Lawyers for 3-year-old’s killer ask Ohio board for mercy

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s parole board is hearing arguments for and against mercy for the first death row inmate scheduled for execution next year under a new process for putting condemned prisoners to death.

Ronald Phillips is set to die Jan. 12 for the 1993 rape and killing of his girlfriend’s 3-year-old daughter.

A hearing before the Ohio Parole Board is scheduled for Thursday.

Phillips’ attorneys have asked the board in a written filing to spare Phillips, calling the case tragic but arguing that Phillips as an individual is not one of the worst of the worst offenders.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh says Phillips has consistently blamed others for his actions and it’s time for justice to be served.

The board rejected clemency in 2013 for Phillips.