Ohio is preparing to execute a man who killed a Cincinnati jailmate over the changing of a TV channel as he awaited sentencing for the aggravated murder of a fellow drug trafficker.
LUCASVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Ohio is preparing to execute a man who killed a Cincinnati jailmate over the changing of a TV channel as he awaited sentencing for the aggravated murder of a fellow drug trafficker.
Clarence Carter, 49, is to be executed Tuesday by lethal injection at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. He is to be the second inmate killed using the surgical sedative pentobarbital as a standalone execution drug.
Carter is being executed for killing Johnny Allen Jr., 33, who died two weeks after a December 1988 beating in the Hamilton County jail. Investigators said Carter punched, choked, kicked and stomped on Allen. They said the beating lasted a half-hour, with Carter stopping periodically to mop blood off his sneakers.
Inmates said that, days earlier, Carter had punched Allen in the eye when inmates were watching sports on TV and one of the men changed the channel.
Allen was being held on a theft charge. Carter had been convicted of aggravated murder of Michael Hadnot, who Carter described as a fellow drug trafficker. He told the Ohio Parole Board in February that he killed Hadnot over drugs, money and incriminating documents stolen from a drug operation in which both were involved.
Carter spent Monday visiting with his brother, lawyers and two imams, praying and reading the Quran, said Ohio prisons department spokesman Carlo LoParo. He also shaved his head and face, took a nap and wrote, giving the execution team leader five letters to mail Tuesday morning. Among items allowed in his cell were assorted photographs and a skull cap. He showered Tuesday morning but declined breakfast.
LoParo said Carter was calm and had been in good spirits, laughing during Monday visits with his brother and lawyers and at one point saying, "doing good, happy and I’m a smiling."
Carter opted not to have a special meal Monday, but requested and was given dates. He was served the same dinner as the other Lucasville inmates: tuna salad, wheat bread, oven-browned potatoes, turnip greens, an orange and a beverage. LoParo said he broke a fast to eat dates, tuna and bread after sundown.
Carter’s brother, nephew and one of his attorneys planned to attend the execution. No one planned to witness on behalf of Allen.
In letters to the parole board, Allen’s mother and sister said he was unrecognizable after the beating and never regained consciousness and that he has grandchildren he’ll never meet.
Carter’s lawyers argued against the execution, claiming Allen’s killing was not premeditated, that Allen was a former U.S. Army soldier who likely instigated the fight and that the inmates used as witnesses were unreliable. They said Carter is borderline mentally disabled and that his upbringing was marked by violent role models, including a stepfather who beat him when he stuttered and a cousin who paid him 50 cents to fight other children.
Carter has no challenges pending. The parole board ruled unanimously last month against granting clemency, and Gov. John Kasich last week denied him mercy.
Carter had been scheduled for execution in 2007, but was spared by a lawsuit pending at the time that challenged lethal injection.
That year, the parole board had voted 6-3 against clemency, with those dissenting saying they were troubled by what appeared to be contradictory or inaccurate testimony by inmate witnesses. Carter’s lawyers have said that ruling also incorrectly said his first murder victim was a police informant who was going to testify against a friend.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.
(AP Photo/Ohio Department of Corrections)