Inmate found unconscious on death row in Youngstown

COLUMBUS — A Death Row inmate scheduled to be executed this week was found unconscious in his cell at the Ohio State Penitentiary in Youngstown late Sunday night in what appears to be an attempted drug overdose.

Lawrence Reynolds was to be transported to the Death House at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility early today, with a Tuesday morning execution scheduled.

Julie Walburn, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, said Reynolds was found in his cell at about 11:30 p.m. He was transported by ambulance to the St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, where he remained Monday morning.

“He is in serious condition and is unconscious,” Walburn said, adding, “At this point, we don’t know the impact this will have on the scheduled execution tomorrow.”

Walburn declined to comment on medications to which Reynolds had access and said an investigation into the matter was continuing.

Reynolds would have to be medically stable and released from the hospital in order to move forward with the execution, Walburn said.

In January 1994, Reynolds conned his way into the home Loretta Mae Foster, a 67-year-old neighbor. He beat her with a tent pole, tied her up with a telephone cord and strangled her to death.

Reynolds took about $40 in cash and a blank check belonging to the victim; Foster’s nude body was later found on the floor of her house, after Reynolds bragged to friends about the killing. He was convicted for murder, kidnapping, burglary and attempted rape and sentenced to death.

Three members of Foster’s family planned to make the trip to Lucasville to witness the execution: Denise Turchiano, an Orrville woman and the victim’s niece; Kelly Redfern, a Kent resident and the victim’s great-niece; and Patricia Soloman, the victim’s granddaughter.

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