A Cleveland Judge on Tuesday denied the request of convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell for a new trial.
Sowell had claimed that the jury forewoman in his trial was biased against him.
However, Cuyahoga County Judge Dick Ambrose denied the defense motion for a new trial and on Aug. 12 upheld a Cleveland jury's recommendation that Sowell be sentenced to death.
The forewoman told reporters after jurors recommended the death penalty trial that Sowell winked at her in what she believed was an attempt to win favorable treatment.
He even winked at me once. ... Why are you winking? Are you trying to make an ally? a defense motion reviewed by the media quoted her as saying.
The juror called the eye contact unwarranted.
The forewoman and other jurors who may have felt Sowell was trying to influence them should have brought that to the attention of Ambrose during the trial, the motion stated.
The court then could have determined whether the juror had any bias for or against the defendant or state.
Sowell, 52, was convicted last month of murdering 11 women and dumping their bodies around his property. He was sentenced to death in early August.
Jurors in the case had decided that the aggravated circumstances outweighed the mitigating factors on all 11 murder counts. The women's decomposing bodies were found around his home in 2009 when police came to arrest Sowell for rape and assault.
The jury, seven women and five men, deliberated for about seven hours before recommending the death penalty for each of Sowell's victims.
It screamed death penalty. I know that the jury worked hard and it was a difficult decision, but at the end of the day, they followed the law, Assistant Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Prosecutor Pinkey Carr told the Chicago Tribune. They may not have liked the position that they were put in, but they worked hard and this is what justice is all about.
The judge had announced that Sowell deserved to die after a 45-minute analysis of his crimes and background factors in Sowell's favor, according to news reports.
Prosecutors have said Sowell lured the women to his home with the promise of alcohol or drugs. Many of the victims found in Sowell's home had been missing for weeks or months and some had criminal records.
The women were disposed of in garbage bags and plastic sheets, then dumped in various parts of the house and yard. All that remained of one victim, Leshanda Long, was her skull, which was found in a bucket in the basement. Most of the victims were nude from the waist down, strangled with household objects and had traces of cocaine or depressants in their systems, according to reports.