Death Row Inmate Commits Suicide 3 Days Before Scheduled Execution

An Ohio man on death row was found hanged in his cell on Sunday, just three days before his scheduled execution.

Billy Slagle, 44, was discovered in his cell at 5 a.m. Sunday morning. He was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday. No foul play is suspected.

"He was in his cell alone. No other inmates suspected to be involved," Chillicothe Correctional Institution spokeswoman JoEllen Smith told the Associated Press. “It does appear to be a suicide.”

In 1987, when he was 18, Slagle fatally stabbed his neighbor during an attempted robbery. Twenty-six years later, his one-time prosecutor, Tim McGinty, asked the parole board to spare Slagle's life, arguing that jurors today likely would have opted for the option of life in prison with no parole.

Slagle's attorneys have also asked for a new trial, arguing that his initial jury never had the chance to hear about Slagle's difficult childhood, which included alcohol and drug addiction.

Both the parole board and Ohio Governor John Kasich rejected pleas to save Slagle's life. Per regular prison policy, Slagle had been scheduled to be placed under pre-execution watch later on Sunday, but “was not yet placed under constant watch” at the time of his death, according to Smith.

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