CLEVELAND (AP) — An Ohio man convicted of killing three women and wrapping their bodies in garbage bags should die by lethal injection, a jury recommended on Friday.
The panel deliberated less than a day before making its decision. It rejected defense arguments that the life of defendant Michael Madison should be spared because he suffered from psychological damage and substance abuse problems after being abused by his stepfather and drug-addicted mother.
A Cuyahoga County judge will now decide whether to accept the jury’s recommendation or sentence Madison to life in prison with no chance of parole. Sentencing is scheduled for Thursday afternoon.
Earlier this month, that same jury convicted Madison of multiple counts of aggravated murder, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse for killing Angela Deskins, 38, Shetisha Sheeley, 28, and 18-year-old Shirellda Terry in 2013. Their bodies were found near the East Cleveland apartment building where Madison lived.
The case began when a cable television worker reported a putrid smell coming from a garage shared by Madison at the apartment building. Inside, police found the decaying body of a woman wrapped in garbage bags that were sealed closed with tape. The next day, searchers found bodies in the basement of a vacant house and in the backyard of a home nearby.
Madison, 38, told police during an interrogation that he strangled two of the women during fits of rage. His attorneys didn’t try to dispute Madison killing the women during trial. They instead tried to paint a portrait of a man suffering from severe psychological problems as the result of the abuse he suffered during childhood.
Attorneys told jurors that that Madison’s young, single mother was a heroin addict and a prostitute who rarely let him see other children and physically abused him. Psychological experts said the lack of nurturing relationships with adults led him to develop an alternate world in his mind that fueled hatred toward women.
Prosecutors said Madison deserved to die because of the circumstances surrounding the killings.