Spoilsport Killer Set For Execution, Found Hanged In Cell

Dec 8, 2004

CLEVELAND — A man condemned to death for fatally stabbing a neighbor during a Cleveland burglary was found hanged in his cell Sunday just days before his Wednesday execution.

Billy Slagle, 44, was found at about 5 a.m. at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution south of Columbus and was declared dead within the hour, prison spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said.

"He was in his cell alone. No other inmates suspected to be involved," Smith said in an email. "It does appear to be a suicide."

Under regular prison policy, he was scheduled to be placed under pre-execution watch Sunday morning but "was not yet placed under constant watch," Smith said.

Slagle's defense team was shocked and saddened at the news and had no clue he might commit suicide, attorney Vicki Werneke said.

"We were still litigating in court and had hoped that the execution would have been stopped. There was oral argument scheduled for Monday afternoon," she told The Associated Press in an email.

An autopsy will be conducted Monday, according to Mike Ratliff, chief investigator for the Ross County coroner. He said the case was under investigation and no initial findings could be provided.

Slagle was sentenced in 1988 to die for the stabbing of Mari Anne Pope, who was killed while two young children she was watching were in the house.

In a rare move, the prosecutor in Cleveland asked the Ohio Parole Board to spare Slagle. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said jurors today, with the option of life without parole, would be unlikely to sentence Slagle to death.

The parole board and Gov. John Kasich both rejected mercy for Slagle.

McGinty declined comment through a spokesman.

Last week, Slagle's attorney argued that a jury never got the chance to hear the full details of his troubled childhood.

The attorneys, arguing for a new trial and to delay his execution, said that information met requirements for asking for a new trial, which normally must happen within four months of a conviction.

Slagle was "unavoidably prevented" from filing his request because his original attorneys didn't develop and present the evidence, the filing said.

McGinty and Slagle's attorneys had cited his age – at 18, he was barely old enough for execution in Ohio – and his history of alcohol and drug addiction.


O Tempora O Mores!
May 30, 2013
Probably wanted to exercise the last bit of control he had. Oh well, at least the family won't have to waste gas money to watch the scum die.


What's black and white and red all over?
Jul 24, 2005
Would'a been better if he had just offed himself the day after he was found guilty and saved tax payers having to house, feed, and give medical care to the piece of shit for years.
A man condemned to death for fatally stabbing a neighbor during a Cleveland burglary
He could have done it the day before he stabbed a neighbor to death.

Konstantin K

Big League Poster
Aug 25, 2010
At least he died doing what he loved: killing someone.


Liberal Psycopath
Dec 9, 2004
Loveland, CO
Does this allow the state to condemn the next guy on the list, or does he still have to jump through the regular hoops? I think the citizens are entitled to a regularly scheduled punishment this week.


Lying causes cat piss smell.
Mar 2, 2006
KC Metro
Some states have a mandatory appeal process in place for condemned inmates. All the appeal shit might not have even been his idea.