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Keene Executed For "Thrill Killings"

Published: Monday, July 20, 2009 @ 1:16 PM
Updated: Tuesday, July 21, 2009 @ 5:55 PM

Ohio has put a Dayton man to death for a 1992 Christmas holiday killing rampage that left six people dead and two wounded.

There were no final words this morning from Marvallous Keene before he died by lethal injection at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville. The execution came just one week after the state's last one.

The 36-year-old Keene and three accomplices went on a three-day binge of murder and robbery in Dayton that began on Christmas Eve 1992.

Keene died seven days after Ohio's last execution. It was the fastest turnaround since the state executed two inmates in six days in 2004.

The Ohio Supreme Court, in denying a request last month to delay Keene's execution, said it would schedule future executions at last three weeks apart so that public defenders will have more time to prepare clemency cases for inmates who wish to pursue it.

Ohio has one execution scheduled per month through February 2010.

Keene and three accomplices went on a three-day murder and robbery rampage in Dayton that began on Christmas Eve 1992.

Victims included Sarah Abraham, 38, a convenience store clerk shot in the head after handing over $30 from a cash register, and Marvin Washington and Wendy Cottrill, two teenage acquaintances who Keene feared would tell police about his crimes.

Cottrill's mother, Donna Cottrill, stood when Keene entered the death chamber, but he didn't acknowledge her or look directly at anyone as he lay on the gurney.

When the prison warden asked Keene if he wanted to make a final statement, Keene replied, "No, I have no words."

He stared at the ceiling, then closed his eyes. His chest slightly heaved as the drugs were administered.

Seven members of the victims' families who witnessed the execution declined to speak to reporters afterward, as did Keene's attorneys.

According to the nonprofit Death Penalty Information Center in Washington, D.C., Keene's was the 1,171st execution -- and the 1,000th by lethal injection -- since the U.S. reinstated the death penalty in 1976.

The European Union presidency, currently held by Sweden, released a statement noting the number and calling on the U.S. to halt executions, pending the abolition of the death penalty.

"The European Union is opposed to the use of capital punishment in all cases and under all circumstances," the statement said.

"We believe that the abolition of the death penalty is essential to protect human dignity, and to the progressive development of human rights."

The death penalty is abolished in the European Union, and the United Nations General Assembly has called upon all countries that use it to stop executions and end the practice.

Keene did not fight his execution. At a June 17 clemency hearing, he directed his attorneys not to present evidence on his behalf, saying he didn't want to cause additional pain to his family or to the victims' families.

Gov. Ted Strickland last week denied clemency for Keene, who didn't request it.

Defense attorneys have said Keene, who was 19 at the time of the slayings, was despondent over the death of his brother, who was shot and killed a year earlier. At his trial, Keene also told a three-judge panel that a falling out with his father contributed to his troubled emotional state.

Prosecutors described Keene as the ringleader of a group that called itself the Downtown Posse. The killings began with 34-year-old Joseph Wilkerson. Keene and his accomplices arrived at Wilkerson's home under the pretext of wanting to participate in an orgy, prosecutors said. They tied Wilkerson to his bed and ransacked the house, and when Keene found a .32-caliber handgun in the garage, he returned to the bedroom and shot Wilkerson twice.

Later Christmas Eve, Keene and accomplice DeMarcus Smith approached 18-year-old Danita Gullette at a pay phone, took her jacket and shoes and fatally shot the woman, prosecutors said. Gullette was the mother of a 2-year-old girl.

Washington, 18, and Cottrill, 16, were acquaintances who sometimes stayed at Keene's apartment and observed Keene returning with stolen items, prosecutors said. They were shot and killed behind a gravel pit.

Keene's accomplices are serving life sentences.

Ohio has put 31 men to death since it reinstated the death penalty in 1999. John Fautenberry, 45, a former Oregon truck driver who went on a multistate killing spree in the early 1990s, was executed last week.

U.S. Navy sailor sketched Pearl Harbor attack before he was killed in action

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 8:40 AM

VIDEO: Sailor Sketched Pearl Harbor Attack Before He was Killed in Action

Leonard Franklin Tomlinson lived and served in an age before social media, and the image he left behind is less ephemeral and certainly more meaningful than the slew of selfies we all serve up today.

>> PHOTOS: 'December 7, 1941 – a date which will live in infamy'

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Boy exchanges prized Christmas gift to help homeless 

Published: Thursday, December 07, 2017 @ 8:46 AM

Boy Gives Up Game Console To Help Those In Need For Holidays

An Xbox is tops for many gamers’ holiday wish lists. 

Mikah Frye was no different, until he noticed homeless people outside during the cold Ohio weather.

His grandmother said he asked what homeless people do when it’s cold outside. So he came up with an answer: giving those who needed them a blanket to stave off the chill, WJW reported.

>> Read more trending news 

But he needed to find out how to pay for the gifts.

His grandmother suggested he give up one gift to help warm the homeless.

“He later said if the Xbox is $300, and the blankets are $10 then I can buy 30 blankets,” Mikah’s grandmother, Terry Brant,  told WJW.

Mikah’s family found themselves in a similar situation a few years ago. They had some financial difficulties and lost their home and had shelter thanks to the Access program, WJW reported.  

So far more than 60 blankets have been donated and have started to be given out to families in need. Each one has a message from Mikah that says, “They gave me a blanket, but I had to leave it. That’s why I want you to have your own blanket.”

He ends his note with “Today, I live in my own house, and someday you will too. Your friend Mikah.”

And while Mikah gave up his dream of an Xbox for those who need help, WJW reported that “Santa” is still trying to get the video game for the selfless child.

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 23: Guests get to check out the new Xbox One at the Microsoft Store with Chicago Bulls Legend Scottie Pippen at The Shops at North Bridge on November 23, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Microsoft)(Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images for Microsoft)

Fire department recreates adorable holiday card one year later

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 11:54 AM

FiredogPhotos via iStock
FiredogPhotos via iStock

A fire department in Oklahoma is warming hearts again with their special holiday card.

>> Need something to lift your spirits? Read more uplifting news

Last year, the Durant Fire Department went viral with their 2016 holiday card, which featured children of the firefighters.

Six of the station’s 33 firefighters welcomed new babies within six months of each another.

This year, the department decided to keep the tradition going with an “updated” photo.

Babies Ava, Owen, Nash, Mitchell, Gus and Brevyn donned matching outfits on their fathers’ firetruck.

Gus’ mother, Shembra Wilson, told ABC News, “It was a lot harder this year because they’re more mobile. We’re all jumping up and down acting like morons to get the shot and they’re looking at us like, ‘What in the world?’”

The department has decided to continue the tradition annually “to watch them grow.”

Firefighters Set Up Adorable Shoot for Holiday Card

Five tips to keep your holiday packages safe from porch pirates

Published: Thursday, December 14, 2017 @ 11:55 AM

How to Avoid Package Theft

Online shopping has made life easier for a lot of us and is especially handy during the holidays, but it’s also created more opportunities for thieves to prey on parcels left on our doorsteps.

>> Read more trending news

So beware the so-called porch pirates. They count on our being lax, but a little preparation can help thwart their plans and leave them empty-handed, said Gary Miliefsky, CEO of SnoopWall , a company that specializes in cybersecurity.

“A more sophisticated porch pirate might send you an SMS message or email with malware,” Miliefsky said. “That would let them gain access to your computer or smartphone, and they could install a RAT (Remote Access Trojan). Then, they can eavesdrop on your orders and deliveries.”

They also might be able to locate you through the geolocating feature on your phone, he said. That would tell them when you are away from home, providing the final link in their well-laid plan.

Police tell us thieves mark their calendars with notes that say such things as  "Package theft Wednesday."

“If they know you aren’t home and that a package is scheduled for delivery, it’s going to be easy for them to steal it,” Miliefsky said.

There are, however, ways around even cybercriminals. Miliefsky offers these tips for outwitting porch pirates and keeping packages safe:

• Get permission to ship all your packages to work. That way, they aren’t left unguarded at your doorstep for hours while anyone walking by could snatch them. If this arrangement works out, be sure to tell all your friends and family members to ship packages to your work address.

• Ask a friend or neighbor to receive your packages for you. You might not be home on workdays, but plenty of people are. Trusted friends who are retired or who work at home might be happy to let you have packages delivered to them for safekeeping.

• If a neighbor can’t receive your packages and you can’t get them at work, another option is available. Miliefsky suggests trying Doorman, a service that lets you arrange for a package to be held at a warehouse until you arrive home. Then you can arrange delivery for evening hours that better suit you.

• Disable geolocation on your smartphone so that thieves – or other hackers, for that matter – can’t track your location. There’s no need to make it easier for them.

• Set up a live recording video camera aimed at your porch. That could allow you to spot a theft as it happens and alert law enforcement officials, or at least provide you with video that might help identify the thieves.