Tuesday, April 18, 2000

Suspect avoids capital case

Franklin man accused of killing wife

BY Sheila McLaughlin
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — A Franklin man charged in the fatal shooting of his wife and the wounding of her brother at an auto parts factory last month won't face the death penalty if he is convicted.

        A Warren County grand jury declined Monday to indict Michael Pardon on a death penalty specification — a move that confounded prosecutors but didn't surprise Mr. Pardon's lawyer.

        “It was presented to them for their consideration. I don't know what their thinking was,” Warren County Assistant Prosecutor Keith Anderson said.

        Prosecutors asked grand jurors to hand up the specification because they contend Shirley Pardon, 39, was shot while Mr. Pardon was trying to kill a co-worker he suspected was her lover.

        The law allows prosecu tors to seek the death penalty if the slaying occurred during the commission of a murder or attempted murder, Mr. Anderson said.

        Mr. Pardon, 26, told police that his wife lunged between him and Charles Weaver as he tried to shoot Mr. Weaver at Digitron Inc., where the three worked.

        Mr. Pardon then chased Mr. Weaver through the factory, firing several shots and wounding Mrs. Pardon's brother, James Allen of Kettering, Franklin police said.

        “(The grand jury's decision) doesn't surprise me. It's not a death penalty case,” said Mr. Pardon's court-appointed lawyer, Pat Long.

        Mr. Pardon, who remains jailed on a $2.5 million bond, still faces 25 years to life in prison if he is convicted of aggravated murder.

        The grand jury also indicted him Monday on two counts of attempted murder.


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