Ohio high court upholds Akron killer Phillip Jones' death sentence

COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld the aggravated murder conviction and death sentence of a man found guilty of raping and strangling a woman in a northeast Ohio cemetery.

The court ruled 6-1 Thursday in Phillip Jones' appeal. The Akron man was convicted of murdering and raping Susan Yates who was found dead April 23, 2007, in Summit County.

Jones testified he accidentally killed Yates in the midst of "rough" consensual sex. He appealed to have his conviction overturned or the sentence reduced to life in prison.

The court rejected claims including that Jones' fair trial rights were violated when he was asked to demonstrate on a life-sized doll how he accidentally killed the woman. The court noted Jones didn't object.

Jones' attorneys didn't immediately return a call for comment.

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