Anthony Belton — black, age 22
Sentenced to death in Lucas County, Ohio
By: a three-judge panel
Date of crime: August 13, 2008
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Belton was convicted of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated robbery, as well as capital specifications and gun specifications in the killing of Matthew Dugan (age 34), during a robbery at a gas station. Defense attorneys argued Belton lacked a solid family foundation growing up and encountered multiple risk factors both in his family and society that shaped his decisions, notably drug and sexual abuse.
Sources: Blade (OH) 4/5/12 (2012 WLNR 7286659), Blade (OH) 4/5/12 (2012 WLNR 7275177), Blade (OH) 4/7/12 (2012 WLNR 7388346).
Nathaniel Jackson — black, age 29 (re-sentence after appellate reversal)
Sentenced to death in Trumbull County, Ohio
By: a judge
Date of crime: December 11, 2001
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Jackson and his girlfriend, Donna Roberts (age 62) were convicted of killing Roberts’ husband, Robert Fingerhut (age 57). Jackson waited for Fingerhut to return home from work and shot him in the back twice and once in the head and stole his car. DNA testing on bloodstains in Fingerhut’s car matched the profiles of Jackson. Jackson claimed the shooting was in self-defense. Jackson’s first death sentence was reversed because the sentencing judge enlisted the aid of the prosecutor in preparing the sentencing memorandum.
Sources: 8/2/06 AP Online Regional – US 16:57:25, Charleston Gazette & Daily Mail (WV) 8/3/06 (2006 WLNR 13443044), Plain Dealer (OH) 8/3/06 (2006 WLNR 13461241).
Rayshawn Johnson — black, age 20 (re-sentence after appellate reversal)
Sentenced to death in Hamilton County, Ohio
By: a jury
Date of crime: November 12, 1997
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Johnson bludgeoned Shanon Marks (age 29) to death with a baseball bat. Johnson’s attorneys focused on his horrible childhood and addiction to drugs and alcohol in an attempt to save his life. Johnson confessed to entering the Marks’ home through the backdoor and killing Marks and stealing money from her purse when he ran into her upstairs. Johnson lived next door to Marks. Johnson’s first death sentence was reversed for his attorney’s failure to sufficiently investigate mitigating evidence.
Sources: Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) 11/26/11 (2011 WLNR 24515409), Cincinnati Enquirer (OH) 11/29/11 (2011 WLNR 24681982), 1/11/12 AP Alert – OH 01:10:56.
Caron E. Montgomery — black, age 35
Sentenced to death in Franklin County, Ohio
By: a three-judge panel (waived right to jury trial)
Date of crime: November 25, 2010
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Montgomery was convicted of killing Tia Hendricks (age 31), her son Tyron (age 2), and her daughter Tahlia (age 10). Prosecutors cited multiple aggravating factors, including (1) the killing was purposeful, involving two or more persons, (2) the killing was done with prior calculation and design, and (3) two victims were under 10 years old and under 13 years old. Defense attorneys argued that Montgomery suffered traumas throughout his childhood, beginning when he was raped at age 4 and continuing throughout his youth while being raised by a crack-addicted mother.
Sources: 5/15/12 AP Online Regional – US 22:11:44, Columbus Dispatch (OH) 5/23/12 AP Alert – OH 11:23:09, Columbus Dispatch (OH) 6/27/12 (2012 WLNR 13401354).
Joseph L. Thomas — white, age 26
Sentenced to death in Lake County, Ohio
By: a jury
Date of crime: November 26, 2010
Prosecution’s case/defense response: Thomas was convicted of the aggravated murder and rape of Annie McSween (age 49). Thomas attacked her in the parking lost after she asked him to leave the bar where she worked. He lured her outside by cutting the power to the building. He was charged with aggravated murder, kidnapping, rape, aggravated robbery, and tampering with evidence.
Sources: 9/28/12 Targeted News Service 00:00:00, The News-Herald 10/5/12 AP Alert – OH 11:30:53, The News-Herald 10/16/12 AP Alert – OH 12:03:38.