By Marc Kovac
COLUMBUS — The last time Kenneth Biros made the trip to the Death House, he brought a gold cross necklace, a portable compact disc player with some CDs, a rosary and 20 stamped envelopes.
He ate cheese pizza, a salad with Italian dressing, Pepsi, Doritos with French onion dip, blueberry ice cream and cherry pie.
He drank coffee and paced in the tiny cell just 17 steps away from the chamber where two dozen Ohio inmates had been put to death.
And he spent nearly three hours visiting with his mother, his sister, his brother and some friends in a room where they could hug and hold hands.
That was back in March 2007, when the convicted Trumbull County murderer spent more than 30 hours in the brick building behind the razor-topped fence at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.
Biros, who murdered and dismembered 22-year-old Tami Engstrom, then scattered her body parts in two Pennsylvania Counties, is one of the few Ohio inmates slated to make a return trip to the Death House.
A last-minute stay, issued hours after his scheduled execution time, halted Biros’ walk to the death chamber. Current court action could further delay Biros’ execution, as the state moves to implement a new execution protocol that calls for a single drug injection in place of the former three-drug method, and a direct injection backup if suitable veins are not available to carry an intravenous one.
But barring a court decision, Biros will make the trip to Lucasville and arrive sometime this morning, about 24 hours before his scheduled execution 10 a.m. Tuesday.
“If it’s still on, that’s great,” Tommy Heiss, Engstrom’s brother, told reporters last month following Biros’ second clemency hearing. “If it gets delayed, it’s going to be very sad for our whole family and the community. The way we feel, the way I feel, the way our family and everyone feels, I feel like we’re all a bunch of puppets, and Ken Biros is the one pulling the strings, dancing around the justice system. He’s doing everything he can to buy more time.”
Read the full story Monday in The Vindicator and on Vindy.com.