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Published: Friday, 6/22/2007

Hearing is scheduled in death-penalty case

More than 20 years after he was given the death penalty for the murders of two people, Frederick Dickerson was given a new date for a hearing in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to learn if he will, in fact, be put to death.

Visiting Judge Richard Knepper set a Nov. 26 hearing date before the three-judge panel that originally decided Dickerson's case.

Judges Knepper, Charles Doneghy, and George Glasser, who is retired, conducted the hearing in 1985 and have agreed to conduct the hearing in November.

Dickerson, 51, returned to Lucas County from death row after the 6th U.S. District Court of Appeals in Cincinnati remanded the death-penalty portion of his case.

In particular, the court will have to use sentencing guidelines that have gone into effect since the case was decided.

Dickerson was convicted Nov. 5, 1985, in the shooting deaths of Nichole McClain, 15, and Kevin McCoy, 31, in a Pinewood Avenue apartment.

Authorities at the time said he was looking for his estranged girlfriend, Denise Howard, who moved to the apartment with Mr. McCoy.

Although the federal appellate court upheld his murder convictions, it remanded the death sentence because his attorney at the time did not adequately raise issues that should have been considered.

A November date was chosen for the hearing to give defense attorneys time to sift through the nearly 2,000 pages of Dickerson's medical and prison records as well as give the defense time to hire a heart doctor to evaluate Dickerson's health.

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