Kasich opts against clemency for Palmer

MARTINS FERRY – Convicted killer Donald “Duke” Palmer didn’t want any mercy for killing two Belmont County men in 1989.

The Ohio Parole Board and Gov. John Kasich obliged the Martins Ferry man’s request.

Just one week after the board, which can recommend clemency for a condemned inmate, rejected clemency for Palmer, Kasich followed suit Tuesday.

The 43-year-old Palmer is scheduled to be executed Sept. 20 at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville.

Palmer’s attorney, David Stebbins, has not offered any explanation as to why his client didn’t request mercy from the board or governor.

Palmer shot and killed Charles W. Sponhaltz and Steven R. Vargo following a series of events that occurred north of Martins Ferry along Deep Run Road, just off Ohio 647 near the Belmont-Jefferson County line.

Palmer received the death penalty in July when the Ohio Supreme Court handed down the sentence.

Ohio has 146 inmates on death row. Including Palmer, 10 other inmates are scheduled for execution through March 2014.

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