Billy Slagle: Death Row Inmate Found Hanged In Cell Nearly Avoided Execution

Billy Slagle: Death Row Inmate Found Hanged In Cell Could Have Avoided Execution

BIlly Slagle once appeared to have a decent chance to avoid execution by the state of Ohio, but after his last bid was rejected the inmate decided to take matters into his own hands.

With time winding down until the state planned to put Slagle to death for the fatal stabbing of a neighbor, he committed suicide inside his jail cell. He was found hanged at close to 5 am on Sunday.

Billy Slagle died just hours before the prison was to begin round-the-clock supervision as part of his pre-execution watch.

In the weeks leading up to his planned execution, it appeared that Slagle may be spared. The prosecutor in Cleveland had asked the state’s parole board to spare Slagle, saying if the case were tried again today they would not have sought the death penalty.

When he was 18, Slagle broke into the home of his neighbor, Mari Anne Pope. Slagle attacked Pope, stabbing her 17 times with a pair of scissors while the woman’s two young children watched in horror.

An attorney for Slagle argued that his jury was denied the chance to hear about the young man’s difficult childhood. In his teenage years, Slagle lived without supervision and suffered from alcoholism in his family. Billy also admitted to being drunk and high at the time of the murder.

Billy’s counsel argued that his original attorney dropped the ball by failing to develop and prevent the evidence of his upbringing, which could have warranted a new trial had an appeal been made in time.

He was nearly saved because of his age. At 18, Slagle just qualified for the death penalty in Ohio.

In all Billy Slagle spent 24 years on death row, and was being readied for a transfer to the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility when he was found hanged in his cell. His execution would have been on Tuesday.