Ohio Convict Found Hanged Days Before Execution
Billy Slagle had been trying to get a new trial, was denied clemency
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2013 11:00 AM CDT
This undated file photo shows Billy Slagle. Slagle, facing execution Wednesday was found hanged in his cell at the Chillecothe, Ohio Correctional Institution Sunday morning, Aug. 4, 2013.   ((AP Photo/Ohio Department of Rehabilitation, File))

(Newser) – An Ohio convict sitting on death row was found hanged in his cell this morning, just days before he was to be executed on Wednesday. Billy Slagle, 44, was declared dead shortly after he was found at 5am; he had been convicted in the 1987 fatal stabbing of a Cleveland neighbor during a burglary, reports the AP. But his pending execution wasn't without controversy: The Cuyahoga County prosecutor had asked for clemency from the state parole board, arguing that modern jurors would have given Slagle life without parole; attorneys were also seeking a new trial. They contended that a jury never heard details of Slagle's childhood, and he was convicted at age 18—barely old enough to qualify for the death penalty. The parole board and Gov. John Kasich had both rejected clemency.