The Ohio Supreme Court, however, vacated the sentence, citing a problem with evidence.
Herring was re-sentenced this week to 103 years in prison.
Herring killed three people while robbing a motel in Youngstown, Ohio.
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Willie Herring, a defendant in the April 30, 1996, robbery and triple murder at the Newport Inn, has been sentenced to 103 years to life in prison.
Judge John M. Durkin, of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court, re-sentenced Herring this morning for the crimes he committed at the South Side bar.
Calling Herring’s crimes “heinous,” Ralph Rivera, an assistant county prosecutor, had said in May that the prosecution would seek the death penalty this year.
A new penalty determination phase had been set for next month after a 4-3 Ohio Supreme Court decision last December vacated Herring’s death sentence, but left his conviction intact.
The top court vacated the death sentence because it said Herring’s trial lawyers failed to thoroughly and adequately investigate Herring’s background to determine which mitigating factors to present to the jury during the penalty phase.
That jury recommended the death sentence, which Judge Durkin imposed.
That jury had convicted Herring in 1998 of three counts of complicity to commit aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and two counts of aggravated robbery, all with firearm specifications.
Mahoning County Prosecutor Paul J. Gains said today that he was dropping his request for the death penalty, at the request of the two surviving shooting victims, Ron Marinelli and Debbie Aziz.
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