Springfield man on death row dies in prison

A Springfield man who was on death row in connection to the murder of a counselor for troubled youth died in prison.

Jason Dean, 44, who took part in a four-day shooting spree that culminated in the death of Titus Arnold, 23, in April of 2005 died March 23, according to the Ohio Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

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“Jason Dean died at the Franklin Medical Center on March 23, at 6:00 am due to apparent natural causes,” the department said in a statement. “The cause of death is tentative, pending receipt of the death certificate.”

The crime spree in 2005 included three shootings in four days in Springfield. During the last shooting, Arnold was killed by Dean’s accomplice, 16-year-old Josh Wade, after the two chased him through a parking lot as he was leaving his job at a home for at-risk youth.

Wade was tried as an adult but wasn’t eligible for the death penalty as a minor. He was convicted of aggravated murder and other charges and is currently incarcerated at the Warren Correctional Institution.

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Dean had two trials. His first conviction in 2006 for aggravated murder, attempted murder and several other crimes was overturned on appeal by the Ohio Supreme Court, which ruled he didn’t have a fair and impartial judge. Dean was tried again and found guilty of the same charges and sentenced to death.

Dean’s death came after he had filed numerous appeals including to the Ohio Supreme Court alleging that errors had occurred during his second trial.

The state court rejected all 15 of his arguments. That court also reviewed whether Dean’s sentence was appropriate, given that he didn’t fire the shot that killed Arnold.

In 2016, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal filed by Dean and let stand the Ohio Supreme Court ruling.

Dean didn’t have an execution date set against him and wasn’t likely too anytime soon as Ohio Governor Mike DeWine has stayed all executions as the state tries to develop a new protocol for killing inmates.

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