Friday, December 30, 2011

Ohio Cop Killer Sentenced To Death

Officer Shot Four Times In The Head During Routine Traffic Stop
Re-printed from a story at WJW Channel 8 on July 23rd 2010

A crying man who confessed to shooting a police officer, complains about jail to a judge.

The man convicted of killing 24-year-old Twinsburg police officer Joshua Miktarian in the summer of 2008 appeared in court crying and describing his life in County Jail prior to his trial.

Ashford Thompson, also 24 years old, explained to the judge the "harassment" that he's had to deal with behind bars, including not receiving mail and having his bed sheets taken away.

There was no one there to speak for the man that he has admitted killing.

After a jury trial, Ashford Thompson was sentenced to Death by a Summit County judge on July 23rd 2010. Today is awaiting his execution in Chillicothe Correctional Institution in Southern Ohio.

Though she had the option of reducing his sentence to Life in prison, Judge Elinore Stormer went along with the jury's recommendation for Ashford Thompson.

The official sentencing comes less than two weeks after the jury, needing only three hours of deliberation, recommended Thompson get the death penalty. Two of the nine charges for which he was convicted carried with them death penalty and firearm specifications.

The judge set Thompson's date of execution for exactly one year from the date of sentencing. That date may, however, get pushed back depending on the appellate process.

Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh issued a statement saying, "Ashford Thompson is a cold blooded murderer who showed no remorse for killing Officer Miktarian. The Death penalty is reserved for the worst crimes upon society. This horrible crime fits that description. Today's sentence demonstrates to the men and women in uniform who protect us that the justice system works for them, too.

"Over a week ago at the mitigation hearing Ashford Thompson had a dozen witnesses testify to his character. It was Ashford Thompson's day. Today is a day for the Miktarian family. I respect them for the grace and courage they have shown throughout this process and hope that as they put the pieces back together again, they know that the citizens of Summit County will not forget their sacrifice."

A584929 Ashford Thompson Ohio Death RowIn a tearful statement to the Miktarian family earlier this month, Thompson admitted he fired the shots that killed the officer during a traffic stop in the predawn hours of July 13th 2008, because of loud music coming from Thompson's car.

Within two minutes of the stop, a neighbor called 911 saying she heard popping noises outside.

Officer Miktarian was shot once through the forehead and three more times through the side of his head as he laid unresponsive on the ground.

Thompson was arrested at his sister's Bedford Heights home a short time later, still wearing Officer Miktarian's handcuffs on one of his wrists. The gun he used was on the top of a stove in the residence.

During his Murder trial, Thompson never denied firing the shots. His best explanation came when, in a statement made from the witness stand, he told the jury that he could not understand why the officer seemed to be so aggressive during a stop over loud music. When he saw Officer Miktarian reach for something on his utility belt, he believed the officer was reaching for his gun.

Thompson had a loaded gun of his own. In a purely paranoid and murderous act - he drew his gun and fired. And fired. And fired. And fired once more. The last three shots were fired at point blank range into the officer's temple as he lay bleeding on the ground beside Thompson's vehicle.

After Thompson's appeals are exhausted he will be executed between 17 and 20 years - sometime in the year 2030 or 2033.

References:
Fox 8, Ashford Thompson Sentenced To Death
Ohio Dept. of Corrections, Death Row Inmates