Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Hamilton Man Appeals Death Sentence to Court for Third Time

Justices to Travel to Bucyrus for Wednesday Session

Image of the gavel sculpture outside of the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center

The Chief Justice and Justices of the Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments in nine cases October 8 and 9.

Image of the gavel sculpture outside of the Thomas J. Moyer Ohio Judicial Center

The Chief Justice and Justices of the Ohio Supreme Court will hear arguments in six cases October 22 and 23.

The Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear the third appeal of a Hamilton man convicted and sentenced to die for the 1983 murder of his estranged girlfriend.

The case, Davis v. State, is the first of six cases scheduled for argument before the Ohio Supreme Court on October 22 and 23. As part of the Supreme Court’s Off-Site Court Program, it will hear three of this week’s cases on Wednesday in Crawford County.

The court’s Office of Public Information today released summaries of the six cases. The arguments will be carried live online at and broadcast live on the Ohio Channel.

After the Supreme Court in 1988 reversed Von Clark Davis’s first death sentence and sent the case back to the trial court for resentencing, Davis was resentenced to death. He appealed, and the Twelfth District Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court both upheld the second death sentence. But in a separate federal habeas corpus action (which alleges unlawful imprisonment), the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals remanded the case again for a third sentencing hearing. In September 2009, the trial court again imposed a death sentence for Davis, and Twelfth District affirmed. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court will hear his appeal.

At his original trial in 1984, Davis waived his right to a jury trial, and his case was heard by a three-judge panel. Among the errors claimed, attorneys for Davis assert that the trial court violated the Sixth and Eighth amendments to the U.S. Constitution and Davis’s right to due process by not allowing him to have a jury hear the case at his resentencing hearing.

Cases for Tuesday, October 22
In addition to Davis, the court will consider two other cases during Tuesday’s session:

  • Christen Daniel v. Sean Daniel is a case asking the court whether a military pension should be considered a marital asset in a divorce proceeding if the pension was mostly earned during the marriage but if the benefits won’t pay out until after the divorce. Christen Daniel argues that a trial court can and should issue a plan to divide unvested retirement benefits. Otherwise the result is inequitable, she contends – one spouse will receive the entire pension, including the benefits that accumulated during the marriage, and the other will receive nothing.
  • A Cuyahoga County attorney in Disciplinary Counsel v. Joy Lenore Marshall contests the two-year suspension, with one year stayed, recommended by the Board of Commissioners on Grievances & Discipline. The attorney has been found in contempt of court and jailed multiple times for violating several court orders, and she also accused a judge in her case of bias.

Cases for Wednesday, October 23
The court will consider these three cases at the off-site session:

  • In State of Ohio v. Jeffrey McGlothan, the state appeals the reversal of the domestic violence conviction of a Euclid man. The Eighth District Court of Appeals upheld an attempted felonious assault conviction but found that the state didn’t show that the man and his girlfriend shared any living expenses that would demonstrate a shared familial or financial responsibility, as required by the domestic violence statute. The state counters that the elements of cohabitation can be met without evidence that two people share financial responsibility.
  • State of Ohio v. Timothy Tate considers how prior convictions need to be established during trial to elevate a domestic violence offense from a misdemeanor to a felony. When a defendant stipulates (agrees) to prior convictions during trial, the state contends that it doesn’t need to offer any additional evidence to prove that the person convicted in the earlier cases is the person currently on trial.
  • Attorneys for an Oak Harbor minor argue in the case In re A.G. that the child should have been permitted to attend and participate in a hearing to address her father’s request for unsupervised visitation. Her attorneys assert that she had a direct interest in the outcome of that proceeding and the Ohio Rules of Juvenile Procedure don’t allow a person with a direct interest in a case to be excluded from a hearing. Because she couldn’t personally participate in the trial, A.G. was denied her right to due process under the U.S. and Ohio constitutions, her attorneys contend.