Ohio News Notebook


Court won’t delay execution of killer

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court has rejected the request of a condemned killer to delay next week’s execution while he pursues an appeal.

Death row inmate Gary Otte wants the death penalty declared unconstitutional in his case because he was under 21 at the time of the crime.

The court denied Otte’s request for a delay Thursday.

Otte was sentenced to die for the Feb. 12, 1992, killing of Robert Wasikowski and the Feb. 13, 1992, killing of Sharon Kostura. Both slayings took place in Parma, in suburban Cleveland.

Republican Gov. John Kasich has rejected a request for clemency made by Otte’s attorneys.

The 45-year-old Otte is scheduled to die Sept. 13. He is also challenging Ohio’s lethal injection method in federal court.

Hilliard teen to be tried as adult

COLUMBUS — A judge has ordered a 17-year-old boy tried as an adult on suspicion of plotting an Ohio school shooting.

The boy was arrested nearly a year ago after another student alerted school officials with concerns about the alleged plot at Hilliard Davidson High School in suburban Columbus. No attack took place.

Franklin County Juvenile Court Judge Terri Jamison made the ruling Wednesday after reviewing case evidence including evaluations by two psychologists.

The Columbus Dispatch reports the judge determined the teen was not an appropriate candidate for treatment in the juvenile system, even though the psychologists said he was.

The boy’s attorney says the teen was better off getting therapy and treatment available in the juvenile detention system.

The Associated Press generally doesn’t name juveniles charged with crimes.

First death from West Nile virus in 2017

COLUMBUS — The state has reported Ohio’s first death from the West Nile virus this year.

The Department of Health said Wednesday the victim was a 74-year-old man from Defiance County who had been hospitalized with encephalitis.

The agency says 10 human cases of the virus have been reported statewide this year.

Ohio had 17 West Nile virus cases in 2016 including four deaths, 35 in 2015 including two deaths and 11 in 2014 including one death.

Bites from infected mosquitoes are the way most people receive the virus. Most individuals who become infected don’t have symptoms.

Sietske de Fijter, state epidemiologist and bureau chief of infectious diseases, says people should take precautions to avoid mosquito bites and eliminate potential mosquito breeding sites.

Patrol: 24 crash deaths over Labor Day weekend

COLUMBUS — The State Highway Patrol says two dozen people died in crashes around Ohio during the long Labor Day weekend.

Troopers report at least 22 crashes resulting in 24 deaths between Friday and Monday. They say nearly half of the people who died weren’t using safety equipment such as a seat belt or a motorcycle helmet, and alcohol was a contributing factor in at least four deaths.

The patrol says provisional data indicate that troopers made over 33,000 traffic enforcement stops during the holiday period.

They made over 800 arrests for impaired driving and over 500 drug-related arrests, and they cited more than 6,000 travelers for not properly using safety belts. They say the numbers in each of those categories increased compared with the same period last year.

Jail supervisor sentenced for misusing database

EUCLID — A supervisor at an Ohio jail has been sentenced to probation and has agreed to never work in law enforcement again after pleading guilty to misusing a police database to look up information about his estranged wife’s boyfriend.

Cleveland.com reports 50-year-old Steven Key, who worked at the Cuyahoga County jail annex in Euclid, was sentenced Wednesday to 30 days probation.

Key said he used “poor judgment” when he directed a subordinate to run the license plate of his wife’s boyfriend through a database to find out where he lived.

Key’s lawyer said he was trying to find out more about the man because he would be near Key’s children, who were living with their mother during the divorce process.

Bus driver placed on leave after texting allegation

ALLIANCE — An Ohio bus driver has been placed on leave following allegations he was speeding and texting while driving a bus without students on it.

The Review in Alliance reported Wednesday that an investigation was launched after a video of the bus was posted on social media.

Alliance City Schools says in a statement that student safety is its top priority and the district will again communicate its safety policies to transportation employees.

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Associated Press