Ohio jury convicts Anthony Sowell in Cleveland-area serial killings
Anthony Sowell , who used an insanity defense, will face the death penalty.
July 22nd, 2011
03:27 PM ET

Ohio jury convicts Anthony Sowell in Cleveland-area serial killings

An Ohio jury on Friday found Anthony Sowell guilty in connection with the aggravated murders, kidnappings and sexual assaults of 11 women in Cleveland between 2007 and 2009.

The jury took less than three days to convict Sowell, who pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to 85 counts, among them, murder, abuse of a corpse, kidnapping and tampering with evidence.

Sowell turned and offered his hands to a sheriff's deputy to be handcuffed as Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose read the first guilty verdict for the aggravated murder of Tonia Carmichael with a sexual motivation. In the gallery, Carmichael's mother and daughter hugged each other as the verdict was read.

The judge took nearly an hour to read all the verdicts. The jurors found him guilty on 84 counts, with the sole not guilty verdict coming on an aggravated robbery charge.

Investigators discovered the remains of the 11 women - ages 25 to 52 - in Sowell's home beginning in October 2009. Since then, other women have come forward alleging that Sowell attacked them.

11 bodies, one house of horrors: Why Cleveland women were 'invisible'

Police believe the women were easy prey for Sowell, a convicted sex offender who served 15 years for the attempted rape of a woman in 1989. Most of the women had struggled with drug addiction at some point and court records showing that many resorted to stealing and prostitution to support their habits.

With the conviction, Sowell faces the death penalty. Prosecutors received a report from an expert working with the defense, claiming Sowell suffers from several mental illnesses, including obsessive compulsiveness and post traumatic stress disorder, according to CNN affiliate WOIO.

Defense rests in case of accused Ohio serial killer
Post by: ,
Filed under: Cleveland • Crime • Justice • U.S.
soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. Mmmmm

    Talk about a mythbuster...

    July 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mark Hodge

    Innocent like OJ.

    July 22, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  3. guest

    finally, a verdict without insanity...thats the only thing people use to not go to jail, they should get rid of the insanity law

    July 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Actually, the insanity plea works very very seldomly. It only makes big news when it is actually accepted.

      July 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. holgate123

    This guys a nut. Thank God he is locked up

    July 22, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
  5. LAphil

    I'm surprised he didn't get a 2 years probation and slap on the wrist. I'm sure the ACLU will claim the jury treated this man unfairly in the trial and he should be released from prison. I seriously wouldn't be surprised if this were the final outcome.

    July 22, 2011 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • JV

      You are a moron. Even you don't believe what you said. Get a grip...

      July 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sven

    Crazy or sane, he deserves to die for what he did. Society should not tolerate people like him, regardless of what motivates them to commit their atrocities.

    July 22, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  7. WVLady63

    No worry. He will manipulate the system, be in prison for fifteen years and by that time bleeding heart liberals will have had the death penalty eliminated. All of his time and appeals at the expense of the taxpayers.

    July 22, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • JV

      I'm a "Bleeding heart liberal" and I support the death penalty. So what now? Plus how ON EARTH are you able to connect this story to politics? What color is the sky in your world? Unbelievable.

      July 22, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • IreadCNNcommentstolaugh

      JV – I gather from your comment and "bleeding heart liberal" status that you probably dont understand how politics work, so let me help you. Eliminating the death penalty would require political action, and therefore it would obviously be connected to politics. As liberals traditionally are against the death penalty, elimination of such would likely be due to the liberal agenda. Please spare me any details of what the sky in your world is like.

      July 22, 2011 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bea

      I don't think you talk to many liberals. Not all of us are against the death penalty. It's a necessary evil, in my opinion.

      July 22, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Rose Wilce

    Thank the lord it was not a Casey Anthony type Verdict. Justice prevailed!

    July 22, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Dina

    The penalty is the only logic way for people like him. I dont want to pay for his smelly ass just to sit in prison hell no !! way to many criminals out and about thinking there will be no justice for them and that anything goes.... perhaps we need a lesson or two on reality, if you were a relative or close friend to any of the victims, you might not be so calm or together on this matter , lets see ?....... think about that for a second.

    July 22, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pragmaclast

      The DP inevitably costs far more than shoving him in a hole and feeding him bread and water until he dies on his own. Also, it should be evident at this point that prosecutors misuse the DP all the time, and can not be trusted with it as a tool. The DP should be abolished for that reason alone.

      July 22, 2011 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Brian

    Florida gets LeBron. Cleveland retains sane juries...

    July 22, 2011 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  11. If guilty then execute!

    How is this political? Well let's see it's the dumb idiotic poticians who are always trying to get the death penalty abolished. That's how!

    July 22, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Sharpend Needle

    Get the gurney ready! This cat will be going down soon we hope. Maybe he'll waive all appeals. We can hope, can't we?

    July 22, 2011 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  13. heather

    I am also a "bleeding heart liberal" and support the death penalty. i get sick of rightringos assuming what i believe.

    July 22, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • IreadCNNcommentstolaugh

      Jesus you people are amazing. I didnt see anyone write anywhere "HEATHER doesnt support the death penalty." No one assumed what you believed. However, to make your comment even better YOU STILL CLASSIFIED YOURSELF PER A STEREOTYPE by calling yourself a "bleeding heart liberal". That was AWESOME.

      July 22, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
  14. @WVLady63

    Please go back to the holler where you belong. Please.

    July 22, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  15. If guilty the execute!

    Guilty of 85 counts, these brainiacs must think you have to b guilty of 86 or more counts to qualify for the death penalty!

    July 22, 2011 at 4:14 pm | Report abuse |
1 2 3 4