Alva Campbell’s lawyers plead for leniency from death penalty, say he is too frail

Alvis Campbell (photo provided to NBC4)

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — It was 20 years ago when a citywide manhunt captured a man who kidnapped and killed a teenager. On Thursday his defense team pleaded with the state not to execute him.

Alva Campbell, 69, has been on death row for nearly two decades and is scheduled for a lethal injection next month for killing Charlie Dials, 19.

NBC4 spent the day at Campbell’s clemency hearing at the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction parole board hearing.

Alvis Campbell (photo provided to NBC4)

A picture of Alva Campbell recently taken in prison shows him frail and using a walker. Campbell was in the Chillicothe Correctional Institute, where his attorney claims he suffers from prostate cancer, COPD, emphysema and other ailments.

His defense team at the parole board hearing claims the state failed him all along, through an abusive childhood, and in both foster care and his first stint in prison. They spen the day using several experts and former attorneys asking the parole board not to recommend the death penalty.

“By the time he was 10 he was broken, and he is broken and he is not going to be repaired, and he shouldn’t be out, but he shouldn’t be executed either,” said William Mooney, who was part of Campbell’s defense team in 1997.

A member of the 12-person parole board asked Campbell’s defense team when it became Campbell’s responsibility to seek help for his abuse in the decades before he murdered Dials.

Charlie Dials’ family, who were in attendance, nodded in agreement.

Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien prosecuted Campbell.

“He deserves no mercy! He shot a highway patrolman at 16, he later shot and killed a bar owner in Cleveland in an armed robbery. He committed seven armed robberies here in Columbus,” said O’Brien.

Campbell’s mug shot from the Ohio Dept. of Rehabilitation and Corrections.

Then in 1997, Campbell killed a Columbus teenager.

“While faking he was paralyzed and confined to a wheelchair, escaped on his way to court, carjacked Charlie Dials, then murdered him,” O’Brien said.

Bill Mooney was his defense attorney back then calling Campbell’s abuses a contributing factor in the crimes he committed.

“Why won’t he have a difficulty in the day-to-day vagaries of life, given the way life treated him?” said Mooney.

The parole board will sent their recommendation to Gov. Kasich on Oct. 20th and he will decide if Campbell gets a lethal injection or life in prison, provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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