Saturday, April 21, 2001

Plea for life gets killer an execution date

The Associated Press

        COLUMBUS — A convicted killer whose death sentence was thrown out by the state Supreme Court returned to court Friday and unsuccessfully pleaded for his life.

        The justices in December said Alva Campbell, 52, should be resentenced because he was denied his right to apologize or beg for mercy before being sentenced for the April 1997 death of Charles Dials, 18.

        “I did not mean to take the life of Mr. Dials. That was not my intention. It was an accident,” Mr. Campbell said Friday while crying on the stand in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

        Judge John Connor set Mr. Campbell's execution date for April 2, 2002. Mr. Campbell planned to appeal.

        “I do want to see him die. I'd sure like to be there. I'd even like to pull the switch,” said Mr. Dials' grandmother, Lotte Dials.

        Mr. Campbell had escaped from a sheriff's deputy while being transported to court on robbery charges and commandeered Mr. Dials' pickup.

        Mr. Dials was driving past the Franklin County Courthouse when Mr. Campbell jumped into the truck and forced Mr. Dials at gunpoint to drive. He later shot Mr. Dials twice in the head.


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