Serial killer gets another life sentence

Hensley pleads guilty to murder of inmate


Lawrence Hensley was already expected to spend the rest of his life in prison when he was handed another life-without-parole sentence Friday morning.

The 44-year-old convicted serial killer pleaded guilty in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to aggravated murder for the strangulation death of Brad Hamlin.

Hensley, of Sidney, Ohio, and Hamlin, 24, were serving unrelated sentences at the Toledo Correctional Institute.

Lawrence Michael Hensley
Lawrence Michael Hensley

Hamlin, of Mantua, Ohio, was serving a 60-month sentence for burglary, breaking and entering, and theft from Portage and Cuyahoga counties.

He was found unresponsive on the floor of Hensley’s cell Sept. 20 and died two days later at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center.

Sharon Hamlin, the victim’s mother, said her son had two children, 3 and 8.

During her brief statement to the court, Ms. Hamlin asked why Hensley was held with nonviolent offenders like her son.

“My son never hurt anybody,” Ms. Hamlin said. “How can a human being do that to another human being?” she asked.

Judge Gene Zmuda posed the same question before telling Hensley he would impose life without parole and mentioning the other lives Hensley has taken.

In 1999, Hensley killed three teenage girls and a man from his church in Shelby County. He was arrested after a four-day manhunt and a standoff with police at a Sidney gas station where he held three hostages at gunpoint.

He later pleaded guilty to aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, and kidnapping.

Before being locked up at the Lucas County jail to await sentencing, Hensley was moved to the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown, where many of the state’s most violent offenders are held.

Written requests were sent to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction to keep Hensley in Youngstown.

“My family requested that,” Hensley told Judge Zmuda. “They just don’t want me hurt nobody else, kill nobody else. [If I’m] in a super-max prison, I won’t have a opportunity to hurt nobody else, kill nobody else.”

Contact Taylor Dungjen at:,

419-724-6054, or on

Twitter @taylordungjen.