The Montgomery County Prosecutor’s Office is handling four pending death penalty cases, which court experts say take more time and resources — some studies say they are six times more expensive — for a gamble at a capital conviction.
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Active death-penalty prosecutions
A look at the number of criminal cases in which the prosecutor sought the death penalty in Ohio’s eight biggest counties by population, through mid-April.
Butler County: 0
Cuyahoga County: 2 or 3, if Marlon Ricks, a convicted killer who allegedly murdered again, is prosecuted with death penalty specifications.
Franklin County: 1
Hamilton County: At least 4 through early April, though the county does not keep an official total.
Lucas County: 1
Montgomery County: 4, after Dameon Wesley’s death Thursday.
Stark County: 0
Summit County: 2 or 3, pending official charges from a double-homicide earlier this month. .
Montgomery County active death penalty cases
Prosecutor Mat Heck Jr.’s office has four current cases in which it is seeking the death penalty, two from killings in 2011, one from 2012 and one from 2013. The defendant in a fifth case, filed in 2013, died in jail Thursday.
Harvey Lee Jones: Police say Jones killed both Carly Hughley, 32, and Demetrius Beckwith, 29, in front of Hughley’s 10-year-old son, who plans to testify at trial. Jones was indicted April 11. No court dates have been set.
Jamie Shaffer: Accused, along with Sellers, of killing 20-year-old Lisa Spinks in September 2011 and then dumping her body on railroad tracks in Miamisburg. Shaffer’s trial has been continued multiple times, the latest to May 13.
Joshua Sellers: Accused, along with Shaffer, of the killing listed above. Sellers’ trial has been continued multiple times, the latest schedule indicating a trial start date of Aug. 5.
Anthony Stargell: While his uncle, Dwight, likely faces a long federal sentence for gun and drug trafficking, Anthony Stargell was indicted for killing Dayton business owner Tommy Nickles and his dog before setting Nickles’ building on fire in April 2012. No trial date has been set.
Dameon Wesley: The paroled convicted murderer was indicted for killing 13-year-old Briona Rodgers and shooting another girl in the head in February. Wesley was found dead in his jail cell earlier this week.