July 23, 2014

Medina
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70°F

Killer’s parole bid rejected again

MEDINA — A man convicted of a 1978 murder in Medina County was denied parole for the fifth time this month.

Thomas J. Yanasak, 66, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for the aggravated murder of 23-year-old Carol Smith on June 13, 1978. He was 31 years old at the time.

Thomas Yanasak

Police said Yanasak kidnapped Smith from a store parking lot and stabbed her 27 times.

Ohio Parole Board spokesman Mike Davis said Yanasak’s March 15 parole denial was his fifth since he was eligible for parole in 1993. He is scheduled to go before the parole board next on Feb. 1, 2023.

Yanasak was incarcerated Aug. 22, 1978, after pleading no contest to the charges.

The day Smith was killed, she had been shopping with her 5-year-old son, Michael. He was in the backseat of the car when his mother was abducted.

According to www.blockparole.com, a store clerk was alerted earlier in the day to a man in a red Chevelle who was drinking beer and watching women in the parking lot. The clerk wrote down the man’s license plate, which police traced to Yanasak.

When Yanasak’s face appeared on local news, another woman came forward to say he tried to abduct her a day earlier. Three men came to her aid and wrote down her attacker’s license plate, which also matched Yanasak’s.

He is being held at Allen Oakwood Correctional Facility in Lima.

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.