The board will make a recommendation to Taft, who will decide Williams' fate.
By JEFF ORTEGA
COLUMBUS -- State lawyers say they know of no reason why Willie Williams, convicted in the 1991 execution-style slayings of four men in Youngstown in a case known as the "Labor Day Massacre," should be spared the death penalty.
"Williams' conviction and death sentences are lawful, just and fair," Timothy Prichard, senior Ohio deputy attorney general, and Carol Ellensohn, assistant attorney general, wrote to the Ohio Parole Board.
The board will have a clemency hearing Monday for Williams, 48, known as "Flip," who is scheduled to be executed Oct. 25 for the killings.
"Williams has never accepted responsibility for the heinous murders of Alfonda 'Al' R. Madison Sr., Theodore 'Teddy' Wynn Jr., William LaMont Dent and Eric Howard nor apologized for his callous actions," Prichard and Ellensohn wrote to the board to oppose clemency for Williams, who's being held on death row at the Mansfield Correctional Institution.
The board is to make a recommendation to Gov. Bob Taft on whether he should spare Williams' life. The governor could reject clemency or commute the sentence to life in prison without parole, life in prison with eligibility for parole or an outright release from prison, said Mark Rickel, Taft's spokesman.
The issue may be moot, however.
No fight planned
Williams' lawyer, Joe Wilhelm, chief of the death penalty section for the Ohio Public Defender's Office, said Williams is declining to seek clemency.
Wilhelm said he, at his client's direction, won't even make a presentation to the parole board and said none of Williams' family members will attend.
JoEllen Lyons, a spokeswoman for the state prisons department, said the parole board is expected to hear from survivors of the victims including Tawanna Madison, the late Madison's sister, and Earlina Wiggins, the late Dent's sister.
Afterward, the parole board is expected to go behind closed doors to deliberate after the hearing and then forward a recommendation on Williams' fate to the governor a week later, Lyons said.
"As with any case, the governor will review all of the information and take into consideration all information provided and will make a decision in a timely manner," Rickel said.
Williams is scheduled to die by lethal injection at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility outside Lucasville for his crimes.
Williams, who authorities say used to control a major drug trafficking operation on Youngstown's North and East sides, was convicted of killing Madison, Dent and Howard in an East Side home in September 1991 in an alleged drug-related dispute.
Williams was convicted of killing Wynn, the fourth victim, shortly after he arrived at the home.
Investigators said each victim was killed by gunshots to the head.
Juvenile center invasion
After Williams' capture, Williams and other prisoners broke out of the Mahoning County jail in 1991, court records say. After months on the run, Williams surrendered to authorities in early 1992 after he and other accomplices, armed with guns and explosives, invaded the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center, court records say.
At the time, the juvenile justice center held three teenagers who were to testify against Williams in the four slayings, according to investigators and court records.
In August 1993, a jury convicted Williams on multiple charges including aggravated murder in the killings and sentenced him to death.
Williams' conviction and death sentences have been upheld by state and federal courts.