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Ohio High Court Overturns Death Sentence In Beating Death

Ohio Supreme Court Gavel statue

The Ohio Supreme Court has overturned the death sentence of a man who beat a Cincinnati woman to death in 1997 during a robbery that netted $50.

The court ruled 4-3 Tuesday to reject Rayshawn Johnson's sentence based on Johnson's troubled upbringing and his subsequent remorse.

Justice Paul Pfeifer said Johnson, of Cincinnati, suffered from mental illness and addiction and had limited intellectual ability.

Johnson was convicted of aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and aggravated robbery for fatally beating Shanon Marks with a baseball bat.

The 37-year-old Johnson originally was sentenced to death in 1998. He had a new hearing after a federal judge said he'd received poor legal assistance, and was again sentenced to death in 2011.