Sunday, January 21, 2001

Man indicted in 1978 slaying won't face death penalty

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — A man indicted in a 22-year-old slaying won't face execution if convicted because Ohio did not have the death penalty when the crime was committed, a prosecutor said.

        A grand jury Friday indicted James Preston Martini on three counts of aggravated murder, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O'Brien said.

        Because Ohio's original capital punishment law was declared unconstitutional in 1974, Mr. Martini faces a maximum penalty of life in prison, Mr. O'Brien said. He is being held in the county jail on a $500,000 bond.

        Mr. Martini was arrested on Jan. 12 in the slaying of Darlene Hines, 25, whose body was found Oct. 17, 1978, in a bathtub full of water in her Reynoldsburg apartment. Her hands had been tied behind her back and she had been raped, authorities said.


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