Nichole Hannahs

Circuit Court Denies Inmate’s Appeal

by Nichole Hannahs on July 4, 2013 at 10:11 am

An Ohio Appeals Court upheld a decision to deny an Ohio inmate’s appeal of his death sentence in connection to a Guernsey County murder.

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati in a 9-8 decision agreed with a lower court’s ruling to deny the appeal brought forward by John Stumpf’s attorney.

Prosecutors said on May 14, 1984 Stumpf along with two other men were drinking near Washington, Pennsylvania when they decided to drive along Interstate 70. They pulled over in Guernsey County and Stumpf and another man walked to the home of Mr and Mrs. Norman Stout. They were let into the home to use the phone.

That’s when Stumpf and his accomplice told the Stouts they were being robbed. During a scuffle Norman Stout was shot twice in the head. Stout’s wife Mary Jane was shot four times and later died of her injuries.

Stumpf was charged with aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and two counts of grand theft. Prior to trial he plead guilty to aggravated murder, aggravated attempted murder and the specification of using a firearm while committing a felony.

Over the years he’s argued that new evidence after his trial indicated another man may have fired shots that killed Mary Jane Stout.

It is also not the first time that Stumpf has argued his death penalty be set aside. Earlier the 6th Circuit Court of Appeal ruled that his death penalty be set aside. That decision was overturned by the Supreme Court, who asked the Circuit Court to consider Stumpf’s argument that his due process rights were violated at sentencing.

Stumpf’s attorney, Alan Freedman, said they’ll now appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.