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Gov. Kasich Delays Execution Of Raymond Tibbetts

Thomas Bradley

Gov. John Kasich has announced he will delay the execution of condemned killer Raymond Tibbetts.

Tibbetts was accused of beating his wife Judith with a baseball bat, then repeatedly stabbing her and their landlord Fred Hicks in their Cincinnati apartment.

In a letter to the governor, Ross Geiger, who served as a juror on the 1998 murder case, explains he would not have voted for the death penalty if he knew Tibbets suffered continual childhood abuse.

“I can only suggest to you that based on the data that I’ve seen from the clemency hearing on both sides is that, my decision likely, based on the abuse, would have been to recommend life without parole for the Hicks murder,” Geiger said.

The state parole board voted 11-1 to a recommend against clemency almost a year ago, but Kasich is asking them to reconvene in light of Geiger’s letter. 

Federal public defender Erin Bartnhart, an attorney for Tibbetts, says Kasich acted in the interest of fairness and justice.

Geiger said he’s overwhelmed by Kasich’s temporary reprieve, but stresses he wasn’t advocating for Tibbetts, who he says is guilty and deserves life in prison.

“I’m very reluctant to receive any attention on this at all. I want the energy and focus to be examining the way we ask our citizens to make these decisions," Geiger said.

Tibbetts was scheduled to be executed February 13, but Kasich’s order delays the execution until the middle of October. 

Prosecutors delined to comment.

Nick Evans was a reporter at WOSU's 89.7 NPR News. He spent four years in Tallahassee, Florida covering state government before joining the team at WOSU.