Important Dates In Case Of John Byrd Jr.

Important dates in the case history of John Byrd Jr., whose execution is scheduled for Tuesday:


  • April 17: Monte Tewksbury, 40, is stabbed to death during a robbery at a King Kwik convenience store in Cincinnati that netted $133.97, Tewksbury's wedding ring and a credit card. John Byrd Jr., John Brewer and William Woodall are all arrested on charges of aggravated murder.
  • Aug. 19: Byrd sentenced to death by a Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.


  • Feb. 6: First Ohio District Court of Appeals affirms conviction and death sentence.


  • Aug. 12: Ohio Supreme Court affirms conviction and death sentence.


  • March 15: Byrd comes within 45 minutes of execution before 6th U.S. District Court of Appeals overrules Ohio Supreme Court's decision to allow the state to carry out the sentence.


  • March 7: U.S. District Judge James Graham denies Byrd's appeal.


  • April 6: Federal appeals court affirms Graham's ruling.


  • Jan. 8: U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear Byrd's case.
  • March 20: Ohio Supreme Court sets Sept. 12, 2001, as Byrd's execution date and orders the trial court to rule on Byrd's claim of "actual innocence," based on a 1989 affidavit in which Brewer claims he killed Tewksbury.
  • May 25: Hamilton County Common Pleas Judge Steven Martin finds that Byrd's claim of actual innocence has no merit.
  • Aug. 21: State appeals court refuses to order Martin to hear case.
  • Aug. 23: Ohio Parole Board recommends that Gov. Bob Taft deny clemency to Byrd.
  • Aug. 29: Ohio Supreme Court refuses to hear Byrd's case.
  • Sept. 4: Byrd asks a federal appeals court to allow a lower court to examine his "actual innocence" claim.
  • Sept. 10: Taft denies clemency; federal appeals court postpones execution, orders magistrate to hear Byrd's claim.
  • Nov. 21: Taft signs bill prohibiting execution by electrocution, Byrd's preference should he be put to death.
  • Nov. 29: U.S. Magistrate Michael Merz recommends that appeals court deny Byrd's request to overturn death penalty.


  • Jan. 7: Appeals court lifts its order blocking Byrd's execution.
  • Jan. 11: Ohio Supreme Court reschedules Byrd's execution for Feb. 19.
  • Feb. 14: U.S. Supreme Court refuses to stop execution or hear Byrd's appeal.
  • Feb. 15: Taft again denies Byrd clemency.
  • Feb. 19: Byrd executed.

SOURCE: Court records, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)