The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

May 4, 2013

High court to revisit Trumbull woman’s death sentence

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court will revisit the case of the state’s only female Death Row inmate next week.

The high court has scheduled arguments Tuesday in the case of Donna Roberts, of Trumbull County, who was sentenced to die in 2003 for killing her ex-husband after plotting the slaying with her boyfriend.

Roberts’ attorneys plan to argue that evidence showing their client was mentally ill and suffered brain trauma should have been considered by the trial court that resentenced her to the death penalty in 2007.

The discovery of a prosecutor’s involvement in writing Roberts’ death penalty sentencing order led the high court to overturn her sentence in 2006. A judge and the prosecutor were publicly reprimanded but the trial court decided again on a death sentence.

The lone woman facing the death penalty in the state, the 68-year-old Roberts is incarcerated at the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville.

When she was initially sentenced in 2003, Roberts became the first woman sent to the state’s Death Row since 1991, when Gov. Richard Celeste commuted the sentences of four condemned women and four condemned men to life in prison.

Roberts and Nathaniel Jackson, 28 years her junior, were convicted in the 2001 murder of Robert Fingerhut, Roberts’ former husband. Prosecutors described how the pair had detailed their plans in a correspondence carried on while Jackson, of Youngstown, was behind bars on a previous conviction.

Jackson also was sentenced to death.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
Ashtabula County Alive
July 4 Celebrations 2014
Summer off to Big Start
Ashtabula County Flag Day 2014
Northeast Ohio Soap Box Derby 2014
Tour de State Line and Boating Season
Ashtabula County Memorial Day 2014
Sam Magill Sr. Memorial
Armed Forces Echo Taps 2014
Lakeside Loop Color Run
Keeping Ashtabula County Clean and Healthy
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Heartwarming 'Batkid Begins' Documentary is Tear-Jerker Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza Meet the Man Behind Dumb Starbucks Chris Pratt Adorably Surprises Kids at a 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Screening NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted 'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show'