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Family of 98-year-old Wadsworth woman killed, abused by 17-year-old fears new law could eventually set him free

Published: Apr. 16, 2021 at 10:54 PM EDT
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WADSWORTH, Ohio (WOIO) - The family of an elderly Wadsworth woman who was brutally killed by a 17-year-old is now facing the agonizing fear that one day the killer could walk free.

In 2018, Gavon Ramsay was sentenced to life in prison without parole for strangling and sexually abusing the corpse of 98-year-old Margaret Douglas.

“We were devastated to find out how she died, what happened to her,” said Douglas’ nephew Howard Leasure. “It’s been pretty rough.”

Those memories are coming back in the wake of a new Ohio law that went into effect earlier this month.

Senate Bill 256 allows for violent convicted felons to be eligible for parole 25 to 30 years into their life sentences if the crimes were committed when they were under the age of 18.

Leasure’s daughter, Patty Sacco, has become passionate about speaking out against the law.

Her primary concern is that a parole board wouldn’t need to consider the horrific details of the crime but rather the charges alone.

“It takes out of account the fact he broke into her home, that he strangled her, punched her in the face, disrobed her, and sexually assaulted her dead body,” she told 19 News. “My passion is getting the appropriate justice for Margaret. Making sure what she went through that night is acknowledged.”

Under the current law, Ramsay wouldn’t be eligible for parole for more than 20 years.

He would be in his early-to-mid 40′s.

“My fear is that he’ll hurt someone again,” said Howard’s wife, Cindy. “He will murder someone and torment someone again.”

“And all the family members will have to go through what we went through,” Howard added.

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