DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) - What happens to the murder case against a man who died inside a prison cell before ever making it trial?
It's going to take a death certificate to move the proceedings against Dameon Wesley forward.
Prosecutors say a gag order issued in March prevents them from discussing the case.
But, simply put, it brings the capital murder case that could have dragged on for years, to a quick end.
"I'm sorry I took your world away from you Dawan. That was not my intent. I love you," said Dameon Wesley.
Minutes after his February arrest, Wesley apologized for the shooting that killed his ex-girlfriend's 13 year-old daughter and wounded her niece.
It was a short explanation but, the only one we will ever get.
The Montgomery County Sheriff says he was alone in his cell when he died and there were no signs of foul play or suicide.
"We really never had any problems out of him as an inmate. he was a model inmate. he was of course well schooled on the system because he's been in the system so long, so he was very respectful to the staff, he never caused us any problems," said Sheriff Phil Plummer.
Wesley was arrested in February, after a two-day long manhunt that captivated the community. He was accused of shooting and killing 13-year-old Briona Rodgers.
13 year-old A'lonta Culpepper was critically wounded in the shooting.
We reached out to the teen victims' families Thursday afternoon.
"I think it's important that we give them their privacy at this time and that we respect and honor their wishes," said Reverend Jerome McCorry.
McCorry spoke on the families behalf...
"I think where closure is concerned, it gives the family to at least put some closure there but at the same time I think that it is still devastating news. I think there are people who would rather of seen this play out in courts for real justice, but I think at the same time, the family understands, just as I understand this is an unfortunate situation and there is nothing we can do to change that."
Wesley was charged with murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery and stalking. He was facing the death penalty, a typically long and expensive legal process.
However callous Wesley's sudden passing, it saved a lot of taxpayer money.
Because of the gag order still in place, the Montgomery County Prosecutor's office could not comment on fees for attorneys or trial.
Sheriff Plummer says it costs $24,000 a year to house an inmate. In similar capital murder cases, inmates have spent as long as two years behind bars awaiting trial. That adds up to $48,000.
If Wesley had been found guilty, the minimum sentence was life in prison with an option for parole after 20 years. Do the math and it adds up to a half million dollars.
An autopsy has been completed, but the cause of death is pending.
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