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SALEM Woman's killer dies of heart attack in prison



Published: Wed, February 6, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Gordon Reynolds had reported being ill days before his death.

By NORMAN LEIGH

VINDICATOR SALEM BUREAU

SALEM -- For years, convicted killer and death-row inmate Gordon Reynolds avoided the executioner. But he wasn't able to elude death itself.

Reynolds, 73, died about 4:30 p.m. Monday in his cell at Mansfield Correctional Institution, prison spokeswoman Sally Favors-Glover said Tuesday.

A preliminary examination indicates Reynolds died of a massive heart attack, Favors-Glover said.

Reynolds was stricken in his cell and was pronounced dead there.

The man convicted of the 1988 murder and dismemberment of his girlfriend, Lynn Hanna, had been examined at the prison hospital in the days before his death, most recently on Sunday.

"His [doctor] visits had something to do with heart problems," Favors-Glover said.

Reaction: "Gordon Reynolds' real judgment day finally has arrived," Columbiana County Prosecutor Robert Herron said Tuesday when asked for his reaction to Reynolds' death.

Herron prosecuted Reynolds during his criminal trial in county common pleas court.

Herron also battled Reynolds' appeals efforts, which included an accusation that Herron and other county officials engaged in misconduct by influencing key witnesses against him.

Herron has denied that allegation.

But in January, Reynolds persuaded the 7th District Court of Appeals to grant him a hearing in common pleas court on the allegation.

The hearing, its date not yet set, could have resulted in his getting a new trial.

Reynolds originally was convicted in 1995 after a jury was convinced that he used a gun to kill Hanna, 43, then dismembered her and threw her body parts into the Ohio River.

Prosecutors had charged that Reynolds killed Hanna to prevent her from telling authorities about a fire they'd set at their Stagecoach Road home in December 1985.




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