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Michael Madison has day in court

James W. Wade III | 8/6/2013, 7:23 p.m.
A prosecutor says no decision will be made on the death penalty until at least next month in the case ...
Michael Madison was in court on July 22, when East Cleveland Municipal Judge, William Dawson, ordered him held on a $6 million bond, pending the Grand Jury’s charging decision. Judge Dawson was instrumental in securing Shaw High School for the special Monday night healing service Rodney Hubbard orchestrated with the greater Cleveland music community. “I love my city and I want everyone to know East Cleveland is still a great place to live,” said Judge Dawson.

A prosecutor says no decision will be made on the death penalty until at least next month in the case against an Ohio man charged with killing three women whose bodies were found wrapped in trash bags.

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty made the comment during a pretrial hearing Tuesday for 35-year-old Michael Madison. McGinty says a committee in his office is reviewing whether the death penalty is appropriate.

Madison responded briefly to questions from the judge, who scheduled another hearing for Aug. 20.

Defense attorney David Grant said afterward that his client's mental state would be evaluated, but he did not elaborate.

Madison was arrested last month after the bodies were found in a dilapidated neighborhood in East Cleveland. He is being held on $6 million bond. The Sowell murders of 2009 and 2010 have reportedly fascinated Michael Madison, the man who has been charged with the murders of at least three women in East Cleveland.

Anthony Sowell was found guilty of killing 11 women in 2011, with his victims bodies found decomposed and mostly naked. Sowell was given the death penalty for the murders.

McGinty announced the Grand Jury charged Madison, 35, with two counts each of Aggravated Murder in the deaths of Shetisha Sheeley, Angela H. Deskins and Shirellda Terry last week.

The 14-count indictment also included three counts of Kidnapping, three counts of Gross Abuse of a Corpse, one count of Rape and one count of Having Weapons Under Disability. In a separate case, Madison was also charged with a single felony count of Failure to Provide Notice of Change of Address.

Madison is a convicted sex offender who plead guilty in 2002 to Attempted Rape. Madison was required by law to tell the Cuyahoga County Sheriff where he was living and if he moved. Though listed in the sex offender registry as residing with his mother in Cleveland, Madison had in fact been living in East Cleveland.

Police found the first of the victims on July 19, after answering a complaint about odors coming from an East Cleveland garage. Two more bodies were discovered the following day. All three were wrapped in plastic bags. Madison was arrested July 19 at his mother’s home after a two-hour standoff with police.

Knowing Madison is in jail is a relief to the victim families, and they are now just trying to deal the best they can. “Everybody is just taking it day by day and standing on God’s words, because that is all we can do,” Minor said.

Last Friday night a group of preachers and the Imperial Women organized a rally to stop violence against women at the corner of Shaw and Hayden avenues. The rally focused on the three women recently found murdered. Among the rally headliners were family members of the victims. During the vigil, names were called of the 11 women Sowell murdered, three girls Ariel Castro had kidnapped and the three East Cleveland girls. After each group, red balloons were released.

Bishop Tony Minor was very instrumental in getting the preachers to join in to make this collaboration a good one.

Services for Shirellda Terry were last Friday at Good Shepard Baptist Church, 17822 Euclid Ave., in Cleveland at 10 a.m. and services for Shetisha Sheeley are Friday, August 9, at Strowder’s Funeral Home, 822 E. 105th St., in Cleveland, with a visitation at 6 p.m. and services at 7 p.m.

A funeral fund is set up for Shetisha Sheeley at any First Merit Bank under her name.

Servicves for Angela Deskins was held two weeks ago..

The next pretrial for Madison is set for Aug. 20.