Updated: Monday, June 13, 2022
Ohio planned to execute Percy Hutton on June 22, 2022, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Mansfield, Ohio. Percy’s execution has been rescheduled to June 18, 2025. Sixty-year-old Percy is convicted of murdering 24-year-old Derek “Ricky” Mitchell in Cleveland, Ohio, on September 16, 1985. Percy has spent the last 35 years on Ohio’s death row.
Percy Hutton was good friends with Derek “Ricky” Mitchell and Samuel Simmons, Jr. until Hutton came to believe that the two men had stolen from him. On Friday, September 13, or Saturday, September 14, 1985, Hutton went to Samuel’s home and confronted him about a stolen sewing machine.
Hutton claimed that he had seen Derek try to sell the machine and demanded that it be returned. Samuel told Hutton that he should talk to Derek. While Hutton and Samuel were talking, Derek arrived at the house. Derek took Hutton upstairs. When they returned downstairs, Samuel heard Hutton say, “it wasn’t what he was looking for and if [Hutton] found out [Samuel and Derek] had anything to do with what was missing or stolen, [Hutton] was going to kill us.”
During the early morning hours of Monday, September 16, 1985, Hutton drove to Samuel’s home. Hutton’s future brother-in-law, Bruce Laster went with Hutton. Upon arriving, Hutton asked Samuel to come out and help work on the car. Samuel noticed a rifle lying on the back seat of the car.
Hutton then drove Samuel to Derek’s house, claiming he wanted to talk to the two of them. Samuel went into the house and brought out Derek. Hutton again confronted Samuel and Derek over the missing sewing machine, which contained $750. Hutton also alleged that the two men stole some tires from his backyard.
After Derek again denied ever having the sewing machine, Hutton insisted that he saw Derek try and sell it to another man. Hutton wanted to take Derek to that man’s house in order to clear up the issue.
Derek and Samuel got into the car with Hutton, who drove to a parking lot behind a bus facility. Hutton and Derek got out of the car and walked off a short distance. Samuel could not hear the conversation but witnessed Hutton put a gun to Derek’s head.
When Hutton and Derek returned to the car, Derek gave Hutton directions to another building. Hutton and Derek went into the building and returned carrying a white sewing machine case. Hutton dropped off the sewing machine at his mother’s house and returned to the car. He drove down the next street and parked next to Cadillac El Dorado.
Hutton told Samuel he wanted to steal the car. Hutton parked his car at the end of the street, leaving Derek and Bruce inside. Returning to the El Dorado, Samuel and Hutton broke in and Samuel attempted to start it. Hutton then shot Samuel twice in the back of the head before running up the ally to his car. Hutton, Derek, and Bruce left.
Samuel survived the shooting and tried to get help. Hutton returned shortly for Samuel and told Derek and Bruce that an unknown person had shot Samuel. Hutton drove Samuel to the hospital. Samuel attempted to send someone to warn Derek that Hutton had shot him, but the two had already left.
Derek was not seen alive again. His body was discovered on September 30, 1985. He had been shot to death with the same caliber of bullet that had been removed from Samuel’s head.
On Tuesday, September 17, 1985, Hutton drove to Indianapolis. He turned himself in to the police on October 5, 1985. Bruce was also arrested in connection with Derek’s death. During Hutton’s trial, attorneys for Hutton attempted to argue that Derek’s death occurred while Hutton was in Indianapolis. Hutton was convicted and sentenced to death.
Governor Mike DeWine has issued Percy Hutton a reprieve, rescheduling his execution for June 18, 2025. Multiple executions in recent years have been rescheduled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Additionally, Ohio has struggled to find suppliers for the execution drugs. More information regarding Ohio’s execution problems can be found here.
Pray for peace and healing for the family of Derek Mitchell. Pray for healing for Samuel Simmons. Please pray for strength for the family of Percy Hutton. Pray that if Percy is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be provided before his execution. Pray that Percy may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
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