On July 22, Anthony Sowell was convicted of 82 counts on a complex 83 count indictment, including the murders of 11 women; yesterday, he was sentenced to death by Judge Ambrose, who also set his date of execution, but prosecutors say
it will be 10 years, and more likely at least 15 before he is finally executed. In a separate trial, Judge Ambrose acquitted Sowell of two of the charges against him, which totalled 85, but in view of all the others and the weight of the evidence, this was academic.
At the final hearing (pre-appeals) in the terrible case of State of Ohio v Anthony Edward Sowell, the judge, seemingly bizarrely, read out a series of directions with which Sowell must comply as a tier three sex offender such as registering with the local sheriff. Perhaps even more bizarrely, Sowell had earlier called as a “mitigation witness” rather than a character witness a man with whom he had shared a cell in the 1990s; convicted rapist Roosevelt Lloyd described the serial killer as nice, loving and caring
In 1989, Sowell was convicted of attempted rape for which he served 15 years. On his release in 2005, the former US Marine worked in a factory until 2007. In September 2009, a woman claimed he had choked her into unconsciousness and raped her. Five weeks later, police armed with a warrant arrived at his home at Imperial Avenue, Cleveland. They didn’t find him, but they did find two bodies. Sowell was charged with murdering five women; later the death toll increased to eleven.
Most of the victims were from what might be termed euphemistically the lowest stratum of society, but as Sowell found out, their lives were considered no less important nevertheless.