A man on death row in Ohio was found hanged in his cell on Sunday, and authorities suspect suicide even though he was scheduled to be executed on Tuesday.
Billy Slagle was sentenced to death after the 1988 stabbing of his neighbor with a pair of scissors during a robbery. The victim, Mari Anne Pope, had two children in the home with her at the time, and though they escaped Slagle’s wrath, they were forced to listen as Pope screamed and prayed during the bloody attack. She was found with 17 stab wounds, and Slagle, who was 18 at the time, was given the death penalty.
Slagle had both his attorneys and the Cleveland prosecutor arguing for his case earlier this year, when they asked for clemency due to the fact that when he was sentenced, there was no option for life in prison without the possibility of parole. Slagle’s attorneys also say his childhood was a “largely unsupervised” one and that he came from a home shrouded in alcoholism and abuse. However, the request was denied in late July.
Now, Cleveland residents say Slagle has taken away an opportunity for the victim’s family to see justice done.
“I think the family would have liked to see it. It was his choice though,” said resident Clarence Alberty.