Triple Homicide Trial: Sentencing Phase Day 1

Watch for live updates in the sentencing phase of the trial of Curtis Clinton.
Sandusky Register Staff
Nov 12, 2013


UPDATE 3:27 p.m. — The jury recommended Curtis Clinton be sentenced to death, for each of the deaths of Heather Jackson, 23, and her children, Celina, 3, and Wayne Jr., 20 months.

Erie County Common Pleas Judge Tygh Tone set a sentencing hearing for Nov. 14, where he'll hand down Clinton's final sentence. Tone could take the jury's recommendation for the death penalty, or he could sentence Clinton to life in prison without parole.


UPDATE 11:29 a.m. — Serial killer Curtis Clinton, 42, took the stand in his own defense Tuesday morning, claiming his innocence and pleading with jurors to spare his life.

For an hour and a half, he shared non-linear points about evidence he thought jurors should question, from the odds forensic scientists calculated in analyzing DNA evidence, to his disbelief that someone would believe he could rape and kill a child when he has three of his own.

Clinton took the stand to make an unsworn statement, exempting him from questioning by both his attorneys and prosecutors, leaving him unchecked to speak to jurors for 90 minutes.

The members of the three families he victimized, filling half of Erie County Common Pleas Judge Tygh Tone's courtroom, mostly remained quiet, enduring his monologue.

Security deputies, however, kept a close eye on Nick Fee, brother of murder victim Heather Jackson, 23, and uncle to her two children, Celina, 3, and Wayne Jr., 20 months.

Fee, who has stared down Clinton during every hearing since the killer was arrested, leaned forward in his seat, rested his arms on the barrier between the galley and the rest of the court, and clasped his hands as Clinton talked.

The 17-year-old Clyde girl Clinton raped the week before he killed the Jackson family also remained in the courtroom with her parents, and the family of Misty Keckler, an 18-year-old woman Clinton strangled to death in 1997, endured his sentencing hearing for the second time.

Special prosecutor Paul Scarsella, assisting Erie County prosecutor Kevin Baxter, submitted only a handful of evidence to the jury — autopsy photos of Celina and Wayne, DNA reports, and autopsy reports from the case.

Clinton's attorneys did not present opening or closing statements or call any of the witnesses to present the case they had prepared in his defense.

Clinton, they said, asked them not to.

The jury, now deliberating whether to give Clinton the death penalty, must decide whether the circumstances of the Jackson family's death outweigh all other factors that may have led to Clinton committing the murders.

In his closing statements, Scarsella submitted there were no such factors — that in Clinton's 90 minutes on the stand, he had presented nothing.

"What mitigating factors are there?" he said. "The answer to that question, truthfully, there are none."

During his time on the stand, Clinton told jurors it didn't matter what he decided, he would appeal it.

"I get to fight," he said.


— Due to graphic testimony, viewer discretion is advised —

Watch for live updates in the player below


Stop It

Your livestream player won't work with my win7 machine. Which codec do I need?

EDIT: nevermind. just had to turn to IE instead of firefox.


Its streaming on firefox windows 7 for me


he should have been begging for his life instead of spewing that bull


Yea and one can only hope the jury will see throough all this and make Justice Prevail ..I am glad I am not the one on this jury , I am not against the death if there is no doubt he did what he was convicted of.
And there is one thing that really bothers me about when he talked about evidence that was not tested , well I guess your Lawyer didnt see the need to test it either , or Your lawyers should have made a motion to have the test made on all the remaining evidence the state did not test .The state tested what needed to be tested and the tests showed a link between the defendant and the crime that took place .I dont see why they should keep testing all the evidence that was taken from the scene when they did enough testing that proved .1 that a crime had been comitted and two the Clinton was the one that did it

Good 2 B Me

What a fool. He is daring the jury to give him death by telling them that he will fight it.

Let's hope for Prison Justice long before any appeals.

red white and blue

I wish they could put him to death as soon as the jury convicts him. I personaly think it should be a public hanging and him with a gag .the victims can't talk so he shouldn't be able to



4-wheeler al

I believe in justice not 25 years of day should be good for him.


Justice would only be served if HE was choked to death...and a large item inserted,well I'll leave that to your imagination.


Wow! Judge Tone in open court stated that he wants to destroy the jury questionnaires......what an idiot.

Now, I certainly hope that someone files a grievance against him for attempting to destroy evidence in a murder trial. Yeah, that's right a grievance..... because it's obvious that he's been hanging with Baxter way too long.


Well, it doesn't really matter from here on because Baxter just gave Clinton grounds to get a new trial based upon his trade mark........prosecutorial misconduct.


I also find it rather interesting that Baxter required supervision from the AG's office regarding this case.

Yeah, that's right........a


I say stick him in a room with Nick Fee, Heather's brother, shut & lock the door for a few minutes. I am positive justice will undoubtedly be served!


If their was real justice he should be turned over to the families of the victims. Now that would be justice in my eyes. And whatthebuck, I bet under 12 hours, I feel like he would get what he deserves real real quick.... I just want to know how Mr. Clinton explains his DNA in and on that little girl... You stupid, retarded, child molesting, murdering animal. I hope their is a God and a hell, and you have to explain your actions to the highest authority.. Some people deserve torture and he is one of them people, you cant die quick enough for me you sick sick monster


Totally agree with your comments about the brother. Clinton is psychologicaly beating him. I understsnd as much as i can, and know he wants to kill Clinton, but you cant throw your life away by pulling a Carl Ray (Samuel L) in A Time to Kill. You have a few options though nick , once you find out what prison he is going to be in. Contact some AB and I'm sure for a few ramen noodles and a phone card, it might get taken care of. Them boys are going despise what he did anyways. ( maybe I have watched to many movies, or maybe you need to talk to few people)


No here it is, Tone gives him the death sentence, Clinton should be taken directly to Grafton or wherever we execute inmates in Ohio. Put him straight on death row and have him in the ground within a week. Dna has been matched, there are no other appeals. Express Checkout!! Stop wasting the taxpayers money! Im sure he's gonna end up dying in prison before his execution date of 20+ years.. Taxpayers are gonna pay for this guy to live another 20 just to be executed..The state keeps him alive just to execute them. The get eye glasses and false teeth if needed. for 20+ yrs as our justice systems in the toilet. Fix the justice system n lets start with this over with!


Glad Justice is gonna be served! Hope he rots in hell the rest of his life!

red white and blue

Lugnut ^^^ afyer your comment I wish there was a double like button

Simple Enough II

Who classified him as a serial killer or did SR just use that description?

he said she said

He's wasted enough money sitting in the county and then this trial where he says that he's not guilty (and I'm an airplane if he's not!!) and that the dna testing should exclude him. I say: 1 appeal, 365 days and on the 366th day, hang his a$$ in the gallows on the court house lawn.


Just take your sentence and deal with it killer u have to live the rest of your life knowing u killed 2 innocent children


They should sentence him to Lucasville. His last stint in prison evidently didn't scare him enough so put him in a place where hardened criminals will beat his evil, arrogant attitude right out of him if they dont beat him to death first!!