Thursday, August 16, 2001

Accomplice stated Byrd killed clerk

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        The Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office on Wednesday released more documents that contradict convicted killer John W. Byrd Jr's claims of innocence.

        The latest information is a 1983 statement from one of Mr. Byrd's accomplices, William Danny Woodall, which supports prosecutors' contentions that Mr. Byrd is responsible for killing Monte Tewksbury in Colerain Township that year.

        Shortly after his conviction in the case, Mr. Woodall was interviewed by a social worker who filed a written report on their conversation.

        “The inmate states all three (Mr. Byrd, Mr. Woodall and John Brewer) were out drinking when Byrd suggested they rob a store,” wrote Delores Brown.

        “Woodall states he waited in the van until Brewer came from the store. They were joined by Byrd, who told them that he (Byrd) stabbed the store clerk.”

        Prosecutor Mike Allen said this jibes with a deathbed statement given by Mr. Woodall, who died in prison in April.

        He said he plans to present the document to the Ohio Parole Board during a clemency hearing Monday for Mr. Byrd, who is scheduled for execution Sept. 12.

        Defense attorneys have sought to obtain a new trial for Mr. Byrd by introducing a statement from Mr. Brewer that he, not Mr. Byrd, killed Mr. Tewksbury.

        A Hamilton County Common Pleas Court judge ignored the statement, calling it unbelievable, and refused to grant Mr. Byrd a hearing to introduce it.

        The confession affidavit from Mr. Brewer was obtained in 1989 but was not introduced at that time.

        Prosecutors contend Mr. Brewer lied to keep Mr. Byrd, 37, from being executed. He also knew that he could not be tried again for the death, they said.


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