briscoe had shot him first, striking him in the leg. Baze shot back at the officers. Sheriff Bennett opened the back door of the police cruiser, crossing directly into Baze’s line of fire. Baze shot him three times in the back and then started to walk toward Deputy Briscoe, who continued to shoot at Baze over the hood of the cruiser until he ran out of ammunition. Baze was too close to give him time to reload. Deputy Briscoe attempted to escape, but he was shot in the back by Baze, who then approached the injured officer and shot him in the head at point-blank range. Baze then fled on foot to adjoining Estill County where he surrendered without incident that evening. Ralph Baze was tried in Rowan County, convicted, and sentenced to death February 4, 1994 for shooting the officers. Baze was previously scheduled to be executed in 2007.

Aggravating circumstance which made this case eligible for the Death Penalty:  the murder of a sheriff and deputy sheriff, while in the line of duty, and multiple murders.

This killer wants pen pals.  This is part of his webpage request.  What a guy!

“Hi my name is Ralph and I am a Death Row inmate. I am looking for a few pen pals that like to write and maybe help get some of my paper work transferred to computer disk. Trying to work with and through the system is not getting me anywhere so I need to be able to find a voice on the outside of these walls to help me get my story out. Hopefully finding a friend or 2 along the way too. Would like a relationship with the right lady that could be more then Pen pals. Times get lonely in here.”

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