Governor spares obese Ohio killer - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Governor spares obese Ohio killer

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio Gov. John Kasich on Monday spared a condemned inmate who says he's too fat to be humanely executed.

Kasich followed a recommendation of mercy by the state parole board, which said it didn't doubt Ronald Post's guilt but said there were too many problems with how he was represented 30 years ago. Post, who weighs 450 pounds, never raised the issue of his size with the board.

In its Friday decision, the parole board rejected arguments made by Post's attorneys that he deserves mercy because of lingering doubts about his "legal and moral guilt" in a woman's death, but it said it couldn't ignore perceived missteps by his lawyers.

Post was scheduled to die Jan. 16 for killing Elyria motel clerk Helen Vantz in a 1983 robbery.

"Post took Vantz's life, devastating the lives of her loved ones in the process," the board said in its 5-3 decision. But it said a majority of its members agreed his sentence should be commuted to life in prison without chance of parole because of omissions, missed opportunities and questionable decisions made by his previous attorneys and because that legal representation didn't meet expectations for a death penalty case.

Dissenting parole board members said it was clear Post killed Vantz and that questionable moves by his attorneys don't outweigh the circumstances of the case.

Separately, Post had argued in federal court that executing him would amount to cruel and unusual punishment. His attorneys said he would suffer "a torturous and lingering death" as executioners tried to find a vein or use a backup method where lethal drugs are injected directly into muscle.

Vantz's sons, William and Michael, have said they believe in Post's guilt. William Vantz characterized Post's obesity claim as "another way for a coward to try and get out of what debt he owes to society."

The long-held presumption that Post confessed to the murder to several people has been falsely exaggerated, Post's attorneys have argued. Post admitted involvement in the crime as the getaway driver to a police informant but didn't admit to the killing.

"Sure ain't no murderer," Post told that informant, according to Post's clemency filing.

Post's attorneys argued that prosecutors misrepresented to the judge that Post had confessed to sole involvement in Vantz's death.

"The death penalty should be reserved for cases where proof of guilt is reliable and the legal system produced a just result," the defense had said. "Neither criteria is met in this case."

Lorain County prosecutor Dennis Will had pointed to the written no contest plea, in which Post acknowledged responsibility, as "a compelling reason" to reject clemency.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

  • Headlines from Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Fulton & Monroe CountiesNewsMore>>

  • Man accused of sucking toes appears in court

    Man accused of sucking toes appears in court

    Friday, April 20 2018 5:55 PM EDT2018-04-20 21:55:19 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    A man accused of sucking a woman's toes without her permission had a brief appearance in court Friday. Prosecutors claim Joseph Jones assaulted the woman inside a Meijer store in Bowling Green, last spring. Jones will  be back in court in July 13th for a pretrial hearing and his trial date is set for late august. In August of 2017, a judge found Jones  guilty of a similar crime in Toledo. He already served his time in that case. Follow WTOL:   Download our app...More >>
    A man accused of sucking a woman's toes without her permission had a brief appearance in court Friday. Prosecutors claim Joseph Jones assaulted the woman inside a Meijer store in Bowling Green, last spring. Jones will  be back in court in July 13th for a pretrial hearing and his trial date is set for late august. In August of 2017, a judge found Jones  guilty of a similar crime in Toledo. He already served his time in that case. Follow WTOL:   Download our app...More >>
  • Local business owner reacts to brick and mortar stores closing

    Local business owner reacts to brick and mortar stores closing

    Friday, April 20 2018 5:27 PM EDT2018-04-20 21:27:22 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)

    We told you earlier this week, Elder Beerman stores and all others under the Bon-Ton parent company will soon close. It's the latest in a string of brick and mortar stores either shutting down, or in serious trouble. Is it enough to worry local, small business owners? WTOL 11 stopped by Lily's at Levis, Friday afternoon. The store was fairly busy. Lynda and Rod Brown of Defiance were among the shoppers looking for good finds for their home an...

    More >>

    We told you earlier this week, Elder Beerman stores and all others under the Bon-Ton parent company will soon close. It's the latest in a string of brick and mortar stores either shutting down, or in serious trouble. Is it enough to worry local, small business owners? WTOL 11 stopped by Lily's at Levis, Friday afternoon. The stor

    More >>
  • Toledo celebrates Rogers High School girls' basketball team with downtown parade

    Toledo celebrates Rogers High School girls' basketball team with downtown parade

    Friday, April 20 2018 5:04 PM EDT2018-04-20 21:04:05 GMT
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    (Source: WTOL)(Source: WTOL)
    The city of Toledo is honoring the Rogers High School girls' basketball team Saturday afternoon. The Lady Rams made history this year when they won the Division II state championship. The team will be honored with a parade downtown which starts at 11 a.m. It will start on north St. Clair Street and go to Jackson, then onto Summit Street and end at Promenade Park. There will be a 30-minute rally in the park and Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz will present the team with the key to...More >>
    The city of Toledo is honoring the Rogers High School girls' basketball team Saturday afternoon. The Lady Rams made history this year when they won the Division II state championship. The team will be honored with a parade downtown which starts at 11 a.m. It will start on north St. Clair Street and go to Jackson, then onto Summit Street and end at Promenade Park. There will be a 30-minute rally in the park and Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz will present the team with the key to...More >>
Powered by Frankly