Appeals court overturns death sentence in 1985 Ohio slaying

Percy Hutton (Photo: Ohio Department of Corrections)
Percy Hutton (Photo: Ohio Department of Corrections)

CINCINNATI (AP) — A federal appeals court has overturned the death sentence of an Ohio man convicted of aggravated murder in a 1985 slaying.

The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati ruled Wednesday that the judge in 62-year-old Percy Hutton’s trial didn’t instruct jurors on all the circumstances they could review in determining a sentencing recommendation.

The Cleveland man was convicted in 1986 of aggravated murder and other charges. Authorities said he fatally shot Derek Mitchell and tried to kill another man in a dispute over a sewing machine.

The appeals court’s 2-1 ruling instructs a district court to order Hutton’s release unless the state grants a new sentencing hearing within 180 days.

Ohio Attorney General’s spokesman Dan Tierney says that office is reviewing the ruling and whether to appeal it. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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