Thursday, August 16, 2001

Killer headed to Ohio prison

Eugene Gall's Kentucky death sentence had been overturned

By Jim Hannah
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        COVINGTON — A federal judge's ruling Wednesday means that convicted child killer Eugene Gall will be sent to Ohio to serve a life sentence instead of being committed to a mental hospital in Kentucky.

        U.S. District Court Judge William O. Bertelsman's ruling comes 10 months after the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati said Mr. Gall did not receive a fair trial and belongs in a mental hospital, rather than on Kentucky's death row.

        A Boone County jury convicted Mr. Gall of abducting Lisa Jansen as she walked to her Columbia Township school in April 1978, then raping and shooting the girl to death in Boone County.

        Mr. Gall shot a Kentucky State trooper twice in the chest before being apprehended. The trooper survived.

        Mr. Gall was the first person sentenced to die in Kentucky after capital punishment was reinstated in 1974. He had been on Kentucky's death row longer than any other inmate.

        “It is unfortunate that 22 years after a jury of his peers in Boone County made a determination that Mr. Gall was fully responsible for his actions when he took the life of Lisa Jansen that the court of appeals would then come in and supplement a jury decision with their own,” said Boone County Commonwealth Attorney Linda Tally Smith. “It is a true American tragedy.”

        Ohio now has 30 days to extradite Mr. Gall to serve time on his unrelated convictions in Montgomery County.

        He was convicted in May 1979 in two separate cases. In the first, Mr. Gall was found guilty on two counts of kidnapping. He was sentenced to seven to 25 years on each count to run consecutively.

        In the second case, Mr. Gall was convicted of one count of kidnapping for which he received seven to 25 years, one count of rape for which he received seven to 25 years and one count of murder for which he received a life sentence. The three charges in the second case also were to be served consecutively.

        “Obviously, Ohio found Mr. Gall criminally responsible for the offenses he committed in that state,” Ms. Smith said.


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