June 30, 2016

Partly sunny

Obese death row inmate claims innocence

COLUMBUS — A condemned killer trying to delay his execution because he is obese is now raising an innocence claim, a prosecutor said in a filing with the Ohio Parole Board.

Ronald Post

Death row inmate Ronald Post, who weighs more than 400 pounds, is asking the courts to stop his January execution on the grounds his weight could cause him to suffer severe pain during the procedure. Post has also attempted to delay his execution to try to prove that claims he made a full confession to several people have been falsely exaggerated.

Post told the parole board Nov. 20 that another man shot hotel desk clerk Helen Vantz in Elyria in 1983, Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will said in a board filing Wednesday obtained by The Associated Press through a records request.

Post said he was “complicit in the robbery” but didn’t enter the hotel personally, Will said in the filing.

Will called the allegation a “brand new claim” that isn’t backed up by the facts. He said Post took responsibility when he pleaded no contest in 1984.

The board “should consider Post’s written admission, made in open court almost thirty years ago, that he, and he alone, was responsible for the crimes against Helen Vantz,” Will wrote.

Post’s lawyer denied there was anything new about his client’s comments to the board. Post, without explaining his role in the crime, apologized for his involvement in Vantz’ death during a sentencing hearing, defense attorney Rachel Troutman said Thursday.

Post entered a no contest plea and was not tried.