Jason Dean – white, age 30
Sentenced to death in Clark County, Ohio
By: A jury
Date of Crime: April 2005
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Dean and a 16-year-old accomplice engaged in a crime spree, committing three shootings in a four-day period. Only one of the shootings resulted in a death: Titus Arnold was robbed and shot by the duo (although it appears the juvenile pulled the trigger). Dean claimed innocence, and in mitigation presented evidence that he had been abused by his father.
Prosecutor(s): Defense Lawyer(s): Richard Mayhall, John Butz
Sources: Dayton Daily News 5/13/06 (LEXIS USPAPR file), 5/27/06 (LEXIS USPAPR file), 6/3/06 (LEXIS USPAPR file), 7/25/06 (LEXIS USPAPR file), 8/18/06 (LEXIS USPAPR file), 10/1/06 (LEXIS USPAPR file).
Clarence Fry, Jr.– black, age 45
Sentenced to death in Summit County, Ohio
By: A jury
Date of crime: July 31, 2005
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Fry was convicted of murdering his former girlfriend. Fry argued the killing was spontaneous, because Tamela Hardison had started a fight by throwing an ashtray at him. Hardison’s small grandchildren were present for the murder, and testified at trial. After the jury returned the verdict, Fry responded by doing a choke sign and flipping his middle finger to the members. During sentencing, Fry refused to allow his attorney to present any evidence. He told the judge the reason for the decision was so the appeal process could begin sooner. Fry was removed from sentencing for making disparaging remarks about his victim.
Prosecutor(s): Angela Walls-Alexander Defense lawyer(s): Kerry O’Brien, Larry Whitney
Sources: Akron Beacon Journal 6/27/06 (2006 WLNR 11108142), 7/12/06 (2006 WLNR 11978721); Cleveland Plain Dealer 7/12/06 (2006 WLNR 12055308); Journal-Gazette 7/13/06 (2006 WLNR 12119774)
Duane Short – white, age unknown
Sentenced to death in Montgomery County, Ohio
By: A jury
Date of Crime: 7/22/04
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Short drove in his truck—with his minor son as a passenger—to his estranged wife’s house. In the yard he shot to death with a sawed-off shotgun a man his wife had been dating (Donnie Ray Sweeney), and then went into the house and shot his wife Ronda to death. The defense argued for a lesser degree of murder, claiming lack of premeditation and deliberation. Short apparently backed out of a plea deal that would have spared him a death sentence.
Prosecutor(s): Leon Daidone, Robert Deschler Defense Lawyer(s): L. Patrick Mulligan, George Katchmer
Sources: Dayton Daily News 5/5/06 (2006 WLNR 8088027); AP Alert – Ohio 5/10/06; Dayton Daily News 5/31/06 (2006 WLNR 9393402).