Ohioan Who Killed Black Man, Officer Nears Execution

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  • LUCASVILLE, Ohio (AP) — Ohio planned to execute a white gunman who spewed racial slurs before fatally shooting a black man and a police officer in a 1994 rampage at his suburban Cleveland apartment complex, using a lethal injection that was to be the last before the state’s supply of its execution drug expires.

    Harry Mitts Jr., 61, was scheduled to die Wednesday at the state prison in Lucasville after years of acknowledging his crimes and saying he’s repented.

    Mitts was convicted of aggravated murder and attempted murder in the rampage against random neighbors and responding police officers.

    He was on constant watch headed into the 10 a.m. execution after two recent high-profile prison suicides in the state. With his execution, Ohio’s valid supply of the execution drug pentobarbital was also set to expire. Officials expect to announce the state’s new procedure next month.

    With clemency denied and his legal appeals exhausted, Mitts has been concentrating on spiritual matters during what are expected to be his final days, attorney Jeff Kelleher said Tuesday.

    “He is more concerned with the higher power right now than what those like myself or the state might or might not do,” Kelleher said.

    The prisons department said Mitts visited with his attorneys, a friend and a spiritual adviser Tuesday evening.

    Mitts has said he’s repented for the crimes committed during his drunken racially charged rampage. His criminal record was minimal before and since.

    Wearing what witnesses described as yellow goggles and wielding a gun with a laser sight and later other weapons, Mitts first shouted racial epithets and killed a neighbor’s black boyfriend, John Bryant, and then shot and killed white Garfield Heights police Sgt. Dennis Glivar as he responded to the scene. Mitts also shot and wounded two other police officers.

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