[Deathpenalty]death penalty news----OHIO
rhalperi at mail.smu.edu
Fri Dec 31 13:04:43 CST 2004
Ohio high court upholds decision to overturn murder conviction
The Ohio Supreme Court has upheld its decision to throw out the death
sentence and conviction of a man accused of killing 2 college students.
The court ruled 6-1 on Tuesday to deny a prosecutor's request to
reconsider its decision that authorities made a mistake in trying Terrell
Yarbrough in Ohio for the 1999 killings of Brian Muha, 18, of Westerville,
and Aaron Land, 20, of Philadelphia, both students at Franciscan
University of Steubenville.
In its Dec. 1 ruling, the court said Yarbrough should have been tried in
Pennsylvania where the 2 were killed.
John C. Pettit, the district attorney in Pennsylvania's Washington County,
now plans to try Yarbrough. Pettit expects Pennsylvania homicide charges
to be filed against Yarbrough in January.
Pettit said the victims' families support a new trial.
In their efforts to have the murder convictions upheld, Ohio prosecutors
have argued that a homicide occurred in Ohio if any part of the victim's
body is found in the state, according to state law. They said drops of
blood from both victims were found in Ohio.
The students were robbed and kidnapped at their apartment in Steubenville,
but were shot execution-style 12 miles away along a western Pennsylvania
A jury found Yarbrough was the triggerman. His accomplice, Nathan Herring,
23, is serving life in prison without parole.
Yarbrough, 24, must finish a 59-year prison sentence for his robbery,
kidnapping and burglary convictions because those crimes happened in
Steubenville, according to the Supreme Court's rulings.
(source: Associated Press)
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