Akron man convicted of killing mother of his children eligible for death penalty

AKRON, Ohio - A Summit County jury found an Akron man guilty of killing the mother of his two young children.

Erica Singleton filed a civil protection order and was hiding from her boyfriend, 30-year-old Dawud Spaulding. On Dec. 15, Spaulding found out where Singleton was staying, drove by and shot Patrick Griffin, who was paralyzed, prosecutors said.

Later, Spaulding shot and killed Singleton and Ernie Thomas, Griffin's uncle, in the driveway. Singleton was the mother of Spaulding's 7-year-old son and 2-year-old daughter.

On Friday, a jury convicted Spaulding of two counts of aggravated murder, attempted murder, felonious assault, domestic violence, having weapons under a disability, intimidation of a crime victim and violation of a protection order.

"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."

The mitigation phase of the trial is set to begin Dec. 4, when the jury will recommend life or death.

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