Ohio Inmate Romell Broom Dies Ahead of Scheduled Execution on March 16, 2022

Romell Broom, Ohio

Updated: Wednesday, December 30, 2020

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections as announced that Romell Broom has died while on death row. He was 64 years of age. Although not confirmed, it is thought that Romell died of COVID-19, or complications relating to the virus.

Updated: Monday, June 15, 2020

Romell Broom was scheduled to be executed at 10 am local time, on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Mansfield, Ohio. His execution has been rescheduled for Wednesday, March 16, 2022. Sixty-three-year-old Romell is convicted of the rape and murder of 14-year-old Tryna Middleton in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 21, 1984. Rommel has spent the last 34 years on death row in Ohio.

Romell did not have an easy childhood. His parents were addicted to drugs and alcohol. Physical violence occurred within the house and Romell was forced to drop out of school to help care for his siblings.

On September 21, 1984, Tryna Middleton was walking home from a Shaw High School football game with two friends. They noticed a suspicious car following them and decided to take a different road, where a car approached with no lights on. A man exited the car and walked past them, before turning around and attempting to grab all three girls. The two youngest girls were able to escape; Tryna could not escape.

The two girls ran for help. Tryna’s body was found approximately two hours later. She had been raped and stabbed to death, with most of the stab wounds being instantly fatal.

There were two other similar abduction attempts in the area, one of which resulted in bystanders obtaining the license plate of the car, which led to the home of Romell Broom’s father. Police questions Romell, who admitted to driving the car. Romell was first identified by one of the girls whom he attempted to abduct, before later being identified by the two girls walking with Tryna.

Romell has also been connected to the rape through DNA evidence. Romell has insisted he is innocent of the crime and his lawyers have claimed that the DNA tests were inconclusive. He was sentenced to death.

Romell has had several previous execution dates, all of which have been stayed for various reasons. One of Romell’s execution was stayed after a medical team attempted to locate a vein for 35-40 minutes, at 18 different injection sites. While the team was able to locate veins, they were unable to establish an IV line. According to witnesses and his own testimony, the procedure reduced Romell to tears. He has since attempted to argue in courts that attempting to execute him again would be a violation of his 8th Amendment rights, freedom from cruel and unusual punishment, and his 5th Amendment right, freedom from double jeopardy. Both arguments have been rejected by courts.

Romell’s most recent execution date has been stayed due to ongoing problems establishing an execution protocol and obtaining drugs for use in executions. Governor Mike DeWine has issued multiple reprieves for death row inmate with scheduled executions. 

Pray for peace and healing for the family of Tryna Middleton. Pray for strength for the family of Romell. Pray that if Romell is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided prior to his execution. Pray that Romell will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.

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