Just days before he was scheduled to be put to death, death row inmate Billy Slagle was found hanged to death in his Ohio prison cell early Sunday morning.
Slagle, 44, who was sentenced put to death Wednesday Aug. 7 for stabbing and killing a neighbor during a burglary in Cleveland at age 18, was found dead at Chillicothe Correctional Institution at 5 a.m. Sunday. Despite the Ohio’s facilities pre-execution watch prison policy, Slagle wasn't scheduled to be placed under watch until later that day according to a report from CBS News.
A spokeswoman for the prison, JoEllen Smith, confirmed that no other inmates were involved in the hanging. “He was in his cell alone," she said. "It does appear to be a suicide." The institution is currently investigating how Slagle was able to obtain material to commit the act WUSA 9 reported Sunday.
According to a report from 19-Action News in Cleveland, Slagle was convicted of murdering his 40-year-old neighbor, Mari Anne Pope. Slagle, then 18, reportedly broke into Pope's home and stabbed her 17 times with a pair of scissors in an effort to steal money to buy alcohol. Two children in the home, which Pope was watching the night of the attack, reported hearing Pope’s screams during the murder.
CBS News reported Sunday that Slagle’s attorney attempt to delay his execution last week were denied. Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Tim McGinty also attempted to help Slagle last month by requesting that the Ohio Parole Board to change Slagle's sentence to “life without the possibility of parole" according to WEWS-TV.