Update on Anthony Sowell Trial

The state of Ohio rested its case against accused serial killer Anthony Sowell on Monday following 12 hours of interrogation video.

Cleveland police Det. Lem Griffin was the last prosecution witness to take the stand and answered questions about the time he spent with 51-year-old Sowell in the interrogation room. During the video, Griffin and his partner, Det. Melvin Smith, become frustrated with Sowell, who had been given his Miranda Rights several times and still agreed to speak with police.

Without the jury present, the defense asked for the charges to be dropped under rule 29, saying the state has not met the burden of proof. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose dropped one of the kidnapping charges, along with an aggravated murder specification.

Sowell faces 85 charges, including aggravated murder, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse, in the deaths of 11 women whose bodies were found in October 2009.

The defense will begins its case Tuesday morning.


Full coverage

  1. wow thats horrible!

  2. Yah, he’s been found guilty!

  3. Yay!
    Thank you Loon. Between computer issues and work I have not been able to get online for any real amount of time!

    • No prob, it is still the best source for everything crime. Keep up the great work. 🙂

  4. CNN) — Convicted Ohio serial killer Anthony Sowell won’t be eligible for parole after being classified as a “sexually violent predator,” court officials in Cleveland said Wednesday.
    Sowell was found guilty of 11 counts of aggravated murder and more than 70 other charges Friday in a string of deaths of Cleveland-area women from 2007 to 2009. Officer Ryan Miday, a spokesman for the Cuyahoga County prosecutor’s office, said Sowell’s classification as a sexually violent predator guarantees that he can only receive life in prison without parole or the death penalty when the sentencing phase of his trial begins August 1.
    The jury could have recommended parole if members believed Sowell could be rehabilitated, according to Greg Popovich, the Cuyahoga County court administrator.
    During the sentencing phase, Sowell will be able to make a statement on his own behalf without being under oath or facing cross-examination, Miday said. The defense also can call expert witnesses to discuss Sowell’s background, including his childhood and military service.
    If jurors decide to recommend death, the judge can intervene and impose a life sentence — but if the jury recommends life, the judge cannot impose a death sentence, according to Popovich.
    Jurors found Sowell guilty on a total of 84 counts, including abusing corpses and kidnapping. The sole not-guilty verdict came on an aggravated robbery charge.
    The convictions ended a saga that began for investigators in October 2009 with the discovery of the first two sets of victims’ remains inside Sowell’s home. Eventually, they blamed him for the slayings of at least 11 women, ages 25 to 52.
    Sowell had served 15 years in prison for attempted rape before being released in 2005. People who met him after his release described him as “a normal guy,” known locally for selling scrap metal.
    His inconspicuous two-story home sat in a dilapidated neighborhood known as Mount Pleasant, where one in five homes was in foreclosure and at least a third of residents got food stamps, according to a 2010 study by Case Western Reserve University’s Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development. Neighbors and even a city councilman had failed to realize that the stench wafting in the area around Sowell’s residence was from human flesh and not a byproduct of a nearby sausage factory.
    The disappearances of the women — many of whom lived nearby — went largely unnoticed for almost two years, with only four of them even being reported missing. Many of his alleged victims struggled with drug addiction at some point in their lives, with court records showing that many resorted to stealing and prostitution to support their habits.
    In late 2008, Gladys Wade told police that a man in a gray hoodie offered her beer, and when she declined, he punched her in the face several times. Wade said that he then tried to rape her, dragging her toward his home, adding that she got out only after “gouging his face.”
    Police investigated Wade’s complaint, with one police report noting blood droplets on Sowell’s walls and steps. But officers told CNN affiliate WKYC that the case was dropped after Wade declined to press charges. Six more women disappeared after her complaint.
    Authorities discovered the bodies after a 36-year-old Cleveland woman told police a story eerily similar to those of Wade and the woman whose 1989 account led to Sowell’s first conviction for attempted rape. She said he’d invited her into his home for beer, punched her in the face, then began performing oral sex on her — releasing her only after she promised to return the next day.
    Most of the women whose remains were found in and around Sowell’s home were strangled by ligature — which can include a string, cord or wire — and at least one was strangled by hand, officials said. Seven still had ligatures wrapped around their necks. A skull is all that remains of one victim. It was found wrapped in a paper bag and stuffed in a bucket in the home’s basement.
    Sowell’s lawyers have declined previous requests by CNN to explain their case, and the suspect has not been interviewed.


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