Judge denies killer's parole
Family members also believe the Poland native killed his first wife.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
COLUMBUS -- A convicted murderer and Poland native will have to wait an additional 10 years before he's eligible for parole.
The Ohio Parole Authority denied parole for Robert Girts, 53, earlier this month after an August hearing, said Angela Hill, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.
"We're ecstatic," said Bettianne Jones, of Columbiana.
Jones and Tom Morris, of Poland, had traveled to speak with parole board representatives earlier this year to oppose Girts' parole.
"It's been a long summer," Jones said.
Girts was convicted in 1995 in Cuyahoga County of killing Diane Jones Girts, his third wife and Jones' sister-in-law.
The 42-year-old woman died in 1992 of cyanide poisoning.
Girts is incarcerated at the Oakwood Correctional Facility in Lima. His next parole hearing is scheduled for August 2016, Hill said.
About first wife
Morris' sister, Terrie, was Girts' first wife. Although he was never charged with Terrie's death, Morris' family suspects that Girts killed her too. She was 25 when she died.
The cause was initially listed as a swollen heart. When Terrie's body was exhumed after Diane's death several years later, pathologist told the Morris family that a swollen heart probably wasn't the cause but that they didn't detect poison.
Jones spent months poring over newspaper clippings and trial transcripts in preparation for the meeting with state parole representatives.
She assembled a binder full of the information to take with her to the meeting.
Her husband, Barry, Diane's brother, died in 1997.
Girts' second wife remains in the Mahoning Valley and wrote a letter opposing Girts' parole as well.