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UPDATE: Convicted Killer Dead in Cell, Lawyer Had New Appeal

UPDATE 8/6/13 @ 12:55 p.m.
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - A lawyer in Ohio says a death row inmate who apparently hanged himself over the weekend didn't know his legal team had just received new information about his case that could have delayed his scheduled execution.

Attorneys representing 44-year-old Billy Slagle say they were planning to ask the Ohio Supreme Court on Monday to stop the execution scheduled for Wednesday.

Slagle was pronounced dead early Sunday after he was found in his cell at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution. A coroner says preliminary autopsy results are consistent with suicide.

The Columbus Dispatch first reported that Slagle's attorneys found out late Friday that prosecutors offered Slagle a plea deal before his 1988 trial but that Slagle's former attorneys didn't tell him about the offer.



UPDATE 8/5/13 @ 9:15 a.m.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - An autopsy is expected to be performed Monday for a condemned Ohio killer found hanged in his death row cell just three days before his execution.

Prisons spokeswoman JoEllen Smith says 44-year-old Billy Slagle was found early Sunday at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution south of Columbus. He was declared dead about an hour later.

Slagle was sentenced to die for fatally stabling neighbor Mari Anne Pope in 1987 during a Cleveland burglary while two young children were present.

An attorney for Slagle says the defense had hoped to stop his Wednesday execution. Vicki Werneke says the defense had no warning that Slagle might commit suicide.

Mike Ratliff, chief investigator for the Ross County coroner, says the case is under investigation and no initial findings could be provided.



ORIGINAL STORY 8/4/13 @11:30 a.m.
CLEVELAND (AP) - A killer facing execution Wednesday has been found hanged in his cell on Ohio's death row.

Prison spokeswoman JoEllen Smith says 44-year-old Billy Slagle was found hanging in his cell about 5 a.m. Sunday at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution south of Columbus. He was declared dead about one hour later.

No other details were immediately provided.


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