Pregnant woman's condemned Ohio killer seeks mercy
Written by ANDREW WELSH-HUGGINS, AP Legal Affairs Writer   
Friday, 13 December 2013 06:38

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A condemned inmate who raped and killed a pregnant woman deserves mercy because of his chaotic and abusive childhood and the failure of his original attorneys to work hard enough on his behalf, the defendant's new lawyers argued before the Ohio state Parole Board.

Death row prisoner Dennis McGuire also was mentally, physically and sexually abused as a child and has impaired brain function that makes him prone to act impulsively, the lawyers said in a filing with the board, which heard McGuire's case for clemency Thursday.

"Dennis was at risk from the moment he was born. The lack of proper nutrition, chaotic home environment, abuse, lack of positive supervision and lack of positive role models all affected Dennis' brain development," the lawyers said in the filing.

McGuire is scheduled to die Jan. 16 for the February 1989 stabbing death of Joy Stewart in western Ohio's Preble County.

The state plans to use a never-tried lethal injection process on the 53-year-old McGuire, with the specific chemicals to be announced two weeks before the execution.

Ohio man to seek clemency in hospital bed killing
Written by KANTELE FRANKO, Associated Press   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 15:30

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A man convicted of fatally shooting his ailing wife in her hospital bed will seek clemency from the governor after his sentencing Friday, even if the judge follows a prosecutor's recommendation for a lighter punishment because of the unique circumstances of the case.

John Wise, 68, has said he shot his debilitated wife out of love in August 2012 after she suffered an aneurysm and appeared to be in pain at an Akron hospital. Mercy is not a defense to a murder charge in Ohio.

Wise, of Massillon, was convicted on charges including aggravated murder with a firearm specification, which could carry a life sentence.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh called Wise's actions illegal and dangerous but said the case warrants sentencing leniency. She has recommended that Wise be sentenced on a lesser crime and get a six-year term.

"In light of the unique facts of this case, a shorter prison sentence is just," she said in a statement.

Michigan hunter details his Alaska survival tale
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 12:04

GRAND LEDGE, Mich. (AP) — A Michigan hunter who lived to tell the tale of his harrowing week in the Alaskan wilderness has attributed his survival to luck, guile and faith.

Adrian Knopps was stranded with no food, shelter or warm clothes. He was sleep-deprived, hallucinating and slipping into hypothermia.

Resigned that he would die, the 51-year-old electrician from Grand Ledge carved a farewell message on his rifle and collapsed.

That's when a Coast Guard helicopter came to his rescue.

"It probably was the most wonderful sound I ever heard," he told The Detroit News (http://bit.ly/1e7HIGY ).

Authorities say four dead in SW Ohio house fire
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 15:29

KETTERING, Ohio (AP) — An intense early morning house fire killed four people inside a suburban southwest Ohio home Thursday, authorities said.

The Ohio State Fire Marshal's office said investigators at the scene believe there were seven people in the house in the Dayton suburb of Kettering. Three people escaped, one with injuries. No other details on them were released immediately.

The upper part of the home collapsed into the basement, fire marshal's spokesman Michael Duchesne said. Two neighboring homes also were damaged.

Neighbors said a family of seven — four children, two parents and a grandparent — lived in the home, The Dayton Daily News reported. Kari Basson of the Kettering City School District said police had notified the district that some of its students were involved. District crisis management teams planned to address the situation in the affected schools, she said.

Neighbors called 911 at around 3:50 a.m. to report the fire.

Group wants Columbus arena payment issue on ballot
Written by Associated Press   
Thursday, 12 December 2013 11:34

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A group wants Columbus residents to vote on whether the city should be paying for its professional hockey team's home arena, and it has collected enough signatures to get the issue on the May ballot.

That means voters will be asked whether to end the city's purchase contract for Nationwide Arena, home of the Columbus Blue Jackets.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1gpzRVp ) reports elections officials confirmed the citizens group collected more than the roughly 5,000 verified signatures needed to put the initiative on the ballot.

The president of the group says it doesn't object to the arena but thinks the public should have had a say in the purchase agreement. The city and county agreed in 2011 to use casino tax revenue to help buy and maintain the facility for decades.


Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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