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Douglas denied early release



A woman convicted of shooting her ex-husband and preventing family members from helping him as he lay dying will not be getting out of prison early.

Logan County Common Pleas Judge Mark S. O’Connor announced Wednesday he denied the judicial release request for Hellen Douglas, 39, writing in a statement “that granting judicial release would demean the seriousness of the crime.”

Ms. Douglas pleaded guilty in 2005 to voluntary manslaughter in the death of Joseph Smith and was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She was originally indicted for murder after a March 13, 2004, incident in which she shot Mr. Smith in the chest outside her 8848 County Road 48, Ridgeway, home.

The two had been married prior to the incident and Mr. Smith was attempting to pick up their then 3-year-old daughter for visitation for the first time after he was acquitted of sex crimes during a trial in which one of the victims recanted her story.

In other action Wednesday, Judge O’Connor accepted a guilty plea from Joseph Knox, 35, of Bellefontaine. He was charged with non-support of dependents and will be sentenced Aug. 29.

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