Jury: Clinton deserves to die

Judge Tone to decide killer’s ultimate fate
Jessica Cuffman
Nov 13, 2013

 

Three lives taken.

Three recommendations from a 12-person jury that Curtis Clinton should be put to death.

“Heaven couldn’t wait,” say the T-shirts worn by family and friends of murder victims Heather Jackson, 23, and her two children, Celina, 3, and Wayne Jr., 20 months.

There will likely be a place in hell for their killer, if the victims’ family members have their say.

Click HERE for continued coverage of the triple homicide

“I just hope I live long enough. I’d like to be there to watch him go,” said Herb Lynch, Heather’s father and the grandfather of her children. His words came on the heels of the jury’s recommendation Tuesday that Clinton be sentenced to death for the Sept. 8, 2012, murders of Heather and her children.

Last week, the same jurors convicted Clinton, 42, of multiple counts of aggravated murder. They also convicted him of rape for sexually assaulting Celina the night she was killed and sexually assaulting a 17-year-old Clyde girl in an unrelated attack about a week before the murders.

Prosecutors submitted just a few pieces of evidence to jurors on Tuesday — DNA reports, autopsy reports, and two photos of Celina and Wayne’s brutalized bodies. But it was all they needed to convince jurors that Clinton should be sentenced to death.

Clinton’s defense attorneys made no opening or closing statements and, at Clinton’s request, they presented no witnesses.

Clinton pleaded his own case before the jury in an unsworn statement. For about 90 minutes, he proclaimed his innocence and questioned the evidence against him.

Watch his testimony in the player below

His time on the stand proved excruciating for the victims’ family.

“I think he’s just bullshit, wasting time,” Herb Lynch said. “I didn’t even want to hear him talk.”

As Clinton spoke, Nick Fee, Heather’s brother, inched toward the edge of his bench in the courtroom, his arms leaning on the edge of the galley and his hands clenched. He rocked back and forth, slightly, as Clinton pleaded with jurors.

“He was still trying to make out like he didn’t do it,” Fee later said.

The jury was unswayed by the killer’s pleas. They spent about three hours deliberating before deciding the circumstances of the murders outweighed any moral factors that could have spared Clinton’s life.

As Erie County Common Pleas Court Judge Tygh Tone read the verdicts and polled the jurors, Clinton blinked rapidly and chewed on his lower lip. Beyond that, he had no reaction to the findings.

Watch the reading of the verdicts in the player below

Jackson’s family and others — including relatives of homicide victim Misty Keckler, the 18-year-old Fostoria woman Clinton strangled to death in 1997 — hugged prosecutors and police after the hearing.

Heather’s mother, Jodie Lynch, cried.

“I’m glad he’s being put to death,” Herb Lynch said. “He deserves what my poor kids went through. Torture.”

Tone will issue a written opinion when he sentences Clinton Thursday afternoon. The judge may agree with the jury’s recommendation for death, or he may decide Clinton should remain in prison for the rest of his life.

Comments

sandtown born a...

I wouldn't sway away from the jury recommendation of course judges use the power given to them however they see fit. Torture till death seems to fit the crime

Julie R.

I certainly hope the judge doesn't use his power "however he sees fit" in THIS case. This evil waste of air needs to go home to satan a.s.a.p. No appeals, no nothing.

SamAdams

He was convicted of murdering BABIES (one of which he apparently also sexually assaulted). I'm not entirely sure how the jury could have recommended anything else!

The sad part here isn't Clinton's crocodile tears or his protests of innocence. No, the sad part is that Clinton is still living and breathing, and will probably continue to do so for years during appeals, while a local family is deprived of ever seeing its loved ones again.

Stop It

^+1^

OHIOHOOSIER76

5 consecutive death sentences! Occasionally, you hear about having multiple consecutive life sentences, why not go ahead to do the same with death sentences in this case? He's offended before, he's been in prison before.

If Ariel Castro can get multiple life sentences plus X amount of years, I'm sure there is a way to sentence this piece of walking flesh to 5 death sentences.

Stop It

If an "Ariel Castro" happened to this guy, you would be able to call me remiss.

Brick Hamland

JulieR- I am proud of you for making a comment not related to corrupt judges that screwed up your case years ago. I wouldn't mind the victims brother having a few minutes alone with this guy before he goes to prison. It would be good therapy for him I bet...

Julie R.

Those unprofessional jokes on the 2nd floor of the corrupt Erie County courthouse didn't screw up a case years ago. They were still pulling off their illegal thug scams right up into last year. Corrupt also isn't the word for it ---- they're evil in their own way, too!

rmdegirolamo1@a...

Dont wait just shoot him at dawn!!!

Logistics

The problem is--a Death sentence only means that it costs more annual taxpayer money to house him, with years of appeals and attorney fees(taxpayer funded) ahead of us. Anywhere from 10.6 to 17.5 years average time spent on death row, dependent on which source you read and which state the criminal is sentenced in. Cases like this make me long for the days of old...when a guilty verdict would have meant that business would have been conducted at sunrise--tomorrow.

tk

I have absolutely no sympathy for Clinton, but what about those who have spent decades in prison and are then exonerated. You would have had them killed long ago. Some of the things I have read in these comment sections bring you down to Clinton's level. We have a system of justice in this country. Let it run its course. I read that last month North Korea had 80 public executions. Our country is better then that. I certainly don't want to go back to the days of the "wild, wild West"

Darwin's choice

He's guilty. No need for appeals, he's guilty. He shouldn't spend years living in prison, he's guilty. He murdered, raped and tortured, he's guilty. There's no way 10-20 years from now, something is going to pop-up that will exonerate him, he's guilty.

Kill him.