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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.

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George H.W. Bush recovering after infection, moved out of intensive care

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 2:44 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 2:44 PM

Biography of George H.W. Bush

Former President George H.W. Bush has been moved from the intensive care unit at Houston Methodist Hospital to a regular patient bed days after he suffered an infection that spread to his blood, a family spokesman said Wednesday.

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Amber Alert issued for 3 Athens County children believed taken by their father

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 8:47 PM

An Amber Alert has been issued for three children from Athens, Ohio, authorities believe have been taken today by their father following a domestic dispute.

If you see the group, you are asked to approach with caution because the suspect has a history of violence. 

They may be traveling in a gray Dodge Journey, Ohio license plate GJG 8892. 

The children are: 

* Lilly Dudas, 4 years old 

* Olive Perin, 2 years old 

* Henry Perin, 6 months 

They are believed to have been taken by Neil Perin, 34. He is described as 6 foot 1, about 190 pounds. He has black hair and hazel eyes, according to authorities. 

OTHER LOCAL NEWS: Man apparently strangled in jail cell

Neil Perin, suspected of taking his three children in a domestic dispute on Wednesday, April 25, 2018. An Amber Alert has been issued for the children.

If you have information about Perin or the children, or believe you have seen them, you are asked to contact the Athens Police Department, 740-592-3313. 

You may also call 1-800-843-5678 (1-800-THE-LOST).

Got a tip? Call our monitored 24-hour number, 937-259-2237, or send it to newsdesk@cmgohio.com

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Kim Kardashian defends Kanye West, accuses Twitter users of ‘demonizing’ him

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 8:57 PM

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the Balmain show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2015/2016 on March 5, 2015 in Paris, France.  
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West attend the Balmain show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2015/2016 on March 5, 2015 in Paris, France. (Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

Musician Kanye West made his return to Twitter earlier this month to chat about a number of topics from new music to politics. However, some of his tweet have fallen flat and have not been well received, so his wife Kim Kardashian West is now coming to his defense. 

>> Read more trending news 

Many on social media have expressed concern over West’s mental health, but Kardashian West said he’s only expressing himself. 

“To the media trying to demonize my husband let me just say this... your commentary on Kanye being erratic & his tweets being disturbing is actually scary,” she wrote. “So quick to label him as having mental health issues for just being himself when he has always been expressive is not fair.”

>> Related: Kanye West is dropping a new album and the internet is ‘freaking out’

She also accused the media of interpreting his separation from his management as a mental health issue rather than a business decision. In fact, the reality star called her hubby a “free thinker” and celebrated him for sharing his opinions even if she didn’t agree with them, including those about President Donald Trump. 

 >> Related: Kanye West announces he will be president some day

She ended her rant by declaring “Kanye is years ahead of his time” and urged the media stop using the term “mental health” so loosely.

>> Related: Kanye West’s embrace of a black Trump supporter not well-received 

For the last several weeks, West has been busy on Twitter after taking a nearly year-long hiatus from the platform. He’s revealed information about his clothing line, new albums and has even alluded to running for president in 2024.

He’s also used the site to share his thoughts about creativity, fake news and a few images of his daughter North. Take a look at more of his posts here

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Trump lawyer says he'll plead the Fifth in porn actress case

Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 8:24 PM
Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2018 @ 8:18 PM

FILE - In a Monday, April 16, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, center, leaves federal court, in New York. Cohen filed papers in federal court in Los Angeles Wednesday, April 25, 2016, saying he will assert his Fifth Amendment rights, stating that he will exercise his constitutional right against self-incrimination in a lawsuit brought by porn actress Stormy Daniels, who said she had an affair with Trump. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)
FILE - In a Monday, April 16, 2018, file photo, Michael Cohen, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, center, leaves federal court, in New York. Cohen filed papers in federal court in Los Angeles Wednesday, April 25, 2016, saying he will assert his Fifth Amendment rights, stating that he will exercise his constitutional right against self-incrimination in a lawsuit brought by porn actress Stormy Daniels, who said she had an affair with Trump. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

President Donald Trump's personal attorney said Wednesday he will assert his constitutional right against self-incrimination in a civil case brought by a porn actress who said she had an affair with Trump.

Michael Cohen has been asking a federal judge in Los Angeles to delay Stormy Daniels' case after FBI agents raided his home and office earlier this month, seeking records about a nondisclosure agreement Daniels signed days before the 2016 presidential election.

Daniels, whose real name is Stephanie Clifford, has said she had an affair with Trump in 2006 and has sued to invalidate the confidentiality agreement that prevents her discussing it. She's also suing Cohen, alleging defamation.

Cohen sought to delay the civil case 90 days after the raid, arguing that his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination may be jeopardized if legal proceedings aren't stayed.

But last week, U.S. District Judge S. James Otero said there were "gaping holes" in Cohen's request for a delay.

Cohen's lawyer argued in court last week that because the criminal investigation overlaps with issues in the lawsuit, his client's right against self-incrimination could be adversely impacted because he won't be able to respond and defend himself.

In a court filing on Wednesday, Cohen said that FBI agents had seized "various electronic devices and documents in my possession" which contain information about the $130,000 Daniels was paid as part of the agreement. Agents also seized communications with his lawyer, Brent Blakely, about the civil case, Cohen said.

Daniels has offered to return the $130,000 and argues the agreement is legally invalid because it was only signed by her and Cohen, not by Trump.

Cohen will assert his Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination "in connection with all proceedings in this case," he wrote.

Daniels' attorney, Michael Avenatti, said Cohen's filing was a "stunning development."

"Never before in our nation's history has the attorney for the sitting President invoked the 5th Amend in connection with issues surrounding the President," he tweeted.

___

Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in Washington contributed to this report.

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