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Condemned killer gets no mercy

Ohio Parole Board votes 11-0 to put Preble County man to death.

After hearing about his childhood filled with abuse and malnutrition, the Ohio Parole Board voted 11-0 against clemency for condemned killer and former Preble County resident Dennis McGuire, who raped and murdered Joy Stewart in February 1989.

McGuire’s attorneys last week argued before the Parole Board that McGuire should be spared execution, in part, because he finally admitted his guilt in the crime and his abusive childhood was not thoroughly detailed during the sentencing phase of his trial.

Stewart, who was seven months pregnant, disappeared Feb. 11, 1989, after she was last seen with McGuire. Her body was found in the woods by hikers the next day. Her throat had been slashed and evidence showed she was raped.

McGuire, 53, is scheduled to be executed Jan. 16 for the crime.

Gov. John Kasich has the constitutional power to grant clemency to McGuire. His decision is expected in early January.

The Ohio Parole Board noted that McGuire tried to evade responsibility for the crime for decades and his eleventh hour admission seemed “disingenuous and contrite.” Evidence of McGuire’s horrible childhood does not explain nor mitigate to such a degree that the jury would have come to a different sentencing conclusion, the board said in its report to Kasich.

Stewart’s family is firmly in favor of McGuire’s execution, according to the parole board report. Her sister, Carol Avery, told the board that her parents both died knowing that their daughter’s killer was still alive. McGuire should pay with his life for killing Stewart, she told the board.

McGuire is the second in his family to face the death penalty. His older brother, Genis McGuire Jr., who is imprisoned at Chillicothe Correctional Institution, had faced the death penalty in his case but received 20 years to life for stabbing a convenience store clerk more than 60 times in Warren County in 1995.

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