Akron man Dawud Spaulding receives death penalty in 2011 double murder

AKRON, Ohio - A man found guilty of murdering two people and paralyzing another in a 2011 shooting barrage has been sentenced to death.

A jury determined Thursday that Dawud Spaulding, 30, of Akron, should receive the death penalty for the murder of Erica Singleton and Ernie Thomas and paralyzing Patrick Griffin.

Authorities said on December 15, 2011, Spaulding went to the house on Buchtel Avenue and shot his first victim, Griffin, 24, after he came outside. Later that same day, Spaulding returned to the location and shot and killed his girlfriend and mother of two children, Singleton, 28, and Griffin's uncle, Thomas, 31, in the driveway.

Because the jury found Spaulding guilty of the specification for murdering two people, he was eligible to receive the death penalty.

"This was a brutal, calculated shooting spree that left two people dead and a third near death, and it illustrates the seriousness of domestic violence," said Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh. "I thank the jury and everyone who worked on this very difficult case for ensuring justice for Erica, Ernie and Patrick."

On Nov. 9, the jury found Spaulding guilty of:          

- Two counts of Aggravated Murder, with a specification for killing two or more people
- Attempted Murder, a felony of the first degree, with a firearm specification
- Felonious Assault, a felony of the second degree, with a firearm specification
- Domestic Violence, a felony of the third degree
- Having Weapons Under Disability, a felony of the third degree
- Intimidation of a Crime Victim, a misdemeanor of the first degree, and
- Violation of a Protection Order, a misdemeanor of the first degree

Spaulding's case was the first capital murder case prosecuted in Domestic Violence Court.

He will officially be sentenced on Feb. 15.

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