Anthony Sowell sentenced to death for killing 11 women
August 10th, 2011
02:56 PM ET

Anthony Sowell sentenced to death for killing 11 women

An Ohio jury recommended death Wednesday for convicted serial killer Anthony Sowell in the murders of 11 women.

Relatives of the victims gasped and hugged each other as Judge Dick Ambrose announced the first verdict for victim Tonya Carmichael. The courtroom erupted into applause after Sowell, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, left the courtroom.

The final decision rests with Ambrose, who scheduled a hearing Friday to impose the sentence.

Sowell, who frowned as the verdicts were read, was convicted in July of 11 counts of aggravated murder more than 70 other charges, including abusing corpses and kidnapping.

As part of the sentencing hearing, Sowell made a statement on Monday without being under oath or facing cross-examination from prosecutors.

Sowell was visibly agitated and occasionally tearful as he recounted claims of childhood abuse - both physical and sexual.

Sowell said his childhood "was like a war," with his mother and grandmother constantly arguing, yelling and "whopping" the children.

He did not elaborate on the crimes for which he was convicted.

"I don't know what happened, it's not typical of me," Sowell said. "I can't explain it and I know it's not a lot, but it's all I can give."

Sowell's convictions ended a saga that began in October 2009 with the discovery of the first two victims' remains inside Sowell's home. He eventually was accused of killing at least 11 women ranging in age from 25 to 52.

soundoff (124 Responses)
  1. Mark L.

    Glad to see another MONSTROUS ANIMAL being sentenced to DEATH !! Only question is – How many WASTED YEARS are we going to need to wait @ the taxpayers' expense until this piece of human trash gets what's coming to him???

    August 10, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Julia

      Well, let's see: There are the countless appeals he is allowed, and then there is the line of death row inmates in front if him. All in all, should be 15-20 years.. and yes, you pay and pay and pay. the death penalty COSTS the taxpayer, and it costs big time.

      August 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      Killing him only makes us murderers too, compounding the tragedy. I want this sick man to be removed, at the state's expense, from society for the rest of his life. He can spend those years stewing in his own juice. I don't want to descend to his level. If he is killed, at least we know he's actually guilty. Plenty have been framed by the police and prosecutors in order to make themselves look competent.

      August 10, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Adam

    After killing at least 11 women, i dare to say that it is typically for you.

    August 10, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Bill

    He is sorry he got caught. Now we get to watch the state of Ohio and the Tax payers of Ohio and the federal Taxpayers support this guy with three meals and a cot and free education and entertainment and no hard labor for the next 10 years or more and also the cost for the defense to be granted appeals etc... They should take convicted animals like these serial killers and shoot them to death right after the sentence. Hey politicians, you want to cut something, cut off the funds to feed, shelter, and cloth these type of animals. I am sure you can easily take up a collection for the cost to shoot him.

    August 10, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bull

      No collection needed. I'd do it for free,and bring my own rifle & ammo.

      August 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • I'll buy the first box

      I agree 100%. Heck, I will even supply the first box of bullets. That should cover a few sentences which have already been handed down. Do you think I can deduct the cost as a "donation" on my taxes?

      August 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      And what happens if it turns out said serial killer was misconvicted? It's happened before.

      August 10, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anon

      I don't know what fantasy planet you live on, but prison isn't a picnic, and there isn't free education. Prisoners still have to pay. Also so glad to see in the thousands of years the human race has been around we still haven't progressed. All of us are nothing but barbarians.

      August 10, 2011 at 4:04 pm | Report abuse |
  4. My Name is... Not Mike

    Good riddance!

    August 10, 2011 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. WJO

    It's not his fault, he had a bad childhood. Aw, just give him a hug and let him go free.

    August 10, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • allister


      August 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  6. nick


    August 10, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chooch

      Yeah, and I got my butt beat many a day for misbehaving too and I haven't killed anybody. I agree – take him out back, two to the head and in the ground by sundown.

      August 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Me

      Like: how to use the "shift" key?

      August 10, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. banasy©

    He got what he deserved.

    August 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Max Brooks

    Sentenced inmates should be forced to work.

    August 10, 2011 at 3:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • lesbianspaghetti

      Max, I agree. While most with long term sentences do, working in the library seems rather easy when hard labor would be more productive for the able bodied.

      August 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  9. kyn

    Come on! He's really sorry! Let him go back to his life.

    August 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Laurie

    I had the same childhood. I became a television producer. Boo hoo, buh bye.

    August 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Two wrongs don't make a right

    Shame on Ohio for having state-sponsored murder as an option. NO ONE has the right to decide another person should die. That is between that person & their maker or that person & the universe. I do not have the right to decide another person should die, and neither does anyone else. I was taught that two wrongs don't make a right, and I especially feel that to be accurate when it comes to ending another human being's life.

    August 10, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bull

      I was brought up under the eye for an eye line of thinking.In this case,killing him WILL make things right.

      August 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big E this country, the ones who made the decision ARE the universe...ARE his makers. Just as the 11+ women he tortured, killed, then tortured again......had no choice....was HE their maker???

      he doesnt even know WHO his maker really is, yet......he will meet the person pulling the lever, flipping the switch, or hitting the button that day he finally gets what he deserves....UNFORTUNATELY, that wont happen for years......

      August 10, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big E

      and....... two wrongs may not make a right....however...if you take say....... 11 + wrongs.....add one more "right" to it (him dying) it does seems to equal out...... so maybe...its just that the weight of the wrongs has to equal out before its ok??

      August 10, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • jack johnson

      So you think it was wrong too retilate after 9-11? You are condoning murders to continue with the fear of death!

      August 10, 2011 at 3:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • sheila

      I observed growing up that when an animal is injured beyond recovery, or an animal is sick with rabies to the point that it can no longer be cured, etc., that animal is put to 'sleep'. If an animal is deranged and attacks other animals out of psychotic rage, it is put to 'sleep'. Even in a pack of wolves, there have been cases of the pack attacking and killing a member of the group that has gone rogue and attacks and kills the other wolves. It is nature, it is the right thing to do in cases like this. You think just being locked up forever in solitary is 'living'? You've got a pretty screwed up view on what life is.

      August 10, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Buck

      Some decisions simply have to be made by the people of society. In this case, I have to agree with the jury. Let's un-make him so he can get a speedy trip to his maker. He sure didn't care about his victims, their relationships with their families or their maker, did he?

      August 10, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • It doesn't Matter

      Not saying that I agree or disagree with you but we all have to take ownership for our actions. Judges and juries are endowed with certain rights that they have to uphold and also live with for the rest of their lives as well.

      The jury (not you or anyone else on this message board) heard gruesome details this man was alledged to do over a period of time and perhaps would have continued to do on and on and on again IF he was never found out. All we have are the reports from the news to go by and the opinions of public egg-heads.

      Socio-economic issues, childhood abuse and anything else this person was subject to as a child does not excuse this man's actions towards the victims who can no longer speak for themselves. We all have been dealt hands we either need to play out or fold, so I don't excuse this man's behavior nor am I willing to concede his upbringing should in anyway be used to determine this man's ultimate fate.

      If it is our social responsibility to act and respond on behalf of those who cannot, then I say he has to pay dearly and justly for what he has done. Period. The jury has made that decision and they will indeed live with their decision for their lives.

      I worked in the court system for several years and I have sat next to judges who have sentenced individuals to time in prison. Never have I sat in a court where a judge had the burden of imposing death on a person for crimes, however you talk to any judge and you will find they don't find joy in imposing a term in jail on anyone and when they do, they are left questioning if they made the right decision. The act of revoking someone's freedom is a bittersweet responsibility.

      While your opinion may be that the state of Ohio does not have the right or should not impose a death sentence on this man or anyone who commits such gruesome and senseless acts of violence only suggests your narrow view of social justice is limited again because you did not sit, listen and see the evidence.

      I truly wish people in general actually think before they open their toxic mouths to only add insult to injury.

      Yes this man will died. When and how is only a matter of time at this point. My only hope for him is that he is truly sorry and will at some point be redeemed even when death reaches his door step.

      Now, all the naysays can being their ignorant bashing...

      August 10, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Me

    How can 11 murders be "not typical"? Does this man (animal?) not understand the meaning of the word?

    August 10, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  13. smithers

    what a waste of 1 million dollars

    August 10, 2011 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Damian

    Well......good riddance!

    August 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. donnamarinchekmarn01

    His Death Should happen...On 7-25-2012
    When i Phoned Officer Steel about That Death Spred....He Believed Me,He Died For the Truth,He died The Same Night(Of Throat Cancer),That He Lifted The First Women Off That Property.Not Only did he Struggle Getting to the Truth,He Struggled with his own Sickness.
    May He Rest In Peace.

    August 10, 2011 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
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