Ohio inmate seeks last-minute execution delay for 1987 Cleveland murder

COLUMBUS, Ohio - A jury never got the chance to hear the full details of condemned killer Billy Slagle's troubled childhood, his attorneys argued Tuesday as they asked for a new trial and tried to delay his execution next week.

The information about Slagle's early years meets requirements for asking for a new trial, which normally must happen within four months of a conviction, his attorneys said in a Cuyahoga County court filing.

Slagle, 44, was "unavoidably prevented" from filing his request because his original attorneys didn't develop and present the evidence, the filing said.

"The jury did not know that drinking, violence, and neglect were constant occurrences in Billy Slagle's home life," the filing said.

The jury also didn't learn that Slagle's substance abuse treatment at a hospital failed because his family didn't participate, the attorneys argued.

Such long-shot arguments aren't unheard of, but Slagle's request comes with a twist. The Cuyahoga County prosecutor, who normally would oppose such last-minute filings, has pushed for Slagle to be spared.

Prosecutor Tim McGinty has said his office wouldn't seek a death sentence today in Slagle's case. He argues it is unlikely a current jury with the option of life without parole, not available when Slagle's neighbor was killed in 1987, would sentence him to death. A message was left with McGinty about the filing.

Slagle also must persuade the Ohio Supreme Court to delay the execution, a request Slagle's attorneys made Tuesday.

Slagle was sentenced to die for fatally stabbing neighbor Mari Anne Pope 17 times in a burglary during which two young children were present.

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

The Ohio Parole Board and Republican Gov. John Kasich have rejected Slagle's request for mercy.
   ------
Andrew Welsh-Huggins can be reached on Twitter at https://twitter.com/awhcolumbus

Print this article Back to Top

Comments

Related Stories

Guard investigated in Ohio inmate Billy Slagle Guard investigated in Ohio inmate Billy Slagle's suicide reinstated

An Ohio prisons guard can stay on with state under an agreement that follows a review into the suicide of a death row inmate.

Analysis: Tough times for Ohio prison system Analysis: Tough times for Ohio prison system

Ohio's prison system has faced a glut of bad news in recent months, from inmate suicides to four homicides in a single prison in about a year, but long-term population growth trends are causing officials the most headaches.

Ohio prison suicides not limited to mentally ill; Inmates Ariel Castro, Billy Slagle recent suicides Ohio prison suicides not limited to mentally ill; Inmates Ariel Castro, Billy Slagle recent suicides

The report finds that suicides generally occur in high security prisons and in reception facilities where inmates first enter the system.

Coroner: Ohio death row inmate Billy Slagle hanged self with nylon belt Coroner: Ohio death row inmate Billy Slagle hanged self with nylon belt

As more details emerged Tuesday about the suicide of a death row inmate last month, the state prison system announced a review of inmate suicides going back two years.

Report: Log of Ohio death row inmate Billy Slagle Report: Log of Ohio death row inmate Billy Slagle's suicide falsified

A report says one and possibly two prison guards falsified an electronic log documenting checks on an Ohio death row inmate who committed suicide.

Another Ohio prison inmate James Blackburn commits suicide after Ariel Castro, Billy Slagle Another Ohio prison inmate James Blackburn commits suicide after Ariel Castro, Billy Slagle

The state says a prison inmate has committed suicide, the third case of an Ohio prisoner killing himself in two months.

Lawyer: Hanged death row inmate, Cleveland killer Billy Slagle didn Lawyer: Hanged death row inmate, Cleveland killer Billy Slagle didn't know about late appeal

A lawyer in Ohio says death row inmate who apparently hanged himself over the weekend didn't know his legal team had just received new information about his case that could have delayed his scheduled execution.

Autopsy: Condemned Cleveland killer Billy Slagle apparently hanged self Autopsy: Condemned Cleveland killer Billy Slagle apparently hanged self

An autopsy shows that a death row inmate in Ohio apparently hanged himself three days before his execution.

Condemned Ohio killer Billy Slagle found hanged in cell Sunday morning Condemned Ohio killer Billy Slagle found hanged in cell Sunday morning

A man condemned to death for fatally stabbing a neighbor during a Cleveland burglary was found hanged in his cell Sunday just days before his Wednesday execution.

Condemned Ohio inmate Billy Slagle wants death sentenced tossed Condemned Ohio inmate Billy Slagle wants death sentenced tossed

Lawyers for a condemned inmate scheduled to die next week have asked the Ohio Supreme Court to toss out his death sentence.