Ohio killer spared after extent of childhood abuse revealed

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich has spared a condemned killer whose sentence was challenged after a juror came forward with concerns that the extent of the inmate’s childhood abuse was shielded at trial.

The Republican governor on Friday commuted the sentence of death row inmate Raymond Tibbetts to life without the possibility of parole.

The 61-year-old Tibbetts was sentenced to death for killing Fred Hicks at Hicks’ Cincinnati home in 1997.

Ex-juror Ross Geiger came forward last year, saying jurors weren’t given enough information about Tibbetts’ childhood.

Geiger said he was surprised to learn recently of the abuse Tibbetts and his brothers suffered, including not being fed properly, being thrown down stairs, having their fingers beaten with spatulas and being burned on heating registers.

Kasich also granted a reprieve to delay the execution of Cleveland Jackson, who was convicted in 2002 and sentenced to death for the murder of 17-year-old Leneshia Williams and three-year-old Jayla Grant in Cincinnati.

The Governor’s office said the reprieve will delay Jackson’s execution until May 29, 2019, to allow his newly appointed legal counsel sufficient time to review the case and properly prepare his clemency hearing before the parole board.

Jackson’s previous court-appointed counsel withdrew their representation just four months prior to his initially scheduled execution after admitting that they failed to do any work to prepare his clemency application over the course of the previous four years.

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