"Inmate hangs self in his cell," is by Alan Johnson for the Columbus Dispatch.
Why convicted Cleveland killer Billy Slagle hanged himself early yesterday isn't known, but he apparently knew he had little time to act.
Slagle, 44, was found in his Death Row cell at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution about 5 a.m., only hours before he was scheduled to go on a round-the-clock watch before his scheduled execution on Wednesday.
Slagle’s defense team was shocked and had no clue he might commit suicide, said one of his attorneys, Vicki Werneke.
“We were still litigating in court and had hoped that the execution would have been stopped. There was oral argument scheduled for Monday afternoon,” she told the Associated Press in an email.
Although Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Timothy McGinty sought clemency for Slagle — arguing that, under current law, he would have been given life without parole and not the death penalty — the courts, Ohio Parole Board and Gov. John Kasich disagreed.
Kasich declined clemency, which was Slagle’s best hope to avoid execution.
"Billy Slagle, Ohio Killer Set For Execution, Found Hanged In Cell," is by Thomas J. Sheeran for AP, via Huffington Post.
Billy Slagle, 44, was found at about 5 a.m. at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution south of Columbus and was declared dead within the hour, prison spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said.
"He was in his cell alone. No other inmates suspected to be involved," Smith said in an email. "It does appear to be a suicide."
Under regular prison policy, he was scheduled to be placed under pre-execution watch Sunday morning but "was not yet placed under constant watch," Smith said.
Reuters posts, "Ohio death row inmate found hanged days before execution date," by Kim Palmer. It's via the Chicago Tribune.
Ohio Governor John Kasich, a Republican, declined to commute Slagle's death sentence to life in prison last month after the state parole board voted against recommending clemency.
Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty recommended Slagle's death sentence be commuted at his clemency hearing. Slagle had said at the July hearing that his judgment was severely impaired by drugs and alcohol when he broke into Pope's home.
Since the death penalty was reinstated in the United States in 1976, Ohio has executed 51 inmates, according to the Death Penalty Information Center. There are more than 140 prisoners on death row in the state.
Earlier coverage of Billy Slagle's case begins at the link.