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Execution date set in Toledo murders

cty-WILLIAM-MONTGOMERY

William T. Montgomery

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COLUMBUS — William T. Montgomery, 46, faces execution in nearly two years for the 1986 killings of two Toledo roommates.

The Ohio Supreme Court on Friday scheduled the lethal injection for Aug. 6, 2014, for the killings of Debra Ogle, 20, and Cynthia Tincher, 19. The prosecution’s theory was that Ms. Ogle was murdered during the course of a robbery and Ms. Tincher was then killed to prevent her from connecting him and co-conspirator Glover Heard, Jr., with Ms. Ogle.

The U.S. Supreme Court in May refused to hear an appeal in his case after a series of state and federal appeals. The state Supreme Court scheduled three execution dates Friday. On May 28, 2014, Arthur Taylor, 52, is to die for the 1983 robbery murder of Sander Leach, 74, of Cleveland. On Oct. 15, 2014, Raymond Tibbetts, 55, faces execution for the 1997 killing of his wife, Judith Sue Crawford, in Cincinnati.

The high court continues to schedule executions even as the single sedative the state uses to carry them out, pentobarbital, is in short supply. It was used last week to execute double-murderer Donald Palmer, 47, of Belmont County.

Montgomery’s Toledo attorney, Richard Kerger, could not be reached for comment about any legal maneuvers that might still be available.

Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates petitioned the state Supreme Court to set an execution date. She noted Montgomery had exhausted his state and federal appeals and argued that any additional legal moves at this point would just be for the purpose of delay. She also could not be reached for comment.

In 2011, the Cincinnati-based 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals splintered with six separate opinions in a decision in the Montgomery case that overturned a lower court ruling that vacated his conviction and ordered a new trial.

The divided 6th Circuit disagreed with the argument that a police report withheld from Montgomery’s defense at trial would have undermined the state’s case.That report suggested that Ms. Ogle had been seen alive March 12, 1986, four days after she’d been reported missing and presumed dead.

Montgomery accused Heard at trial of wielding the pistol Montgomery bought two weeks earlier. But Heard struck a deal with prosecutors to testify against Montgomery.

Contact Jim Provance at: jprovance@theblade.com or 614-221-0496.

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