The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

October 11, 2008

Convicted killer, LaECI inmate dies in Conneaut

CONNEAUT — A Painesville Township man serving time in Conneaut’s state prison for a notorious 1985 double-homicide died Wednesday at UH Conneaut Medical Center, officials said.

Theodore Soke, 66, was an inmate at the Lake Erie Correctional Institution when he suffered a heart attack, said James Baehr, Ashtabula County coroner’s investigator. Soke was pronounced dead at CMC a short time later, Baehr said.

Preliminary results from an autopsy conducted in Cuyahoga County indicate Soke suffered from severe coronary disease, Baehr said. There was no signs of foul play, he said.

Soke was serving time for his role in the 1985 murders of a retired Plain Dealer editor and his wife. Philip Porter and his wife, Dorothy, were killed in their Shaker Heights home, according to reports.

Soke was initially found guilty of aggravated murder by a panel of judges in 1991, but that conviction was overturned. He was retried one year later, found guilty by a jury and sentenced to death.

That sentence was later reduced to a seven years-to-life prison term.

The LaECI is a medium-security prison, but houses convicted murderers transferred from other institutions.

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