Death penalty off the table for suspect in murders of Springfield Twp. couple
Tue, 17 Jul 2012 17:52:57 GMT —
A judge has found an East Toledo man is competent to stand trial for the murders of a Springfield Township Couple in January of 2011.
But the judge found 22-year-old Cameo Pettaway is mentally retarded and therefore can not be sentenced to death if he's found guilty of murdering 20-year-old Lisa Straub and 21-year-old Johnny Clarke.
Executing a person who has developmental disabilities was declared unconstitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2002. Jury selection also began Tuesday.
Pettaway's co-defendant, 24-year-old Samuel Williams, was also in court Tuesday. Jury selection began as well for his trial.
Williams does face the death penalty if convicted.
He and Pettaway are both facing two counts of aggravated murder, one count of aggravated burglary and two counts of kidnapping.
Investigators say the pair broke into Straub's parents home, duct taped the couple, then suffocated them by putting bags over their heads.