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Ohio cop killer granted new sentencing hearing

Odraye Jones’ death sentence was revoked last year after three judges decided his sentence for the murder of Officer William D. Glover was tainted with racism

By Shelley Terry
Star Beacon

ASHTABULA, Ohio — Twenty-five years ago to the day that Odraye Jones shot and killed Ashtabula Police Officer, William D. Glover Jr., the Ohio Attorney General’s Office granted Jones’ request for a new sentencing hearing.

Jones, now 46, had his death sentence revoked last August by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. A panel of three judges decided Jones’ sentence was tainted with racism at the penalty phase of his trial.

Jones, who was convicted of fatally shooting Glover at close range on Nov. 17, 1997, now has hope of spending the rest of his life in prison without the fear of execution.

Glover’s widow, Marianne Glover Waldman, who now lives in Canada, said the news arrived Thursday via voice mail on her phone.

“The 25th anniversary of the worst day in mine and my children’s lives,” she said. “It’s not fair. Odraye Jones destroyed my life and it’s not fair if he gets to live out his life in prison.”

The new sentencing hearing will take place in Ashtabula County, and prosecutors will have 180 days to file for a new sentencing hearing, according to the Attorney General’s Office.

“So it’s up to the prosecutor to do her job,” Waldman said. “I will be there for the sentencing trial.”

According to Ashtabula County Prosecutor Colleen O’Toole, Charles L. Wille, capital crimes coordinator for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, requested the new hearing, rather than appealing the court’s decision.

Reviewing Jones’ original trial and sentencing, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth District judges took notice of testimony from a clinical psychologist, who diagnosed Jones with antisocial personality disorder and then testified that Black men with this disorder would commit more murders. He said about one in four " African-American urban males” suffered from the disorder, and the only treatment for them was to “throw them away, lock them up,” according to Judge Richard Allen Griffin, one of three on the panel.

After hearing this testimony, the Ashtabula County jury recommended the death penalty.

The court accepted the recommendation and sentenced Jones to death. He’s been incarcerated on death row ever since.

Griffin argued that Jones’ lawyers should have challenged the racist theory and inadequately represented their client’s best interest by not doing so and “Jones is entitled to a new sentencing.”

The judges did uphold the ruling that Jones murdered Glover on Nov. 17, 1997, in Ashtabula, shooting him with hollow-point bullets. The “wounds [were] to the top of his head and to the area just below his right eye. He also sustained a bullet wound to his right shoulder. The gunshot wound to the top of Officer Glover’s head and the wound to his face were both fired from a distance of less than one foot,” court documents said.

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