Angelo Fears, Ohio

Updated: Monday, October 14, 2019 

Angelo Fears was scheduled to be executed at 10 am EST, on Thursday, October 17, 2019, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Mansfield, Ohio. Angelo has been resentenced to life in prison. Forty-six-year-old Angelo is convicted of the murder of Antwuan Gilliam on March 30, 1997, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Angelo has spent the last 22 years on Ohio’s death row.


Angelo was raised in a violent neighborhood and was physically abused growing up. He became addicted to alcohol and had problems learning in school.

During the early morning hours on March 30, 1997, Antwuan Gilliam was outside his apartment talking to his girlfriend. A friend, Steven Franklin, approached Antwuan, wanting to purchase crack cocaine from another friend, Derrick Frazier. Derrick came outside and took Steven into the apartment where the crack cocaine was kept.

While Steven and Derrick were inside, James Grant and Angelo Fears pulled up in a van and talked with Antwuan. Antwuan went and entered the apartment with Steven and Derrick, when Grant also forced his way in. Grant initially claimed he wanted to buy some crack cocaine, before he pulled out a gun and aimed it at Steven, telling him to put down the money he was holding.

Fears then entered the apartment, also holding a gun. Steven dropped the money which Grant and Fears took, along with bracelets and rings Steven was wearing. Steven and Antwuan dropped to the floor, while Grant told Fears to kill one of them. Fears pointed his weapon at Antwuan, first taunting him about where Fears should shoot him. Antwuan begged for his life before eventually being shot in the head, killing him.


This was not Angelo Fears first execution date. At least two previous execution dates were stayed due to concerns about the drugs to be used in the executions. Over the past several years, Ohio has struggled to establish a satisfactory execution protocol. More information regarding Ohio’s execution problems can be found here, here, and here.  


Earlier this year, prosecutors reached an agreement with Angelo that would spare him from being executed. A new lawyers for Angelo was arguing that the gun used during the shooting had a faulty firing pin, evidenced by a manufacturers’ recall for malfunction. With the approval of the Ohio Supreme Court, Angelo’s death sentence has been changed to life in prison, without the possibility of parole.


Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Antwuan Gilliam. Please pray for strength for the family of Angelo.  Please pray that Angelo will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.


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