Twinsburg Bulletin - Ohio Sup. Ct. justices won't step down in Ashford Thompson's dp case

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Steve Hall

Nov 14, 2014, 10:29:53 AM11/14/14

November 13, 2014  | Twinsburg Bulletin


Ohio Supreme Court justices won't step down in Ashford Thompson's death penalty case


Columbus — Two Ohio Supreme Court justices say they won’t step down from former Glenwood Drive resident Ashford Thompson’s death penalty case despite a defense attorney’s allegation of potential bias.


The lawyer for condemned killer Thompson, now 30 and on death row in the Chillicothe Correctional Institution for the July 2008 murder of Twinsburg Police Officer Joshua Miktarian, said Nov. 10 that Justices Judi French and Sharon Kennedy cast votes that upheld Thompson’s death sentence in the midst of campaigns that focused on their support for law enforcement.


French and Kennedy both said Nov. 13 without comment they won’t step down.


Defense attorney Rachel Troutman wants a new hearing for Thompson, arguing campaign commercials for both justices demonstrated a tough-on-crime strategy that would be undermined by granting relief to a man who had killed a police officer.


At issue is the court’s 4-3 ruling Oct. 29, which upheld Thompson’s death penalty after an appeal by Thompson.


French, who wrote the majority opinion, ruled that the intentional way that Thompson shot Miktarian outweighed the offender’s arguments for mercy.


“The nature and circumstances of the crime do not support Thompson’s claims of panic,” French wrote.


In a dissent, Justice William O’Neill said evidence showed Thompson was confused and frightened after he was pulled over and mistakenly believed the officer was going to attack him.


Miktarian, 33, of Tallmadge, was shot twice at close range July 13, 2008, then twice more with the barrel pressed against the officer’s head, after pulling Thompson over for loud music and suspicion of OVI just before 2 a.m. Thompson was arrested at his sister’s Bedford Heights apartment later that night after the shooting with the officer’s handcuffs hanging from his right wrist, according to the court’s ruling.


Thompson’s execution has been set for April 5, 2017.

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Editor’s note: Editor Andrew Schunk contributed to this report.

Email: | Phone: 330-541-9424 | Twitter: @twinsburgohio


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Steve Hall

The StandDown Texas Project

PO Box 13475

Austin, TX  78711


512.879.1675  (o

512.627.3011  (m

Skype: shall78711




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