June 28, 2016

Partly sunny

No. 6: Ronald Post spared death penalty for Elyria murder


Ronald Ray Post was supposed to be executed early next year for shooting Elyria motel clerk Helen Vantz twice in the head during a 1983 robbery. Instead, Ohio Gov. John Kasich spared the 53-year-old convicted killer, commuting his death sentence to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In the end it wasn’t Post’s argument that he was too obese to be executed quickly and painlessly or his claims that he was the getaway driver and not the killer that saved him.

Both Kasich and the majority of the Ohio Parole Board concluded that Post hadn’t received adequate legal representation when his case was nearing trial and he pleaded no contest. Some of his appeals lawyers also failed to fight their client, the Parole Board wrote in its decision.

Vantz’s family was disappointed by the decision, but one of her sons, William Vantz said after Kasich announced clemency that he took solace in the fact that at least Post eventually would die in prison.

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 BDicken@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter.