Warren County court to decide if Barton can waive appeals
A Warren County Common Pleas Court will once again decide the fate of death row inmate Rocky Barton.
The Ohio Supreme Court ruled Thursday a hearing be held in Lebanon to determine if Barton should be further evaluated by a psychiatrist, or if he is competent to waive the remainder of his appeals.
Barton was convicted of aggravated murder for shooting his wife, Kimberli Barton, in their Wayne Twp. home in 2003. After the shooting, he unsuccessfully tried to kill himself.
Barton has said he wants to forego his appeals and die by lethal injection as scheduled July 12.
Barton's court appointed attorney asked that his execution be postponed for a psychiatric evaluation, said Rachel Hutzel, Warren County prosecutor. The state Supreme Court denied the request for a stay and asked a Warren County judge to determine if a competency hearing is necessary.
"Our position is that he is competent to waive all appeals," Hutzel said.
"This could delay his execution date, and we're going to try to do everything to prevent that from happening."
Hutzel hopes the court will hold the hearing the week of July 3.
Barton and his lawyer are still awaiting the outcome of a June 19 clemency hearing. The parole board will make a recommendation to Gov. Bob Taft, who will decide if Barton should die or spend the rest of his life in prison.
"We also think he is the last person who deserves clemency," Hutzel said.
They say you're beautiful And they'll always let you in But doors are never open To the child without a trace of sin R.J.D