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CLEVELAND (AP) ? A man condemned to death for fatally stabbing a neighbor during a Cleveland burglary was found hanged in his cell Sunday just days before his Wednesday execution.

Billy Slagle, 44, was found at about 5 a.m. at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution south of Columbus and was declared dead within the hour, prison spokeswoman JoEllen Smith said.

"He was in his cell alone. No other inmates suspected to be involved," Smith said in an email. "It does appear to be a suicide."

Under regular prison policy, he was scheduled to be placed under pre-execution watch Sunday morning but "was not yet placed under constant watch," Smith said.

Slagle's defense team was shocked and saddened at the news and had no clue he might commit suicide, attorney Vicki Werneke said.

"We were still litigating in court and had hoped that the execution would have been stopped. There was oral argument scheduled for Monday afternoon," she told The Associated Press in an email.

An autopsy will be conducted Monday, according to Mike Ratliff, chief investigator for the Ross County coroner. He said the case was under investigation and no initial findings could be provided.

Slagle was sentenced in 1988 to die for the stabbing of Mari Anne Pope, who was killed while two young children she was watching were in the house.

In a rare move, the prosecutor in Cleveland asked the Ohio Parole Board to spare Slagle. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty said jurors today, with the option of life without parole, would be unlikely to sentence Slagle to death.

The parole board and Gov. John Kasich both rejected mercy for Slagle.

McGinty and Slagle's attorneys had cited his age ? at 18, he was barely old enough for execution in Ohio ? and his history of alcohol and drug addiction.

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Woohoo!!! He just saved us some tax dollars!!!

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I guess he was in a hurry.

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Woohoo!!! He just saved us some tax dollars!!!

 

Just the cost of the execution itself. Probably negligible considering the cost of his long jail term and all the appeals.

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Just the cost of the execution itself. Probably negligible considering the cost of his long jail term and all the appeals.

 

eh... little here little there....

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I guess he was in a hurry.

We could have helped him a long time ago if he had just asked us. 

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I guess he was in a hurry.

 

 

We could have helped him a long time ago if he had just asked us. 

 

I doubt he was in a hurry. He was just spitting in the face of justice by taking his own life, on his terms, and denying the court the opportunity to enact the sentence.

 

He might be dead, but basically, he wins.

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He waited 25 years??? just to hang himself at the last minute??? guess he wanted to go on his own terms.. sucks he missed out on his last meal though.

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I was just reading about this in the news Paper this morning here in Ohio, I am not certain with why someone would want to do that as they were going to be executed anyway perhaps they wanted to go on their own terms.

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I was just reading about this in the news Paper this morning here in Ohio, I am not certain with why someone would want to do that as they were going to be executed anyway perhaps they wanted to go on their own terms.

 

That, and it's a big F.U. to the system.

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That, and it's a big F.U. to the system.

Why would it be an FU to the system?  It really doesn't matter if the guy kills himself, or somebody else does it, then death sentence still was upheld.

 

You make it sound like somebody is going to be extremely bummed that they didn't get to go thru with the injection.

Honestly, the biggest FU to the system is when these people get free food and housing for the rest of their life, while the tax payers foot the bill.

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Why would it be an FU to the system?  It really doesn't matter if the guy kills himself, or somebody else does it, then death sentence still was upheld.

 

You make it sound like somebody is going to be extremely bummed that they didn't get to go thru with the injection.

Honestly, the biggest FU to the system is when these people get free food and housing for the rest of their life, while the tax payers foot the bill.

 

When someone's going to kill you, and you know there's nothing you can do to stop them, all you can really do is beat them to it and deprive them of the "pleasure".

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LOL yes it is a big F.U to the system... Well good for him :)

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You can't fire me, I quit!

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When someone's going to kill you, and you know there's nothing you can do to stop them, all you can really do is beat them to it and deprive them of the "pleasure".

Pleasure of who?  The court will be happy that the problem solved itself.  It will save money and time, and they can now move onto the next one quicker.

 

Even though the guy was behind bars and facing eventually execution, his confined life was still of higher quality than say staving people living in 3rd world countries.  He chose to end it early and give up the rest of his days on Earth.  Good on him and the court will probably give him a round of applause.

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He might be dead, but basically, he wins.

Not my idea of winning, that's for sure.

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People want to see and kill others..Watching them suffer is pleasure to them. He took is own life...therefore he wins.

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Not my idea of winning, that's for sure.

I think he was just tired of the appeals, depressed, and afraid to face the official execution.

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I would imagine that being hanged is far worse than dying from lethal injection.

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I hope so. Good riddance.

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