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Kasich Commutes Death Sentence For William Montgomery

In this November 2005 file photo, Larry Greene, public information director of the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility, demonstrates how a curtain is pulled between the death chamber and witness room at the prison in Lucasville, Ohio.
Kiichiro Sato
Associated Press

Gov. John Kasich is blocking the April 11 execution of William Montgomery, 52, who was convicted of killing a woman in a 1986 robbery in Toledo.

Kasich’s move comes a little over a week after the Ohio Parole Board narrowly voted in favor of clemency. Under the governor’s order Montgomery’s sentence will be reduced to life without the possibility of parole. 

Montgomery’s lawyers have argued there is too much uncertainty in the case—including the suppression of witnesses who saw one victim alive days after the prosecution argued she was murdered. The parole board recommended his sentence be changed to life without the possibility parole for the murder of Debra Ogle.

Montgomery is also serving a life sentence for the murder of Ogle's roommate Cynthia Tincher.

Montgomery's attorney says they're grateful for the governor's decision and will continue to pursue a "new and fair" trial.

A federal district court previously overturned Montgomery’s conviction, but an appeals court reinstated it. 

Montgomery’s case marks the sixth time Kasich has granted clemency for a death sentence since taking office.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.