Prisoner pleads guilty to murdering cellmate in Warren County


An inmate pleaded guilty Monday to murdering a Springfield man with whom he was sharing a cell in the segregation unit at Lebanon Correctional Institution in February.

Casey Pigge was accused of using a concrete block from the wall of a cell at the prison to beat to death Luther

Wade, 26, of Springfield.

RELATED: Lebanon most violent prison in Ohio, study finds

Pigge, 29, claimed he killed Wade on Feb. 23 out of fear he was intent on killing Pigge for a prison gang.

According to a press release from the Warren County Prosecutor’s Office, Pigge told investigators that he offered to show Wade a card trick and covered Wade’s eyes with a blindfold before hitting with the block.

RELATED: Guards assaulted by inmates at prison in Warren County

Pigge stated that Wade “would not die so I picked up the brick and hit him again, hit him again, he wouldn’t die.” Pigge said he then stopped for a moment but Wade was still making noise, so he struck Wade in the head with the cinder block again. Pigge waited until after Wade was deceased before he informed a corrections officer of what he had done, according to the press release.

RELATED: Inmates indicted in Warren County in three cases of attacks on guard

Pigge’s low IQ prevented prosecutors from seeking the death penalty against him.

He was indicted on two counts of aggravated murder, as well as possession of a deadly weapon while under detention.

On Monday, Pigge - already serving 30 years to life in prison - pleaded guilty to a single aggravated murder charge.

Prosecutors said Pigge is to recieve a sentence of life in prison without parole.

Capital murder charges were dismissed against Pigge in 2009 — before his conviction for murder, aggravated arson and tampering with evidence in Ross County — after a prosecution expert rated his IQ below 70, disqualifying him under current death penalty law, Fornshell said at the time of the indictment.

Wade was committed to state prison on March 30, 2015, for aggravated burglary in Springfield. He was sentenced to 10 years, according to prison records.

Wade and Pigge had been in a segregation cell together for about a day, according to investigators.

Wade’s family questioned why he was placed in a cell with Pigge.

A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for Feb. 14.

He is scheduled for sentencing by Judge Donald Oda II.

Follow Larry Budd on Twitter.



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