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  1. #1

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    Ashford Thompson - Ohio Death Row



    Summary of Offense:

    The man convicted of killing Twinsburg Police Officer Joshua Miktarian during a routine traffic stop in July of 2008 was sentenced to death by a Summit County judge. Though she had the option of reducing his sentence to life in prison, Judge Elinore Stormer went along with the jury's recommendation for Ashford Thompson, then 25. The official sentencing came less than two weeks after the jury, needing only three hours of deliberation, recommended Thompson get the death penalty. Two of the nine charges for which he was convicted carried with them death penalty and firearm specifications. In a tearful statement to the Miktarian family, Thompson admitted he fired the shots that killed the officer during a traffic stop in the predawn hours of July 13, 2008, because of loud music coming from Thompson's car. Within two minutes of the stop, a neighbor called 911 saying she heard popping noises outside. Officer Miktarian was shot once through the forehead and three more times through the side of his head as he lay unresponsive on the ground. Thompson was arrested at his sister's Bedford Heights home a short time later, still wearing Officer Miktarian's handcuffs on one of his wrists. The gun he used was on the top of a stove in the residence.

    Thompson was sentenced to death on June 23, 2010.

  2. #2

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    June 23, 2010


    Cop Killer Ashford Thompson Sentenced to Death


    AKRON, Ohio - The man convicted of killing Twinsburg Police Officer Joshua Miktarian during a routine traffic stop in July of 2008 was sentenced to death by a Summit County judge Wednesday morning, Fox 8 News reports.

    Though she had the option of reducing his sentence to life in prison, Judge Elinore Stormer went along with the jury's recommendation for Ashford Thompson, 25.

    The official sentencing comes less than two weeks after the jury, needing only three hours of deliberation, recommended Thompson get the death penalty. Two of the nine charges for which he was convicted carried with them death penalty and firearm specifications.

    The judge set Thompson's date of execution for exactly one year from the date of sentencing. That date may, however, get pushed back depending on the appellate process.

    Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh issued a statement saying, "Ashford Thompson is a cold blooded murderer who showed no remorse for killing Officer Miktarian. The death penalty is reserved for the worst crimes upon society. This horrible crime fits that description. Today's sentence demonstrates to the men and women in uniform who protect us that the justice system works for them, too.

    "Over a week ago at the mitigation hearing Ashford Thompson had a dozen witnesses testify to his character. It was Ashford Thompson's day. Today is a day for the Miktarian family. I respect them for the grace and courage they have shown throughout this process and hope that as they put the pieces back together again, they know that the citizens of Summit County will not forget their sacrifice."

    In a tearful statement to the Miktarian family earlier this month, Thompson admitted he fired the shots that killed the officer during a traffic stop in the predawn hours of July 13, 2008, because of loud music coming from Thompson's car.

    Within two minutes of the stop, a neighbor called 911 saying she heard popping noises outside.

    Officer Miktarian was shot once through the forehead and three more times through the side of his head as he laid unresponsive on the ground.

    Thompson was arrested at his sister's Bedford Heights home a short time later, still wearing Officer Miktarian's handcuffs on one of his wrists. The gun he used was on the top of a stove in the residence.

    During his murder trial, Thompson never denied firing the shots. His best explanation came when, in an unsworn statement from the witness stand, he told the jury that he could not understand why the officer seemed to be so aggressive during a stop over loud music, and when he saw Officer Miktarian reach for something on his utility belt, he believed the officer was reaching for his gun.

    Thompson, who had a concealed-carry license, had a loaded gun of his own, which he drew and fired. Thompson admitted, however, that he never announced to Officer Miktarian that he had the gun, which the law requires him to do.

  3. #3
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    Thompson granted stay of execution

    The Supreme Court of Ohio granted a stay of execution for Ashford Lamar Thompson, 26, convicted of aggravated murder in the June 2010 shooting death of Twinsburg Police Officer Joshua Miktarian.

    Ohio Supreme Court Justice Maureen O'Connor granted the stay of execution Jan. 10, pending the final disposition of his initial, mandatory appeal. The initial appeal was filed by Thompson Aug. 6, 2010, and the execution was scheduled for June 23, 2011.

    "Thompson has a right to a direct appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court ... [and] a right of direct review from a sentence of death," according to a memorandum filed by state public defenders Kimberly Rigby and Rachel Troutman Dec. 14, 2010.

    Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer sentenced Thompson to death June 23, 2010, nearly 3 weeks after a 12-member jury found him guilty of 2 counts of aggravated murder, 1 count of escape, 2 counts of resisting arrest, 3 counts of tampering with evidence and 1 count of carrying a concealed weapon.

    Thompson shot Miktarian four times at close range following a traffic stop for loud music and suspicion of OVI July 13, 2008.

    According to the Ohio Public Defender's Office, a defendant always receives an automatic appeal, which goes straight the Ohio Supreme Court. The appeal cannot be waived by the defendant.

    During an appeal, the court must determine if the sentence was valid or if it should be overturned.

    If the Ohio Supreme Court upholds Stormer's sentence, Thompson has the right to file for additional appeals with the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, as well as the U.S. Supreme Court, but he is not required to do so.

    (source: Tallmadge Express)

    Case Announcement here

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    Sister, ex-girlfriend of officer's murderer post bond

    The sister and ex-girlfriend of convicted murderer Ashford Thompson have posted bond and been released from jail after pleading not guilty May 2 to multiple counts of obstructing justice and tampering with evidence related to Twinsburg Police Officer Joshua Miktarianís 2008 murder.

    Thompsonís ex-girlfriend, Danielle Roberson, 26, of Akron, posted bond this morning, while
    Thompsonís sister, Bridget Robinson, 36, of Solon, posted bond May 2. Both paid $5,000 up front, 10 percent of their $50,000 bonds.

    Robinsonís attorney, Mack Fernando, said he expects a pre-trial hearing to be scheduled for his client in the next couple of weeks.

    ďThe first step is to find out what specifically the prosecution is alleging and go from there,Ē he said May 2.

    The nine count indictment issued April 30 shows Robinson is charged with two counts of obstructing justice, third-degree felonies; two counts of attempted tampering with evidence, fourth-degree felonies; and two counts of attempted obstructing justice, also fourth-degree felonies.

    Roberson is charged with two counts of obstructing justice and one count of tampering with evidence.

    The two were arrested around noon May 1 by the U.S. Marshals of Northern Ohioís Violent Fugitive Task Force.

    Roberson was a passenger in Thompsonís vehicle just before 2 a.m. on July 13, 2008, when Miktarian pulled Thompson over for loud music and suspicion of OVI, in the driveway of Thompsonís Glenwood Drive home off Route 91.

    A struggle ensued when Thompson exited his vehicle following the stop, and Thompson ultimately shot Miktarian with a 9mm handgun at least four times in the head at close range.
    Miktarian never unholstered his own sidearm, according to trial testimony. The officerís Taser was found at the scene, removed from his utility belt but not discharged.
    According to her own trial testimony in June 2010, Roberson also exited the vehicle when Miktarian allegedly shoved Thompson on to the hood of his vehicle.

    After the shooting, both Thompson and Roberson fled to Robinsonís then-residence in Bedford Heights, where area officers located Thompson in the kitchen and arrested him after a struggle, a set of Miktarianís handcuffs still attached to one of Thompsonís wrists.
    According to the April 30 indictment, prosecutors allege that Robinson tried to assist Thompson in removing Miktarianís handcuff with a black metal comb and Vaseline.

    The murder weapon ó a 9mm handgun ó was found in the stove in the kitchen, after it was reportedly moved there from under laundry on a couch by Robinson, according to trial testimony. Roberson allegedly moved the gun from the center console of the car to the couch, according to testimony.

    Thompson was sentenced to death following his capital murder trial in June 2010. He is currently on death row at Chillicothe Correctional Institution and has exhausted one mandatory appeal.

    http://www.twinsburgbulletin.com/news/article/5185813
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    Women sentenced in connection with Twinsburg officer's death

    Two women have been sentenced for their role in attempting to help the man who shot and killed a Twinsburg police officer in 2008.

    The girlfriend of Ashford Thompson, Danielle Roberson, has been sentenced to six months house arrest and given two years probation. She was with Thompson the night of July 13, 2008 when he shot Officer Josh Miktarian to death with the officer's gun after being pulled over for loud music.

    The two then fled to Thompson's sister's home in Bedford Heights where Roberson attempted to remove the handcuffs Miktarian had placed on Thompson and the sister, Bridget Robinson, tampered with the gun used in the shooting. Both also lied to police regarding Thompson.

    The sister, Bridget Robinson, has been sentenced to two years probation.

    Roberson and Robinson were arrested on May 1, 2012. They each pleaded guilty to attempted obstruction of justice in January.

    Ashford Thompson was convicted in 2010 and is currently on death row for the murder of Officer Miktarian. He is appealing.

    Officer Miktarian left behind a wife and an infant daughter at the time of his death. His wife, Holly, a former Oakwood police officer addressed the court before sentencing for Roberson and Robinson.

    In a tearful statement in a courtroom filled with fellow-officers, she detailed how the women's actions destroyed both her life and that of her daughter. Speaking of Danielle Roberson she said: "Ultimately I blame you for distracting my husband. he was in the middle of an arrest doing his job. You got out of that car and you distracted him. That is how Ashford Thompson was able to shoot his gun. I solely blame you and believe with all my heart that you are the reason my husband missed Ashford going for his gun."

    Miktarian told the court she also blamed Roberson for not attempting to help her husband after he was shot.

    Roberson apologized in court and offered condolences to Miktarian. Turning to speak directly to her she said, "If I could back and change that night, I would. But I had nothing to do with it and I'm sorry it happened."

    After the sentencing, Miktarian told the media she didn't accept Roberson's apology. She also said she was satisfied with the sentence. "It was important for me ... for the public to see no matter what part you play in the murder of a human being or a police officer, it's not going to be taken lightly."

    http://www.wkyc.com/news/article/282...fficers-death-
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    Twinsburg: Officer Miktarian killed 5 years ago



    On July 13, 2008, Twinsburg Officer Joshua Miktarian, 33, was shot and killed while conducting a traffic stop on Glenwood Drive at approximately 2 a.m..

    Approximately two minutes after making the initial stop, he radioed for assistance. Dispatchers then received several 911 calls reporting gunshots.

    Responding officers located Miktarian. He was flown to MetroHealth Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

    The driver he stopped, Ashford Thompson, was arrested a short time later by members of the Bedford Heights Police Department in Bedford Heights.

    Thompson was convicted of all charges in May 2010 and sentenced to death in June 2010 and is now on Ohio's death row.

    The death penalty is now being appealed.

    Miktarian had served with the Twinsburg Police Department for 11 years and also served as a part-time officer with the Uniontown Police Department.

    He is survived by his wife, Holly who was also a police officer, and their then-3-month-old daughter, Thea.

    http://www.wkyc.com/news/state/artic...ears-ago-today
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    Convicted murderer Ashford Thompson remains in appeals process, no execution date set

    Convicted murderer Ashford Thompson remains on death row five years after shooting and killing Twinsburg Police Office Joshua Miktarian in July 2008, with multiple appeals left to exhaust and an execution date not yet set.

    The capital case was stayed by the state trial court Aug. 23, 2013, to await a decision by the Ohio Supreme Court, which is expected to rule on Thompson's August 2010 direct appeal of the death sentence.

    Public defenders Kimberly Rigby and Rachel Troutman, who are representing Thompson during the appeals process, declined comment on the matter.

    Thompson's execution was initially scheduled for June 23, 2011, and he appealed the sentence Aug. 6, 2010, to the Ohio Supreme Court. A stay of execution was granted by the Ohio Supreme Court Jan. 10, 2011, pending the final disposition of Thompson's initial, mandatory appeal.

    Spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Corrections Ricky Seyfang said a new execution date is not known, as Thompson still has access to multiple levels of state and federal appeal processes.

    "Mr. Thompson's case is pending direct appeal at the Ohio Supreme Court and pending post-conviction relief in the state trial court," Seyfang said. "There would then be appeals in the post-conviction relief matter and then all of the federal appeals ... it's impossible to give an exact number of appeals remaining because of the different levels of courts the case still has left to go through."

    According to the Death Penalty Information Center, the average death row inmate spends around 10 years awaiting execution, with some on death row for up to 20 years.

    The death penalty was handed down by Summit County Common Pleas Court Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer June 23, 2010, after Thompson was found guilty by a jury of two counts of aggravated murder, one count of escape, two counts of resisting arrest, three counts of tampering with evidence and one count of carrying a concealed weapon in the July 13, 2008, murder of Miktarian.

    Thompson has been incarcerated in Chillicothe Correctional Institute since June 25, 2010.

    The many appeals remaining for Thompson include requesting a review of the trial from the State Court of Appeals and requesting a writ of Habeas Corpus from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.

    Seyfang said this ongoing appellate process is not out of the ordinary for capital murder cases.

    "Judicially, it doesn't seem to be uncommon," Seyfang said.

    Representatives for Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh said capital cases can be a lengthy process.

    "We don't have anything [new] at this time," said April Weisner, public information officer for Walsh's office.

    Miktarian was shot multiple times at close range in the driveway of Thompson's former Glenwood Drive home after stopping Thompson for loud music and suspicion of drunk driving. Miktarian was the father of an infant daughter at the time, an 11-year veteran with the Twinsburg Police Department and a 1993 graduate of Tallmadge High School.

    Miktarian's widow Holly said she understands the thorough and time-consuming nature of the appeals process, but hopes that her daughter Thea will not be old enough to be present if and when her father's murderer is eventually executed.

    "I just hope that my daughter's not old enough to ask to go to the execution," Holly said. "In law enforcement, I understand that there is a wait."

    http://www.twinsburgbulletin.com/new...ution-date-set
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  8. #8
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    Ohio Supreme Court to hear appeal from man sentenced to die for killing Twinsburg officer Joshua Miktarian

    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The man convicted of shooting a Twinsburg police officer four times in the head during a traffic stop will appeal his death sentence to the Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday.

    Ashford L. Thompson
    was sentenced to die for killing Joshua Miktarian after the officer stopped Thompson in his driveway early in the morning of July 2008 for loud music and suspected drunken driving.

    When Miktarian was handcuffing Thompson to place him under arrest, Thompson struggled, according to the court. Thompson had a permit to carry a concealed weapon and pulled the gun during the arrest.

    Miktarian had radioed for help two minutes into the stop. A 9-1-1 caller reported hearing loud shouting and "pop" sounds.

    Miktarian was the first officer in the Twinsburg Police Department to be killed in the line of duty.

    A jury convicted Thompson of aggravated murder in 2010. The court sentenced him to be executed. His sister and girlfriend were both convicted of obstructing justice in 2013 for their actions to try to help Thompson after the shooting.

    Thompson’s lawyers argue there were 18 errors made at trial that warrant a reversal of his conviction and death sentence. Among them:

    • Problems with the trial court’s judgement entry and sentencing orders that meant they did not meet legal requirements.
    • A potential juror was dismissed because of her race.
    • Jurors may have heard that Thompson withdrew an initial guilty plea and that may have tainted their impartiality.


    The Summit County prosecutor’s office, arguing for the state, disputes the errors. In their brief, prosecutors note that two people of color served on the jury. They also argue there is no evidence that the jury’s impartiality was tainted or that pre-trial publicity of the case caused bias.

    The case is one of several that will be argued before the court next week. No rulings are expected immediately. Court opinions generally are issued weeks, or even months, after the justices hear oral arguments.

    The case will be heard at the University of Toledo College of Law. Arguments before the court can be viewed live onine.

    http://www.cleveland.com/open/index....l#incart_river
    Last edited by Helen69; 04-04-2014 at 11:01 AM.
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    - Oklahoma Rep. Mike Christian


    "It's messed up that SCOTUS still decides cases by tying up a goat in front of Mt. Rushmore and seeing if the presidents eat it."

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    Defense attorneys tell Ohio Supreme Court that death penalty imposed improperly in case of slain Twinsburg police officer

    Beacon Journal staff report

    Arguments have ended after more than an hour as the Ohio Supreme Court on Tuesday morning heard the appeal of the conviction and death penalty imposed on the man who fatally shot a Twinsburg police officer in 2008.

    Attorneys for Ashford Thompson repeatedly told the justices that he had no previous criminal record, was a home health-care nurse who had helped many, legally possessed a permit to carry a concealed weapon — to protect himself in bad neighborhoods — and acted under “duress” on the night of the shooting.

    Thompson, then 23, feared for his life when both he and his girlfriend felt Officer Joshua Miktarian was reaching for his gun as the men struggled on the hood of the police cruiser during Thompson’s arrest, the defense attorneys said.

    All of those reasons were enough mitigating factors to not impose the death penalty, Thompson’s attorneys told the court.

    Miktarian had stopped Thompson’s vehicle in the early morning hours of July 13, 2008, because of loud music and a suspicion that the driver might be drunk.

    When Miktarian was handcuffing Thompson to place him under arrest, they struggled. Thompson somehow gained control of his gun and shot the officer four times in the head.

    Thompson was convicted in 2010 of aggravated murder and other charges.

    Miktarian, who was on the Twinsburg force for 11 years, was a 33-year-old married father with an infant daughter at the time of his death.

    http://www.ohio.com/news/defense-att...ficer-1.479222

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    Widow of slain Twinsburg officer shares story at Cuyahoga Falls-Silver Lake police memorial service

    By Steve Wiandt

    Cuyahoga Falls -- Before her husband was killed in the line of duty, "I too was a police officer and didn't give much thought" to National Police Officer Memorial Week, Holly Miktarian admitted. Now she knows firsthand about loss and sacrifice.

    The Tallmadge resident who served eight years with the Oakwood Village Police Department was the keynote speaker at the Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake Police Departments' Police Memorial Service on May 14. The service is an annual event organized by the Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake Police Memorial and Honor Guard Foundation.

    Addressing the crowd of more than 200 people, Miktarian said she has attended "countless" police memorial services throughout the past six years. "[I'm] ashamed to say before my husband was killed I too was a police officer and didn't give much thought to this week."

    Her husband, Twinsburg Police Officer Josh Miktarian, was killed in the line of duty on July 13, 2008. Holly Miktarian said she realizes now National Police Officer Memorial Week is "so important and I hope there isn't another officer out there who isn't aware of how important it is. We have to make a promise to never forget our fallen."

    Josh Miktarian was working a 12-hour shift on patrol with his police dog Bagio when he pulled over a driver around 2 a.m. for playing loud music. He radioed dispatchers that he was on a traffic stop and requested backup. "That was the last time Josh was ever heard from again," Holly said. Soon after Josh's call came in, dispatchers began receiving phone calls from residents who heard popping noises and loud yelling.

    "Josh was found lying in the driveway with several shots to the head and torso," Holly said. "My Josh was left there laying in a driveway, alone, to die like an animal." She said his killer, Ashford Thompson, told police he shot her husband because he was "rude" to him. Thompson was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Josh Miktarian.

    "It was unbelievably gratifying to stand up in front of Ashford Thompson at sentencing and tell him exactly what I thought," Holly Miktarian told her audience. "From a widow's perspective, a police officer's perspective, the mother of our only child and as a human being. I will never understand his actions that early morning nor will I ever forgive him."

    Holly said she will never forget Josh. Even if she wanted to, she added, she has their daughter, Thea, who recently turned 6. She describes her as the spitting image of her dad. "With the exception of his bald head," she added with a smile.

    Cuyahoga Falls Mayor Don Walters called it "a happy but somber day as we honor those that run into the face of danger when we're sometimes inclined to run the other way Ö today we honor all who protect and serve."

    Silver Lake Mayor Bernie Hovey stressed the importance of going to a police officer when help is needed. "I can remember when my kids were young I told them if they ever got separated from their parents the first thing you look for is a police officer," Hovey said.

    "We gather each year during the week of May 15 to pay homage to the officers who have given their lives in the line of duty and to the officers who have served and continue to serve," said John Sim, a retired Falls police officer and the president of Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 49. "We gather as citizens, families, brothers and sisters of the badge."

    Cuyahoga Falls Police Chief Jack Davis said it was "wonderful" to see so many current and former police officers, members of their families and citizens in the audience. "It shows you what a community we have here," Davis said. "Part of that community has supported this beautiful monument here."

    The chief said along with the names of officers who have passed away or died in the line of duty, there is a list of donors. "This is a special place," Davis said. "Not because of the beautiful granite, not because of all the nice statues, but because of the names that are on it, that support what we do here."

    http://www.twinsburgbulletin.com/new...er-lake-police

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