Saturday, September 02, 2000

Killer seeks new trial or release

By Steve Kemme
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Vincent Doan, who was convicted of kidnapping and killing his girlfriend, Carrie Culberson, has asked a federal court to release him from prison or give him a new trial.

        Mr. Doan was sentenced to life in prison without parole after he was found guilty of aggravated murder and kidnapping by a Clinton County Common Pleas jury in 1997.

        Attorneys for Mr. Doan filed the request in U.S. District Court in Cincinnati. They have contended that serious errors were made in his trial and his constitutional rights were violated.

        Debbie Culberson, the victim's mother, said she's hopeful the courts will keep Mr. Doan in prison for the rest of his life.

        “I maintain my confidence in the prosecution and in the verdict,” Mrs. Culberson said. “I'll just hold on to my faith and hope he stays where he is.”

        Carrie Culberson, 22, of Blanchester, disappeared in August 1996. Mr. Doan was the last person seen with her. Her body was never found.

        Kort Gatterdam, one of Mr. Doan's attorneys, said he took the case to federal court because Clinton County Common Pleas Court had not ruled on post-conviction claims that were filed in December 1998.

        “With no end in sight, we had little choice but to move on to federal court,” he said. “We believe the law is on our side.”

        Mr. Doan's brother, Tracy Baker, is serving an eight-year prison sentence for helping cover up the crime. Mr. Doan is serving his sentence at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.


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