Updated: Monday, April 9, 2018 10:49 am EDT
William T. Montgomery was scheduled to be executed at 10 am EDT, on Wednesday, April 11, 2018, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Mansfield, Ohio. His execution has been called off and Ohio Governor John Kasich has granted William clemency. Fifty-two-year-old William is convicted of murdering 20-year-old Debra Ogle and 19-year-old Cynthia Tincher on March 8, 1986, in Toledo, Ohio. William has spent the past 28 years on Ohio's death row.
Ohio Governor John Kasich has followed the recommendation of the Ohio Parole Board and granted clemency to William Montgomery. The board recommended clemency by a vote of 6-4, with many board members having concerns over inconsistent witness statements. Further, the inconsistent statements were not made known to the defense.
William Montgomery knew Debra Ogle and Cynthia Tincher. Both women were known to be alive during the early morning hours of March 8, 1986. Following a night of drinking, Montgomery, along with friend Glover Heard, took a cab to the apartment shared by Debra and Cynthia. Montgomery was armed with a .38 caliber pistol. Debra agreed to give the men a ride to Montgomery's mother's house on her way to work. Montgomery sat in the front seat providing directions, eventually having Debra stop along a road. Montgomery and Debra walked away from the car into a field. Heard then heard a gun fire twice and saw Debra's body lying on the ground.
Montgomery drove Debra's car back to her apartment and gave the keys to Heard, telling him to take the car. Heard took Debra's wallet when he abandoned the car. When Debra never reported for work, police listed her as missing. Montgomery took the gun and entered the apartment.
A black person wearing a dark hooded jacket with the hood tied tight around their face was seen leaving Cynthia's car later that day. Cynthia was found in her car. She was killed by a single gunshot to the head.
Montgomery was arrested on March 12, 1986, on an unrelated charge. Montgomery confessed that his gun was the murder weapon, however, he was not the shooter. Montgomery blamed the murder on Heard, saying Heard confessed to him. Montgomery eventually led police to Debra's body, but continued to blame the murders on Heard.
Heard made a plea deal and pled guilty to one count of complicity to murder and testified against Montgomery. A jury found Montgomery guilty of murder and aggravated robbery.
William Montgomery has had several previous execution dates, all of which have been postponed or rescheduled due to ongoing legal challenges to Ohio’s execution protocol. Legal challenges began following the January 2014, execution of Dennis McGuire, who was executed using a new two-drug execution process. Dennis’ execution took longer than expected, with debate over whether Dennis was fully unconscious for the execution. An investigation followed the execution, resulting in numerous legal challenges to the execution protocol, and in numerous scheduled executions, including William’s, being delayed.
The investigation has since been concluded, and executions resumed in Ohio on July 26, 2017, with the execution of Ronald Phillips. There were no reported complications during the execution.
William is seeking clemency, and the Ohio Parole Board recently recommended to Governor John Kasich, by a vote of 6-4, that clemency be granted. The governor is not required to follow the recommendation of the parole board. The board recommended clemency, citing doubt and uncertainty in the case. The state opposes the recommendation, saying there is sufficient evidence that points to William as the killer.
Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Debra Ogle and Cynthia Tincher. Please pray for strength for the family of William Montgomery. Please pray that if William is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that William will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.