Execution date set for Youngstown man

By Marc Kovac



The Ohio Supreme Court has set an execution date for a Youngstown man convicted of killing a baby in a 2003 drive-by shooting.

John E. Drummond will face a Sept. 17, 2020, execution at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, after justices agreed with prosecutors’ request for a date earlier this year.

Drummond was found guilty in the slaying of 3-month-old Jiyen Dent. Jr.

According to documents, he and another man fired an assault rifle and a 9 mm firearm into two Rutledge Drive homes on the East Side. Drummond, a member of the Lincoln Knolls Crips gang, believed the occupant of one of the homes was involved in the shooting death of another gang member about five years earlier.

Authorities said Drummond admitted his involvement to another inmate at the Mahoning County jail, according to documents. The other man involved in the shooting was sentenced to more than 50 years in prison.

But Drummond has argued in subsequent legal filings he received ineffective counsel during his trial, among other legal challenges to his capital sentence.

The Ohio Supreme Court upheld the murder convictions and death sentence in 2006, and federal courts have completed their review of the case.

In their request for an execution date in the case, prosecutors earlier this year noted that he had “exhausted all of his state and federal remedies.”

There are more than two dozen executions scheduled over the next three years, with Drummond being the first added to the 2020 schedule.

Whether any of those executions will take place is still in question, however.

Dennis McGuire, convicted of the rape and murder of a pregnant woman in Preble County, was the last Ohio inmate put to death, in January 2014.

Initially, a federal court, and later, Gov. John Kasich postponed other scheduled lethal injections as the state attempted to find supplies of the drugs needed after manufacturers blocked their use for executions.