Friday, April 19, 2024

Ohio Execution of Lawrence Landrum Rescheduled

Lawrence Landrum, Ohio

Updated: Monday, December 6, 2021

Lawrence LandrumLawrence Alfred Landrum was scheduled to be executed on Thursday, December 9, 2021, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Mansfield, Ohio.  His execution is rescheduled to October 15, 2024.  Sixty-year-old Lawrence is convicted of murdering 84-year-old Harold White, on September 19, 1985, near Chillicothe, Ohio.   Lawrence has spent the last 35 years on death row in Ohio.

Before his arrest, Lawrence had no substantial criminal history.  Lawrence’s parents divorced when he was young, and his mother remarried when he was five years old.  Lawrence graduated from high school and, at the age of 20, joined the Navy.  He later received a dishonorable discharge.  After leaving the Navy, he became dependent on drugs and alcohol.

On September 17, 1985, Lawrence Landrum visited a friend who lived below Harold White, Sr.  Landrum told his friend that he was in financial trouble and that he might rob Harold to obtain the money.  Landrum also threatened to kill Harold.  The following day, Landrum went up to Harold’s apartment, telling him he was looking for one to rent.  Harold, who lived alone, showed Landrum around and then Landrum left.

On September 19, 1985, Harold went out to dinner at a nearby restaurant.  Upon returning to his apartment, Harold found burglars in his apartment.  Harold confronted Landrum, who said, “I’m going to get all the money and stuff I can.”  Harold told Landrum to leave or he would call the police.

While talking, Landrum’s 14-year-old accomplice, Grant Swackhammer, snuck up behind Harold and struck him on the head several times with a large railroad bolt.  Harold fell, and Landrum and Swackhammer continued hitting Harold.

What happened next is disputed.  According to Landrum, Swackhammer handed him a knife, which he used to threaten Harold, while he went through his pockets.  Landrum then claims that he left the knife with Swackhammer who watched Harold, while Landrum continued searching.  Landrum heard screaming and when he returned to the room, Harold had his throat slit.  

Later that night, Landrum told several people that he had slit Harold’s throat after asking Swackhammer to get him a knife.  Landrum threatened to slit the throat of anyone who went to the police.

Landrum returned to the apartment building with a friend to retrieve some clothing items.  While there he asked his friend if she wanted to go see Harold’s body.

On September 20, 1985, police received an anonymous phone call about the murder.  They went to check on Harold and discovered his body.  His apartment had been ransacked.  Among the evidence found, was two pieces of a material later determined to be gloves.  Police also later found a large kitchen knife, and a paper sack containing a bloody towel and gloves in a wooded area outside.

Landrum was arrested on September 21, for murder.  The shoes Landrum was wearing when he was arrested had traces of human blood on them.  Landrum also later confessed to throwing away the towel and gloves.  At his trial, Landrum confessed to planning and executing the burglary, but denied killing Harold.  Landrum also claims he was drunk during the robbery.  Afterward, Landrum got high and does not remember what he said to other people.

Landrum was convicted of Harold’s murder in February of 1986, and sentenced to death a short time later.

For the last several years, Ohio has struggled to obtain execution drugs and decide upon which drugs to use for executions.  This has resulted in an unofficial moratorium on executions in the state.  Read more about the challenges Ohio has been facing regarding executions in the state here.  Therefore, since Ohio schedules executions years in advance, execution dates are rescheduled.  Lawrence Landrum’s execution is rescheduled to October 15, 2024.

Pray for peace for the family of Harold White.  Pray for strength for the family of Lawrence Landrum.  If Lawrence is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, pray evidence will be revealed before his execution.  Pray Lawrence comes to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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