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
Canoe Race and Ashtabula Easter Events
Good Friday Cross Walks and Easter Egg Hunts
Spring Comes Alive
Ashtabula Spring Cleaning
The Taping of the Teacher: A sticky Sitation
Saturday Fun in Ashtabula County March 22, 2014
American Red Cross Ashtabula County Heroes Breakfast
Rotary Club Dodge Ball Tournament
18th Annual Polar Bear Plunge at Geneva State Park
End of year weather extremes
Christmas 2013
Harpersfield Barn Fire
Route 11 Rescue Plymouth Township
Ashtabula Fire
House Ads
AP Video
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down Rise of the Milkbots TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon Teen hitchhikes in wheel well of flight from California to Hawaii Lindsay Lohan's Jaw-Dropping Secret President Sends Message To Boston And Marathon Runners LA Pastor Attracts Churchgoers with Pot Lauren Stoner Shows Off Her Incredible Bikini Body