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Execution date requested for Youngstown killer of 3-year-old

Published: Thu, February 11, 2010 @ 12:08 a.m.




Sidney Cornwell

COLUMBUS — Prosecutors have asked the Ohio Supreme Court to set an execution date for a Youngstown man convicted in the 1996 gang-related killing a 3-year-old Youngstown girl.

Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul Gains and Assistant Prosecutor Ralph Rivera filed paperwork last month in the case against Sidney Cornwell, who has been on death row since May 1997.

According to documents, Cornwell and other members of a neighborhood gang drove up to an apartment on Oak Park Lane intending to shoot a rival gang member in retaliation for an earlier incident.

After learning that the intended victim was not at the residence, Cornwell opened fire, killing a young girl, Jessica Ballew, and wounding three adults, court documents say.

Prosecutors noted that Cornwell has exhausted all state and federal appeals. They asked for a death warrant setting an execution date “without further delay.”

They added, “The family of Jessica Lynn Ballew and the citizens of Mahoning County await justice. They are surely entitled to closure.”

Public defenders have not yet filed a response.

The next Valley person scheduled for execution is Roderick Davie, who killed three people in Warren in 1991. Davie is scheduled for lethal injection Aug. 10 at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.


1woolyd(579 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Damn Sidney who woulda thought growing up that you would end up on Death Row. Sid used to be a care free kid playing pee wee football in Farrell. Then he moved to Youngstown got caught up in the wrong way of life and now justice has to be served for Jessica Ballew. The execution day will be sad for us who know Sid but its the price he got to pay for being young, dumb, and not thinking about the repurcussions of his actions.

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2Woody(473 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Is it me, or has Ohio really up the rate of executions?

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3Lifes2Short(3879 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Set the date and lets keep them moving along......

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4mikeymike(469 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Woody it also appears to me that Ohio has stepped up the rate of executions.I'm glad ,it's time that these low life's get what they deserve.Their victims didn't enjoy an extra 15 or so years of life.

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5northsideperson(366 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Ohio has had a long backlog, I know of one that goes back to 1989. Apparently the legal logjam is starting to break loose.

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6woolyd(579 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Northside they have some as far back as 1983

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7Woody(473 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

I agree. it is glad to see the process is getting going like a well oiled machine. I think they should bring the 2 at once gas chambers back.

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8Stan(9923 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Sidney Cornwell should of had Danny Lee Hill's attorney . He would have been well on the way to die in prison of old age .

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9saysithowitiz(98 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

Live by it, die by it is definitely the way to go. I guarantee fewer homicides and fewer shootings in general. I bet not one of these thugs would want their life ended the way that they end other' people's lives.

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10woolyd(579 comments)posted 5 years, 8 months ago

PaulB its not about where you come from its the actions you commit. Julious McCoy, Dr. Generolovich, Dr. Greenberg, Randy Crowder, Wilbert Shannon SR.& JR. Jack Marin etc, etc, etc have all come from Farrell and have been upstanding citizens in this world. Where you come from is only a small part of who you are.

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11omega(7 comments)posted 5 years, 7 months ago


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12ksfreed19(1 comment)posted 5 years, 7 months ago

Tragic for a little girl and for Sidney, and for us all. I knew Sidney when he was about 6 years old when he lived in Wheatland, PA. He lived with his mother and brother in our neighborhood. He was always at our house to play with my two boys.Here was a little boy with so much love to give. So needy for a good family life and a man to play ball with him. Loved climbing trees to pick apples. Loved the outdoors. Was respectful to me as a mother. He moved away to Youngstown to live with his father and we never saw him again. When we saw the news of his crime we were all so sad. This didn't have to happen. This boy didn't have to live a life of crime. This little girl didn't have to die. All children need our love and support. They need time and love. If you have contact with a little one, give of yourself. Show them the better way. Don't give up. We must stop this madness.

My heart and prayers go out to this little girl's family. I lost my brother to a premeditated murderer so I know the pain. My heart and prayers also go to Sidney because I knew the boy he once was and the man he could have been.

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