LIMA — A man taken off death row because of an error in the wording of his indictment is now eligible to be released on parole.
Richard Joseph was sentenced to death in the kidnapping and stabbing death of the boyfriend of a young woman Joseph had dated.
After being removed from death row, Joseph, 36, was resentenced last month to 20 years to life in prison — much of which he has already served. He becomes eligible for parole after serving two-thirds of that sentence, said JoEllen Lyons, a state prisons spokeswoman.
He will have a hearing July 25, Lyons said.
“We will vehemently oppose any parole,” Allen County Prosecutor Juergen Waldick said.
U.S. District Judge Lesley Wells overturned the death sentence based on an error in the wording of the indictment that said Joseph was the principal player in the kidnapping of Ryan Young instead of the principal player in his death. The error was corrected at trial.
In an appeal taken to the U.S. Supreme Court, state officials argued that a federal appeals court was wrong in concluding that Ohio law required evidence that Joseph was the one who killed the victim.
Young, a high school student, disappeared after he left his girlfriend’s home on June 26, 1990. His body was found July 4, 1990, in a gravel pit owned by Joseph’s family in Auglaize County in northwest Ohio.
A parole board member and hearing officer will meet with Joseph and then decide on parole. If parole is recommended, it will be passed to the chairman of the parole board who can approve or reject it, Lyons said. Other options include not releasing him or sending his case to the parole board for a review by the majority of the board, Lyons said.
If Joseph were granted parole, he likely would be released in a few months, Lyons said.
Lyons said parole officials will look at the crime, Joseph’s behavior in prison and how responded to programming in prison in considering whether he should be granted parole.