03 July 2019 :
The Ohio Supreme Court agreed to cancel a scheduled October execution for death row inmate Angelo Fears, after prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed his sentence should be changed to life without parole. Fears (Black) was sentenced to die in November, 1997 for the March 30, 1997 shooting of a 15-year-old boy, Antwuan Gilliam, during a drug deal that turned sour at a Cincinnati apartment complex. His accomplice in the deal, James Grant, was sentenced to 73 years in prison. A new lawyer, Robert Linneman, argued that the testing of the gun used in the shooting — a Colt Caliber 25 — showed it was prone to firing accidentally and had been subject to a manufacturers' recall for a firing pin malfunction. Defense attorney Linneman argued in a March court filing that the shooting was unintentional and therefore not a death penalty case. Linneman also argued Fears suffered from intellectual disabilities that should have made him ineligible for the death penalty. The office of Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters agreed earlier this month to removing Fears from death row. "Looking at the big picture, we felt like this was a fair resolution of the case," said Julie Wilson, a Deters' spokeswoman. She noted that the family of Fears' victim agreed with the change in sentence.