November 27, 2014

Elyria
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Judge says accused killer’s IQ below threshold for execution

Donzelle Crosby

Donzelle Crosby

ELYRIA — Accused killer Donzelle Crosby does not have the mental capacity to be executed if convicted of aggravated murder, Lorain County Common Pleas Judge Raymond Ewers ruled Monday.

Tests performed by experts for both prosecutors and defense attorneys determined that Crosby has an IQ of 52. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that those with mental handicaps cannot be executed for their crimes.

Dave Doughton, one of Crosby’s attorneys, said the threshold in Ohio for executing someone with limited intellectual capabilities is an IQ of 70, although a recent Supreme Court ruling has allowed for a margin of error and other considerations in reaching those decisions.

Even with the margin of error factored in, Doughton said Crosby wouldn’t have had a high enough IQ to be executed.

Doughton said although his client no longer has to fear a death sentence if convicted in the March 1, 2011, shooting death of Jason Smith during what Lorain police have described as the botched robbery of a West 17th Street drug house, he will still face trial in the case.

With execution no longer an option, Doughton said the maximum sentence Crosby could receive is life without parole if he is convicted.

County Prosecutor Dennis Will said that based on what his office knew about the results of the testing Crosby underwent, he wasn’t surprised by Ewers’ ruling.

“We anticipated that was a probable outcome,” he said.

Crosby is not the first person in Lorain County to avoid a trip to the state’s execution chamber because of his limited mental acuity.

County Common Pleas Judge Christopher Rothgery commuted convicted killer Raymond Smith’s death sentence to life in prison in 2008 after determining Smith had an IQ of 69.

Smith’s attorneys have continued to challenge his conviction for his role in the 1994 murder of police informant Ronald Lally in federal court.

Stanley Jalowiec, who also was convicted and sentenced to death in the case, is trying to win a new trial based on allegations of police and prosecutorial misconduct. Jalowiec is appealing a decision rejecting his request for a new trial.

In his case, Crosby is accused of shooting Jason Smith during the robbery. Three other men, Aaron Rodriguez, Eddie Velez and Jeremy Brown, have all taken plea deals and received prison sentences for their involvement in Smith’s death.

Only Crosby, the alleged gunman, was indicted on capital murder charges.

Doughton said that, given the circumstances of the killing, he isn’t certain that a death sentence would have been imposed upon his client, even if Crosby hadn’t had such a low IQ.

“I doubt the jury would have given him death based on these facts,” he said.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com. Follow him on Twitter @BradDickenCT.


  • TruthWhisperer

    Nobody said you needed a high IQ to own a gun.

    Its your right to be stupid and carry gun!

    • Sis Delish

      Wow, you should thank your speechwriter for that one. At least you won’t be facing the Death Penalty with a post like that!

      • TruthWhisperer

        Glad you could understand it, I posted it using Wal-Mart Language and you read it perfectly!

        It IS your right to be stupid while carrying a gun!

        Thanks for agreeing!

        • golfingirl

          And I suppose it is your right to be “stupid” and post on discussion boards.

          Carry on!

          • TruthWhisperer

            Its my right to be stupid just like its your right to support retarded individuals to carry a gun

            See how this works? or should I slow it back down to Wal-Mart speak for you?

          • golfingirl

            No, I shop at Nordstroms and Macys. Bring it up a little to my level please.

          • David Paghi II

            I agree with golfingirl..Firearms are here to stay forever.

      • golfingirl

        At least TruthWhisperer will never get the death penalty if he is convicted of capital murder……..his IQ is way too low, based upon his writing.

        • TruthWhisperer

          look who has poor reading comprehension.
          Saying the same thing as others.

          Better luck next time

    • golfingirl

      He was not permitted to carry a gun. He had no right to do so, “stupid” or not.

      People like him are why law abiding citizens legally carry.

      If he, or anyone like him ever attacked me, their I.Q. would go down to zero in about one second!

      • Starryeyes63

        Most likely one of Truth’s relatives…… why else defend him?

        • TruthWhisperer

          Because someone has to man the Wal-Mart greeting box when you show up :-)

          • Starryeyes63

            I’m surprised you were qualified enough for that job =D

      • TruthWhisperer

        Every single gun was at one time legal, Some ‘responsible’ gun owner lost his gun to a mildly retarded person

        What’s that say about the ‘legal’ gun owner???

  • stop ur whining part deux

    So this piece of trash was smart enough to execute a robbery, and was smart enough to evade the law for a week after the murder but is too stupid to execute?

    He knew right from wrong, or he would not have tried to evade the law. If found guilty give this scum bag the hot shot.

    • Mark B

      Educate him to get above 70 , then fry his @ss

      • stop ur whining part deux

        Forget that. He has already going to cost tax payers enough.

  • golfingirl

    “Accused killer Donzelle Crosby does not have the mental capacity to be executed if convicted of aggravated murder…..”

    But he has the mental capacity to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

    So, you can be too dumb to die, but still smart enough to pay for a crime through spending your life in prison?

    Either you were smart, or dumb enough, to commit the crime, or not.

    So your intelligence is at the level where you know if you should do something or not, so you stand trial, but not quite there when it comes to paying the price for your actions, with your own life.

    So he knew it was wrong to kill, but does not understand it could cost him his own life.

    Really?

    • TruthWhisperer

      yeah, its his right to carry a gun

      Feel safer?

  • golfingirl

    Looking at his long criminal career, since he became an “adult,” this ending was so predictable.

    Oh well, at least he robbed a drug house and not the residence of a good cityzen.

    Kind of like a 2 for 1 sale……took down a drug house, and taken off the streets for life.

    Good work Donzelle!

  • JoyceEarly

    An IQ test requires that the individual answer questions and solve problems. How hard would it be to answer everything wrong since the culture today is it’s cool to be stupid. I would bet dollars to doughnuts he has a normal IQ if not higher than normal and just refused to answer the test questions or purposely gave wrong answers. A person doesn’t commit a well calculated crime without some smarts. I’m not buying the low IQ bit.

  • SniperFire

    Pity. He could have a fine career as a Democrat politician in Elyria.

    • TruthWhisperer

      I know, If only he was a homosexual child molesting sexual predator then he would be a great fit for the Republican party.

      • golfingirl

        Stay on topic.

        • TruthWhisperer

          True I got nothing to worry about haha

          • Sis Delish

            Nothing to worry about? How ’bout the Price of Gas Doubling under the current administration… Fool.

          • golfingirl

            Price of gas is inconsequential to him.

            He obviously is too young to drive.

      • levtrotsky

        easy on Barney Frank…………he’s married!

        • Simon Jester

          :D well played.

    • stop ur whining part deux

      When are you going to get out of your mom’s basement and run for office?

  • Nathan Opfer

    if he was smart enough to load the weapon and pull the trigger hes smart enough to hang for the murder.

  • SniperFire

    Three hots and a cot – until Obama empties the prisons on his way out!

  • upshot

    Another reckless activist judge taking sides with a cold blooded killer. It’s enough to make you vote republican. This animal had the mental capacity to plan, commit and try to cover up a murder, right? But he hasn’t the IQ to suffer the penalty the law requires. That judge should be hounded into forced retirement. He has no respect for the victims or their families. A – hole.

    • Simon Jester

      Well said!

      It’s enough to make you vote republican”

      Can’t possibly do any worse than the current crop, but I don’t see them doing any better either.

      Vote against the incumbent, every time. A sure recipe for something other than the status quo.

  • Simon Jester

    Yeah, no.

    That’s almost as bad as ” I’m too FAT to be executed. It might HURT!! Never mind that I’m a convicted rapist/murderer”

  • Razorback Twou

    Give him a stuffed animal to hold and tell him he is going to take a dirt nap.

  • oldruss

    Wait until his Momma files a defamation suit against both the prosecutor’s office and his defense attorney, and against Judge Ewers. How dare they all say he’s too dumb to be executed!

  • DonMega

    Shoot him in those big a$$ lips.

  • Mike Litoris

    Yeahhhh… he’s going to put his all into a test that may or may not help him get off with a crime.