Monday, June 17, 2024

Ohio Execution of Scott Group Rescheduled from January 10, 2024, to February 17, 2027

Updated: Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Ohio death row inmate Scott GroupScott Group was scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, January 10, 2024, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility near Lucasville, Ohio. His execution has been rescheduled for February 17, 2027. Fifty-nine-year-old Scott is convicted of murdering 56-year-old Robert Lozier on January 18, 1997, in Youngstown, Ohio. Scott has been on Ohio’s death row for the last 24 years.

Scott’s sister alleged that Scott had a traumatic childhood, which left him with mental disorders. His father abandoned him and his mother was verbally and physically abusive. However, Scott denies these allegations. As an adult, Scott helped his sisters and provided financially for their children. Scott also became the legal guardian of two children of his ex-girlfriend. Before his arrest, he was known as a hard worker at his job, often willing to pick up extra work.

Robert Lozier and his wife Sandra, owned the Downtown Bar in Youngstown Ohio. Beginning in September 1996, they began using Ohio Wine Imports Company to purchase wine and other merchandise. Scott Group worked as a delivery man for the company and made weekly deliveries to the Downtown Bar. During his delivery, Group never asked Robert or Sandra to sign or initial copies of the invoices which was unusual.

On December 12, 1996, Group was short on the amount of money he was supposed to turn into the Ohio Wine Imports Company. Police were notified, however, Group was never charged with stealing the missing money. Afterward, other employees reported seeing him with a gun at work.

In early January 1997, Group went to the Downtown Bar and asked to see the copies of the invoices. Then, on January 17, 2023, Group suddenly quit his job. That night he was seen at the Downtown Bar. The following day, Group returned to the bar and asked to see the invoices. While looking at the invoices with Sandra, Robert was counting money.

Group eventually went to the bathroom and came back to the office holding a gun. He ordered Robert and Sandra into the restroom. Sandra encouraged him to take the money, however, Group replied “This isn’t about the money.” Group ordered the couple to face the wall and shot Robert once in the back of the head. He then shot Sandra twice. Robert died from his injuries, but Sandra survived and managed to call the police, telling them the delivery driver from Ohio Wine robbed and shot them.

Police quickly began looking for Group. After the crime, Group went to his mother’s house, then to another bar, and then a VFW post. While driving to a grocery store, Group’s mother called and said the police were looking for him. That afternoon, Group turned himself in at the police station, believing it was regarding unpaid parking tickets. Group was arrested shortly after arriving at the station.

When police questioned Group about the robbery and murder, he pointed to another driver for Ohio Wine. However, Sandra did not recognize the other driver when she was shown his picture. Robert’s blood was also found on Group’s shoe and Group’s hands tested positive for gunshot residue.

While in prison, Group conspired with another inmate who was set to be released. Group encouraged him to “firebomb” Sandra’s house and scare her out of testifying against him at his trial. The inmate eventually told the prosecutor about Group’s plan.

Group was charged with murder, attempted murder, and robbery. New charges of attempted murder and intimidating a witness were added after the other inmate confessed Group’s plan. Group was tried and convicted in March 1999. He was sentenced to death.

Scott Group’s execution date has been rescheduled from January 10, 2024, to February 17, 2027. His execution was rescheduled by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine due to ongoing problems obtaining execution drugs in the state of Ohio. Read more about the challenges Ohio has been facing regarding executions in the state here.

Pray for peace of the family of Robert Lozier. Pray for healing for Sandra Lozier. Please pray for strength for the family of Scott Group. Please pray that if Scott is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented before his execution. Pray that Scott may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

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