State v. Waddy

Decision Date15 April 1992
Docket NumberNo. 90-22,90-22
PartiesThe STATE of Ohio, Appellee, v. WADDY, Appellant.
CourtOhio Supreme Court

Appellant, Warren Waddy, was convicted of the aggravated murder of Paula Mason and sentenced to death. He was also convicted of numerous crimes, including rape, burglary, and extortion, against three other victims.

Waddy's first victim was Carolyn Wilson. Like all of Waddy's victims, she lived on the East Side of Columbus. Early on May 18, 1986, she awoke to find a man in her bedroom. He covered her eyes with his hands and said, "Don't say anything, bitch. I will kill you. * * * " Wilson recognized the voice as that of Waddy, an acquaintance she knew only as "D.C."

Waddy blindfolded Wilson with a shirt and tied her hands behind her back. She felt a sharp object against her neck. He then pushed her down on the bed and attempted vaginal intercourse; failing at this, he performed cunnilingus on her and made her perform fellatio on him.

After raping Wilson, Waddy tied her feet with a telephone cord and proceeded to rob her, asking, "What do you have, bitch?" He stole car keys, cash, and a bank card from Wilson's purse. He made her tell him the bank card's secret code number, threatening to come back and stab her to death if it was wrong.

Finally, Wilson heard a car leave. She freed herself and summoned help. Later that day, Columbus police found her car on Bryden Road, about a ten-minute walk from Waddy's address at 801 Oak Street. The next day, someone made five unauthorized withdrawals from her bank account.

Waddy's next victim was Julie Jackson. Early in the morning of June 23, 1986, Jackson went to bed, leaving her window open about two inches. Her apartment's sole entrance was locked. She was awakened by a knife against her neck. Like Wilson, she never saw the intruder.

Waddy said, "Bitch, if you say anything, I will kill you." He ordered her to lie on her stomach, then tied her hands behind her back, turned on the bathroom light, and threw a sheet over her head. Waddy searched a drawer, complaining that it contained no money; he warned Jackson that the money "isn't worth your life." He asked her for credit cards, but she had none.

By now, Jackson had worked herself into a partly sitting position. Waddy came over and began to beat her, then pushed her down and throttled her until she passed out.

When Jackson woke up, Waddy was gone. Her hands were still tied, and her ankles had also been tied. The window was still partly open, the apartment door was still locked from the inside. Jackson's purse was missing so were her car keys, which were attached to a keychain bearing the Westinghouse emblem. Jackson freed her legs and went for help.

After talking to police, Jackson went to the hospital, where she was treated for a stab wound to her left breast and a cut finger. At that time she had no bruises on her neck, but bruises appeared later. The emergency room doctor testified that such late-appearing bruises were "more consistent" with throttling by gloved hands than by bare hands. Jackson, while not acquainted with Waddy, was able to identify his voice for the police.

Paula Mason was murdered on the morning of July 18, 1986. On the night of July 17, she dined with some coworkers. Allen Boster took her home to her apartment at the Jeffersonian Apartments, located on Jefferson Avenue near East Broad Street. A few minutes later, at approximately 12:10 a.m., Boster left the apartment. Mason phoned her boyfriend, Travis Lyon, at work, but he could not come to the phone. Lyon called her about seven hours later. She did not answer.

At 6:10 a.m., July 18, Karen Martin saw a medium- to dark-skinned black male driving Mason's car west on Broad Street (i.e., away from Mason's residence) in downtown Columbus. The man drove to Gay Street and Pearl Alley, where he parked. Several banks are located nearby, including a BancOhio with an Anytime Bank machine. When Mason's car was later found, her Anytime Bank card was in the glove compartment.

When Mason failed to show up for work that morning, Ron Edgington, another coworker, became worried and went to her apartment around 11:30 a.m. Mason's car was gone. Edgington pounded on her door but got no response. He noticed that a corner of her kitchen window was broken, with putty hanging loose.

Edgington returned twice, getting more worried each time. At 10:00 p.m., he summoned the apartment manager, Steven Titus, and showed him the window. Titus observed that the screen and part of the frame were missing. (The missing screen was later found next door.) Both men went into Mason's apartment. They found her body in the bedroom and called the police.

Police found Mason lying on her stomach on the bed with her hands tied behind her back and her feet tied together. She had been beaten, then strangled. A rope was wrapped tightly around her neck and knotted. The rope had apparently been cut from a jump rope: pieces of a jump rope were found on the bedroom floor, and a knife was found between the mattress and bed frame. A washcloth with white tape stuck to it lay on the floor.

After Detective John Sears arrived, Titus gave him two Phillips screwdrivers which he had found earlier that day. The screwdrivers had been lying in the grass between the apartment complex and the Center for New Directions next door.

A few days later, a plastic box was found on the porch of the Center. Waddy's fingerprint was on it. Mason had owned the same kind of box, keeping jewelry and change in it. Her box was missing from the apartment, though her niece had seen it there only two weeks before.

Waddy tried to give Mason's Visa card to his friend Allen Russell, Jr., but Russell refused it, so Waddy gave it to another friend, Greg Jefferson. Jefferson and another person tried to use the card, but the merchant kept it and called the police.

On July 25, one week after the murder, Michael Milligan found a window screen in his house split open. His black nylon briefcase had been stolen. Milligan received several phone calls from Waddy. Identifying himself as "the burglar," Waddy demanded money in return for the briefcase. When Milligan seemed to balk, Waddy threatened him with torture and death.

On July 28, during another such conversation, Waddy asked Milligan if he knew what had happened at Jefferson and Broad. Waddy said: "Real pretty, 23, all tied up and strangled. And who do you think did it? * * * Me." Waddy bragged "that he had done her, and all of those other bitches." In a later call he warned Milligan that the police "can't protect you forever."

On August 6, 1986, a Franklin County municipal judge issued a warrant to search Waddy's residence, 801 Oak Street, for evidence of the Wilson, Jackson, and Milligan crimes. Police executed the warrant that day and seized a pair of red Arizona Glory brand gloves for laboratory analysis. The analysis showed the gloves were made of three types of fiber: nylon, wool, and another animal hair, probably rabbit. According to the manufacturer, 23,000 similar pairs are sold in the United States per day.

Red fibers were found in the knot of the rope around Mason's neck. Red fibers were also found in the knots of Mason's bindings, under her fingernails, in her car, on one of the screwdrivers found by Titus, and stuck to the tape on the washcloth in Mason's bedroom. Red fibers were found on Wilson's jeans, in the knot of the shirt Waddy had blindfolded her with, and also in the knots of Jackson's bindings. All these fibers were consistent with the gloves: they were all nylon, wool, or the other animal hair dyed red.

Other incriminating evidence was found at Waddy's residence. A roll of white hospital chart tape was on a closet shelf with the gloves. Microscopic comparison showed that the piece of adhesive tape on the washcloth in Mason's bedroom had been torn from that roll: the ends matched perfectly. Moreover, only one hospital in the Columbus area--Grant Hospital, where Waddy's girlfriend worked--used that particular kind of chart tape. Police also found Milligan's briefcase, some of its contents, and Jackson's keychain and keys.

The Franklin County Grand Jury indicted Waddy in the Wilson, Jackson, and Milligan crimes, charging him with five counts of aggravated burglary, two counts each of rape, felonious assault, and aggravated robbery, and one count each of robbery, attempted rape, theft, and extortion. (Case No. 86CR-09-2754.) Later, the grand jury returned another indictment charging Waddy with two counts of the aggravated murder of Mason, each with four death specifications, and two counts each of aggravated burglary and kidnapping. (Case No. 86CR-10-3182.)

The indictments were tried together over vigorous defense objection. Waddy was convicted of both aggravated murder counts and two R.C. 2929.04(A)(7) death specifications (burglary-murder and kidnap-murder) as to each. He was convicted of all but two other counts. After the sentencing hearing, he was sentenced to death. The court of appeals affirmed.

S. Michael Miller, Pros. Atty., and Alan C. Travis, for appellee.

Tyack, Wright, & Turner, Carol A. Wright and Harry R. Rinehart, for appellant.


I Joinder

In his first and second propositions of law, Waddy challenges the joinder of the fifteen-count indictment with the six-count Paula Mason indictment.

Waddy argues, in his first proposition, that the joinder of the Wilson, Jackson, and Milligan crimes with the murder prejudiced him in the penalty phase. The court of appeals found no prejudice because the trial court specifically instructed the jury " * * * not to consider in any way the evidence pertaining to crimes committed by the defendant against other persons." However, Waddy argues that the instruction could not erase the evidence of the other crimes from the minds of the jurors.

Waddy assumes that the Wilson, Jackson, and...

To continue reading

Request your trial
1048 cases
  • State v. Green
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court
    • 20 Diciembre 2000
    ...3383, 87 L.Ed.2d 481, 494. See, e.g., State v. Lawson (1992), 64 Ohio St.3d 336, 343, 595 N.E.2d 902, 908; State v. Waddy (1992), 63 Ohio St.3d 424, 433, 588 N.E.2d 819, 827. The panel declined to find that Green was the principal offender, and whether Coley had previously misplaced a firea......
  • State v. Gapen, ___ Ohio St. 3d ___ (OH 12/15/2004)
    • United States
    • Ohio Supreme Court
    • 15 Diciembre 2004
    ...the merger at sentencing. R.C. 2941.25(A); State v. Palmer (1997), 80 Ohio St.3d 543, 572, 687 N.E.2d 685; State v. Waddy (1992), 63 Ohio St.3d 424, 447, 588 N.E.2d 819. A "conviction" includes both the guilt determination and the penalty imposition. See State v. Poindexter (1988), 36 Ohio ......
  • State v. Michael v. Haley
    • United States
    • Ohio Court of Appeals
    • 25 Julio 1997
    ... ... photograph of a suspect before trial, due process requires ... the court to suppress the identification of the suspect if ... the photo array was unnecessarily suggestive of the ... suspect's guilt and the identification was not reliable ... State v. Waddy (1992), 63 Ohio St.3d 424, 438, 588 ... N.E.2d 819, 830-831, certiorari denied, 506 U.S. 921, 113 ... S.Ct. 338, 121 L.Ed.2d 255; State v. Keene (Sept ... 20, 1996), Mont. Co. App. No. 531606, unreported. The United ... States Supreme Court set forth the following ... ...
  • Dangerfield v. Warden, Se. Corr. Complex
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Southern District of Ohio
    • 19 Febrero 2021
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT