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Published: Monday, 6/10/2013

Toledoan sentenced in mutilation death of woman


A Toledo man was found guilty today of involuntary manslaughter in the stabbing death of a West Toledo woman earlier this year.

James Millard Day, 67, of 2519 Auburn Ave., pleaded no contest to the charge before Lucas County Common Pleas Judge James Bates, who then sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Joan Watson, 49, was found inside her West Sylvania Avenue apartment Jan. 13 with her throat slit and her left breast amputated. Louis Kountouris, an assistant Lucas County prosecutor, told the court Day was at the apartment when Ms. Watson was found. He told police he had been with her all evening drinking and smoking crack.

Mr. Kountouris said Day did not admit to killing her. He said that Day did tell police he may have mutilated her body but then retracted that statement.

Day was convicted in 1975 to an eerily similar crime in which a woman was found stabbed in her apartment. He served three years in prison for involuntary manslaughter in that case, and he was later imprisoned for seven years on unrelated rape charges.

His plea in the more recent case came at a hearing planned for taking a deposition from Dr. Cynthia Beisser, a deputy Lucas County coroner who conducted the autopsy on Ms. Watson. Dr. Beisser was expected to be unavailable when Day went to trial June 25.

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