Sunday, August 4, 2013

US killer found hanged in cell days before execution date

Billy Slagle, facing execution on Wednesday was found hanged in his cell at the Chillecothe, Ohio Correctional Institution on Sunday morning.

Billy Slagl, facing execution on Wednesday was found hanged in his cell at the Chillecothe, Ohio Correctional Institution on Sunday morning. Photo: AP

Cleveland: A man condemned to death for fatally stabbing a neighbour during a Cleveland burglary apparently killed himself in his cell Sunday just days before his execution set for on Wednesday.

Billy Slagle, 44, was found hanging in his cell about 5am at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution south of Columbus, prison spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said. He was declared dead within the hour.

No other details were immediately provided.

Slagle was sentenced to die for the 1987 stabbing of Mari Anne Pope, who was killed while two young children she was watching were in the house.

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In a rare move, the prosecutor in Cleveland had asked the Ohio Parole Board to spare Slagle. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said jurors today, with the option of life without parole, would be unlikely to sentence Slagle to death.

The parole board and Governor John Kasich both rejected mercy for Slagle.

Last week, Slagle's attorney argued that a jury never got the chance to hear the full details of his troubled childhood.

The attorneys, arguing for a new trial and to delay his execution, said that information met requirements for asking for a new trial, which normally must happen within four months of a conviction.

Slagle was "unavoidably prevented" from filing his request because his original attorneys didn't develop and present the evidence, the filing said.

Mr McGinty and Slagle's attorneys had cited his age — at 18, he was barely old enough for execution in Ohio — and his history of alcohol and drug addiction.

AP

Support is available for anyone who may be distressed by calling Lifeline 131 114, Mensline 1300 789 978, Kids Helpline 1800 551 800.


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