Trumbull prosecutor urging Ohio AG to appeal Danny Lee Hill ruling

Staff report


Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins has sent a letter urging Ohio Attorney Mike DeWine to appeal the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that ordered a judge to resentence Danny Lee Hill to something other than the death penalty.

Hill, 51, was sentenced to death in 1986 in the 1985 murder of Raymond Fife, 12. The sentence was upheld through numerous appeals and also when visiting Judge Thomas Curran considered whether Hill was too mentally disabled to qualify for the death penalty.

But three judges on the 6th Circuit recently disagreed with whether Hill is too mentally disabled to be executed.

In the letter, Watkins called that “an improper substitution of the Sixth Circuit’s view of the law and facts.”

Watkins said Fife’s murder was “one of the worst murders in Trumbull County history. Everyone in the Mahoning Valley who remembers 1985 will never forget the smiling face of little Raymond.”

Miriam Fife, Raymond’s mother, “has been at every court proceeding since her son Raymond was kidnapped, tortured, raped and murdered on Sept. 12, 1985,” including the hearings before the 6th Circuit, Watkins said.

Read more about the matter in Saturday's Vindicator or on

Subscribe Today

Sign up for our email newsletter to receive daily news.

Want more? Click here to subscribe to either the Print or Digital Editions.