Ohio News Briefs

Condemned Ohio killer puts 2nd stay request before justices

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A condemned child killer in Ohio has made a second appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court in an effort to stop his scheduled execution.

Ronald Phillips asked the high court Thursday for an emergency stay based on his age at the time of the murder. He was 19, older than the Supreme Court’s cutoff of 18 for purposes of barring executions of juveniles. His request argues the age should be 21.

Also before the court is Phillips’ request for an emergency stay based on an execution method he and other inmates have challenged.

Phillips is set to die Wednesday in what would be Ohio’s first execution in more than three years.

Phillips was sentenced to death for the 1993 rape and killing of Sheila Marie Evans, his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter.

City refunds $34,000 to motorists ticketed from speed camera

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio city has refunded $34,000 to motorists for 270 tickets issued this year by police officers who incorrectly used hand-held speed cameras at a school zone.

The Blade reports the refunds result from Toledo police measuring speeds outside the posted 20 mph zone. A police lieutenant says the speed sign was improperly placed.

An additional 174 tickets issued between Jan. 1 and April 13 that are listed as being in default or have been sent to a collection agency have been forgiven.

More than 100 people were ticketed at the school zone on Feb. 1, including a Toledo city councilman and his wife. Their tickets were dismissed after Councilman Rob Ludeman pointed out the problem to Police Chief George Kral.

Ohio coroner stops accepting Cincinnati sexual assault cases

CINCINNATI (AP) — An Ohio coroner says she will no longer accept sexual assault cases from Cincinnati, citing a backload of 566 cases.

Dr. Lakshmi Sammarco sent a letter to the Cincinnati Police Department June 6 saying the Hamilton County coroner’s office is returning about 70 sexual assault cases.

The police chief then sent a letter to the city manager, saying staff will now deliver rape kits to the state lab in London, Ohio.

City Manager Harry Black says there will be “significant delays” due to the “sudden and unexpected disruption.” However, Sammarco says her decision will actually speed up testing.

Mayor John Cranley supported Sammarco’s decision Wednesday, saying the change does not compromise victims’ rights to obtain justice.

Sammarco says her officer will reevaluate its caseload at the end of the year.

EPA files lawsuit against Ohio city

CLEVELAND HEIGHTS, Ohio (AP) — The Environmental Protection Agency and the Justice Department have filed a lawsuit against an Ohio city, saying it allowed raw sewage to flow into Lake Erie tributaries.

The Plain Dealer reports Cleveland Heights had denied any liability related to the sewage overflow alleged in the lawsuit filed Wednesday.

The city has signed a consent decree that requires it to take steps to upgrade its sewer system. Officials estimate the first phase of work will cost $12 million over the next four years, and customers can expect an $18.73 increase on their monthly sewer bill.

City Manager Tanisha Briley says the city is looking at the “most cost-effective and impactful remedies.”

An EPA spokeswoman says the agency has jurisdiction over the city while the sewage problems are being addressed.

Authorities find woman’s body in trunk of car in Ohio

GREENVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Authorities say a man suspected of holding his girlfriend against her will has been arrested in Ohio with a body believed to be his girlfriend’s in the trunk of his car.

Elyria police in northeast Ohio say the Darke County Sheriff’s Department near Greenville received a call Wednesday to investigate a report about an impaired driver. Elyria police Capt. Christopher Costantino says deputies found a car in a ditch with a man wearing only underwear and socks outside the car.

Investigators determined he was the boyfriend suspected of taking Linnea Satterfield from her Elyria home against her will and took him into custody. It wasn’t immediately clear whether he had been formally charged.

Elyria police say they found blood Monday at Satterfield’s home after her sister reported her missing.