Guernsey County Prosecuting Attorney Daniel Padden has pledged to once again seek the death penalty for convicted killer John David Stumpf following a ruling by the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati overturning his previous death sentence.
The court ruled in a 2-1 decision that Stumpfs due process rights were violated during the hearing for killing Mary Jane Stout of New Concord in 1984.
We will follow the direction of the court of appeals, said Padden. We will be ready to conduct a sentencing hearing within the time allowed by law and we will once again seek the death penalty for Mr. Stumpf.
Stumpf must be released form prison unless prosecutors grant him a new sentencing hearing within 90 days, according to the courts decision.
Stumpf was convicted of aggravated murder and attempted aggravated murder for shooting Mrs. Stouts husband, Norman. He was then sentenced to the death penalty for the murder of Mrs. Stout.
The appeals court found prosecutors had evidence and believed Clyde Daniel Wesley, a co-defendant, was the man responsible for killing Mrs. Stout. Wesley was convicted of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and aggravated robbery during a trial in the Guernsey County Common Pleas Court. He was sentenced to life in prison.
The appeals court, which heard arguments in the case four years ago, then overturned Stumpfs conviction and death sentence, but the U.S. Supreme Court reinstated the conviction and sent the case back to the appeals court to determine whether Stumpf should receive the death penalty.
Stumpf and Wesley and another man, Norman Edmunds, allegedly traveled to the Stouts home near Interstate 70 to rob them.
They advised the victims that their vehicle had broken down on I-70 and they needed to use a telephone to call for help.
Instead, the pair entered the home and shot both Mary Jane and Norman Stout while robbing them.
Stumpf pleaded guilty to the murder charge, but then denied shooting Mary Jane Stout. He admitted to shooting Norman Stout, but said Wesley shot Mary Jane Stout.
Justice Danny J. Boggs cast the dissenting vote in the appeals court.
No additional information regarding Stumpfs new sentencing date was available as of press time Friday.