Donald Craig—black, age 36

Sentenced to death in Summit County, Ohio
By: A jury
Date of crime: 3/96
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Craig kidnapped, multiply raped, and strangled 12-year-old Roseanna Davenport. Craig was a suspect from the time of the crime in 1996, but DNA tests at the time were inconclusive. More advanced tests found fluid traces from him on the victim and her clothing. Craig maintained his innocence and claimed that the DNA samples had been intentionally or accidentally switched. (Note: this is an unusual case where the defendant seems not to have had evidence of an abusive childhood or mental defects.)
Prosecutor(s): Becky Doherty, Carolyn Milligan
Defense lawyer(s): Kerry O’Brien, Brian Pierce
Sources: Akron Beacon-Journal 7/17/04; Cleveland Plain Dealer 7/22/04

John Drummond, Jr.—black, age 25

Sentenced to death in Mahoning County, Ohio
By: A jury
Date of crime: 3/23/03
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Drummond was involved in gang activities, and wanted to take revenge against Jiyen Dent, Sr. because he had been hanging out with people Drummond suspected of killing a relative of his. Drummond obtained an AK-47 assault rifle, and his accomplice Wayne Gilliam drove him to Dent’s home. Drummond got out of the car, walked toward the house, and fired 12 shots into the home. One of them struck 3-month-old Jiyen Dent, Jr., in the head, killing him. Drummond asserted innocence throughout the proceedings. In mitigation, the defense presented evidence of Drummond’s troubled childhood and the kill-or-be-killed gang milieu in which he was immersed.
Prosecutor(s): Timothy Franken, Kelly Johns
Defense lawyer(s): James Gentile, Ronald Yarwood
Sources: Youngstown Vindicator 8/24/03, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 4/5/03, (Youngstown) 2/20/04, 2/23/04

Marvin Johnson – black, age 36

Sentenced to death in Belmont County, Ohio
By: A jury
Date of crime: 08/2003
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Johnson kidnapped and beat to death his ex-girlfriend’s 13-year-old son, Daniel Bailey. During opening statements, a defense attorney told the jury that Johnson was guilty but should not receive the death penalty. Johnson terminated his defense attorneys. Johnson called his ex-girlfriend to testify, and then explained to her how he killed her son. Johnson rehired his attorneys for the mitigation phase, where his statement was read stating, he believed he deserved the death penalty. When the judge handed down the sentence, Johnson showed no remorse and thanked the judge for the death penalty.
Prosecutor(s): Daniel Padden
Defense lawyer(s): Andrew Warhola
Sources: Times Recorder 6/2/04, 6/5/04; Ohio Department of Corrections:

Donald Ketterer—white, age 53

Sentenced to death in Butler County, Ohio
By: A 3-judge panel, after pleading guilty and waiving a jury
Date of crime: 2/24/03
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Ketterer beat 85-year-old Lawrence Sanders with a skillet and tortured him with scissors and a knife during a robbery. Sanders had been like a father to Ketterer, by Ketterer’s own admission. The defense claimed Kettered was on a “bender” after taking illegal and prescription drugs and alcohol when he killed Sanders. A defense psychologist also testified that Ketterer had bipolar disorder and was borderline mentally retarded. Ketterer expressed remorse and asked for leniency.
Prosecutor(s): Robin Piper
Defense lawyer(s): Greg Howard, Chris Pagan
Sources: Cincinnati Post 1/28/04; Cincinnati Enquirer 2/5/04; Dayton Daily News 2/4/04, 2/5/04

Fred Mundt Jr. – white, age 30

Sentenced to death in Noble County, Ohio
By: A jury
Date of crime: 3/9/2004
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Mundt killed his 7-year-old step-daughter, Brittany Hendrickson, by dumping her in a well then dropping large stones on her until she stopped screaming. Mundt confessed to the murder to psychologists. Brittany was also a victim of on-going sexual abuse. In the penalty phase, the defense argued Mundt was raised in a dysfunctional home, and suffered from bipolar disorder and post traumatic stress syndrome. The prosecution argued that Mundt continually exaggerated his mental illness to deflect responsibility.
Prosecutor(s): Cliff Sickler
Defense lawyer(s): Andrew Warhola
Sources: The Columbus Dispatch 12/11/04 (2004 WL 102491120)