Ohio to execute man for killing fellow jail inmate

Ohio to execute man for killing fellow jail inmate…April 12, 2011


COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio plans to put a man to death Tuesday who killed a fellow Cincinnati jail inmate over the changing of a TV channel as he awaited sentencing for the aggravated murder of a fellow drug trafficker over stolen money, drugs and incriminating documents.

Clarence Carter, 49, is to be executed by lethal injection at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. He is to be the second inmate killed using the surgical sedative pentobarbital as a standalone execution drug.

Carter is being executed for killing Johnny Allen Jr., 33, who died two weeks after a December 1988 beating in the Hamilton County jail. Investigators said Carter punched, choked, kicked and stomped on Allen days after Carter had punched Allen in the eye when one of the men changed a TV channel. They said the beating lasted a half-hour, with Carter stopping periodically to mop blood off his sneakers.

Allen was being held on a theft charge. Carter had been convicted of aggravated murder and he told the Ohio Parole Board in February that the first slaying was over items stolen from a drug operation in which he was involved.

Carter spent Monday visiting with his brother, lawyer and two spiritual advisers, praying and reading the Quran, said Ohio prisons department spokesman Carlo LoParo. He also took a nap and wrote a note. Among items allowed in his cell were assorted photographs and a skull cap.

LoParo said Monday that Carter opted not to have a special meal and was to be served the same dinner as the other Lucasville inmates: tuna salad, wheat bread, oven-browned potatoes, turnip greens, coleslaw, an orange and a beverage.

Carter’s brother, nephew and one of his attorneys planned to attend the execution. No one planned to witness on behalf of Allen.

In letters to the parole board, Allen’s mother and sister said he was unrecognizable after the beating and never regained consciousness and that he has grandchildren he’ll never meet.

Carter’s lawyers argued against the execution, claiming Allen’s killing was not premeditated, that Allen was a former U.S. Army soldier who likely instigated the fight and that the inmates used as witnesses were unreliable. They said Carter is borderline mentally disabled and that his upbringing was marked by violent role models, including a stepfather who beat him when he stuttered and a cousin who paid him 50 cents to fight other children.

Carter has no challenges pending. The parole board ruled unanimously last month against granting clemency, and Gov. John Kasich last week denied him mercy.

Carter had been scheduled for execution in 2007, but was spared by a lawsuit pending at the time that challenged lethal injection.

That year, the parole board had voted 6-3 against clemency, with those dissenting saying they were troubled by what appeared to be contradictory or inaccurate testimony by inmate witnesses. Carter’s lawyers have said that ruling also incorrectly said his first murder victim was a police informant who was going to testify against a friend.

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