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Board shifts direction, denies Wingo parole

Testimony from Andy Plank’s sisters and Logan County Prosecutor William T. Goslee led the 10 members of the Ohio Parole Board to reverse course and deny freedom for Anthony Wingo.

Wingo-Anthony

WINGO

The board had two prior hearings and was on track to release the 59-year-old convicted murderer prior to Friday’s hearing.

“He knew what he was doing that day,” said Minnie Herrick, who was just 14 when her brother was shot dead Aug. 21, 1980, in the 727 W. Patterson Ave. residence in Bellefontaine he once shared with his killer. “It was premeditated.

“Life in prison should be life in prison, and there is no reason he should be released now or ever.”

The convict was found guilty in May 1981 by a three-judge panel and was sentenced to life in prison. He has served around 32 years and is currently lodged in the Madison Correctional Facility.

He will not be eligible for another parole hearing until 2016.

The parole board listened to about an hour of testimony in open session and took just a half hour to reach a decision behind closed doors.

As per practice, the convict was not at the hearing.

His attorney, Miquel Santiago said the killer regrets his actions and wishes now that he had ended his life.

In 1981, the inmate tried to claim he was insane at the time and then changed his story during trial to say he was driven mad by drug and alcohol abuse.

Now, through his attorney and in a letter, he says he bought the double-barrel shotgun to kill himself, but Mr. Plank — the killer’s “best friend” — talked him down and tried to take the gun.

The murderer says he prevailed and shot the victim from behind.

Mr. Plank died from blasts to the back of his head and to his back.

His body was wrapped up in plastic bags and a rug, hauled off by the killer and dumped in a wooded area.

His decomposed remains were found Sept. 12, 1980, along Township Road 56.

The killer, meanwhile, had driven off in the victim’s car and was depleting Mr. Plank’s bank account en route to New Jersey.

Ms. Herrick and her sister, Kathleen Purtee, said having to identify the remains took a heavy toll on their father, who died last year, and on their grandmother.

“My parents and family were never the same,” Ms. Herrick said.

“Nobody should die the way my brother died,” Ms. Purtee said, “and then dumped in woods. A farmer found him because he smelled him.”

She noted the convict threatened to harm her and others during the 1981 trial.

“I’m scared for my life and my family’s lives if he gets out,” she said.

Mr. Goslee wrapped up the testimony telling the board, the inmate “is a cold-blooded killer” with self-admitted mental health problems.

“There is no way to assure,” Mr. Goslee continued, “ if he is released, that he won’t find his way to another island of self-medication and kill somebody else.

“A three-judge panel found Anthony Wingo forfeited his humanity and sentenced him to life in prison. You should not alter that finding.”

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