May 29, 2016

Partly sunny

Death row inmate’s lawyers argue case in front of parole board

COLUMBUS — Ronald Post’s attorneys argued to the Ohio Parole Board today that the convicted killer should be spared because of lingering questions over his guilt in the 1983 murder of Elyria motel clerk Helen Vantz.


Assistant Ohio Public Defender Rachel Troutman said Post doesn’t deny involvement in the Vantz killing, but insists he waited in the car while another man, Ralph Hall, went inside the Slumber Inn and shot Vantz twice in the head.

“He deserves punishment, but a just punishment for Mr. Post is a life sentence,” she said.

Post is scheduled to be executed Jan. 16. His efforts to be spared because of his weight and health issues have been rejected by the courts.

Lorain County Prosecutor Dennis Will said there is no lingering doubt about Post’s guilt. He said Post confessed to pulling the trigger.

“He admitted to at least four different people that he was the killer of Helen Vantz,” Will said.

Although Post’s lawyers argued that the people who Post confessed too, including Hall, had their own reasons for lying, they insisted that Post never actually confessed to being Vantz’s killer.

Will said there would have had to have been a conspiracy designed to implicate Post that would have managed to get all of the participants’ stories in order. He said the inconsistencies made the witnesses’ accounts more believable.

Will also said that the versions varied because Post told different people different things.

Vantz’s family members are scheduled to address the Parole Board this afternoon. The board will make a recommendation to Ohio Gov. John Kasich about whether they believe Post deserves clemency.

Read Friday’s Chronicle for more on this story.

About Brad Dicken

Brad Dicken is the senior writer for the Chronicle-Telegram. He covers courts and county government, and has been with the Chronicle since 2001. He can be reached at 329-7147 or Follow him on Twitter.