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Madison may get death penalty

James W. Wade III | 10/30/2013, 9:10 a.m.
The 14-count indictment also included three counts of Kidnapping, three counts of Gross Abuse of a Corpse, one count of ...
Michael Madison

A Cuyahoga County Grand Jury has re-indicted Michael Madison for the murders of three women whose bodies were found in East Cleveland this summer. The Grand Jury, this time, added specifications that could result in a death sentence, Prosecutor Timothy J. McGinty announced.

The Grand Jury charged Madison, 36, with two counts each of aggravated murder in the deaths of Shetisha Sheeley, Angela H. Deskins and Shirellda Terry. Each aggravated murder charge in this superseding indictment includes allegations that the murders represented a “course of conduct” by the defendant and that he committed them while committing another felony.

Those specifications could lead to a death penalty.

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.

Police found the first victim on July 19 after answering a complaint about odors coming from an East Cleveland garage. Two more bodies were discovered the following day.

Madison was arrested July 19th.

On July 22, East Cleveland Municipal Judge William Dawson ordered that the court to hold him on a $6 million bond, pending the Grand Jury’s charging decision. The initial indictment was returned on July 29.

Since then, the Capital Review Committee in the Prosecutor’s Office has examined the facts in the case, and McGinty elected to pursue a death sentence. Since McGinty took office last Oct., 37 potential capital cases have been reviewed including 15 initiated by his predecessor.

This is the fourth time since McGinty took office and the second time in 22 cases since he initiated a new capital review protocol where he decided to seek capital punishment.

McGinty has created a protocol for reviewing potential death penalty cases within weeks of an indictment to determine if the punishment should be sought. The committee considers the evidence, including any mitigating factors such as the defendant's mental health and family history.

In a separate case, Madison was also charged with a single felony count of Failure to Provide Notice of Change of Address.

As a convicted sex offender who pleaded 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 was living in East Cleveland.

When this story came to light, Mayor Gary Norton said the suspect indicated he might have been influenced by Cleveland serial killer Anthony Sowell, who was convicted in 2011 of murdering 11 women and sentenced to death.

It’s the latest in a series of high-profile cases involving the disappearance of women from the Cleveland area.

Capital punishment has been a part of Ohio’s justice system since early in the state’s history. From 1803, when Ohio became a state, until 1885, executions were carried out by public hanging in the county where the crime was committed.

In 1885, the legislature enacted a law that required executions to be carried out at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus.

In 1993, a bill granting prisoners the option to choose between death by electrocution or lethal injection was passed and signed into law by former Governor George V. Voinovich.

The Death Row inmate would be asked to choose between the two methods seven days before the scheduled execution. The law stipulated that if the prisoner did not choose, the default method of execution would be death by electrocution.

Oddly enough, Madison may end up on death row just like his idol Anthony Sowell.