Thursday, February 07, 2002

Defendant says he killed 3

Outburst comes at start of trial; judges to decide man's fate

By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        A three-judge panel may be convened today to decide the fate of Stanley Fitzpatrick, who could receive the death penalty if convicted of brutally killing three people in Lincoln Heights.

        On Wednesday, moments after opening statements in his triple-homicide trial, Mr. Fitzpatrick announced that he killed his girlfriend, her 12-year-old daughter and their neighbor, and wants to be put to death.

        “I plead guilty. I killed them,” said the 34-year-old former Formica Corp. employee. “Stop this (court proceeding) right now.”

        His declarations befuddled Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Patrick Dinkelacker and Mr. Fitzpatrick's attorneys and prosecutors, all of whom questioned whether it is legally possible for a defendant to plead guilty after the start of his jury trial.

        By Wednesday afternoon, they'd determined that it is legal. Both sides agreed to waive a jury trial and picked Common Pleas Judges Ann Marie Tracey and Dennis Helmick to join Judge Dinkelacker on the panel.

        Mr. Fitzpatrick's outburst came while the jury had been excused from the courtroom so attorneys could confer with the judge.

        Opening statements included graphic descriptions of how Doreatha Hayes and her daughter Shena were stabbed and hacked to death June 7 in the Chicago Avenue home they shared with Mr. Fitzpatrick. Neighbor Elton “Arybie” Rose was beaten to death with the back of a hatchet two days later inside the house.

        “If you want to put me to death, put me to death,” Mr. Fitzpatrick said in open court Wednesday, later demanding he be removed from the courtroom. “This is my life. I don't want to wait 'til lunch or the next day or nothing.

        “... I don't remember killing Shenay or Doreatha, but I remember killing Mr. Rose,” he added.

        Judge Dinkelacker tried to convince Mr. Fitzpatrick it would be in his best interest to face his accusers. But, Mr. Fitzpatrick was adamant and was eventually escorted from the courtroom.

        Authorities say he killed Ms. Hayes and her daughter after being suspended from his Evendale job, getting little sleep for days and repeatedly smoking crack.

        He lived with the bodies inside the home for two days, then on June 9, police say, he lured Mr. Rose, 64, to the home and killed him.

        Prosecutors say Mr. Fitzpatrick tried to entice Mr. Rose's wife, Betty, into the house by telling her her husband wanted to see her. And, authorities say, he tried to kill Lincoln Heights Police Sgt. DeAngelo Sumler when the officer responded to a hang-up 911 call from the home.

        Mr. Fitzpatrick faces three charges of aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated robbery and one count of aggravated burglary.


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