State briefs

Man kills himself inside jail cell

AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Sheriff’s officials in northeast Ohio say a man facing multiple rape and sexual imposition charges apparently killed himself in a jail cell.

The Summit County Sheriff’s Office issued a statement Wednesday that says the 63-year-old man from Green was found unresponsive Feb. 12. No other details of his death were released, and a sheriff’s inspector declined to comment.

The statement says the man showed no signs of being suicidal when he was booked into jail in October.

Court records show the man recently underwent a psychiatric evaluation to determine whether he was competent to assist in his defense. His attorney previously filed a motion that said the man had a mental health history.

Two fired over water issue

SEBRING — Ohio’s Environmental Protection Agency has fired two employees and demoted a third over their handling of lead contamination in a village’s drinking water.

The state EPA said Wednesday the firings are the result of an internal investigation into why it took months for the agency’s top administrators to find out about high lead levels in Sebring.

The EPA says it fired an employee at its central office who failed to make sure lab results were sent to those reviewing the lead testing. It says that’s an important step in figuring out whether lead levels are above federal guidelines.

The employee’s supervisor also has been let go.

State environmental officials have said the operator of Sebring’s water plant waited months to notify people about high lead readings.

Man sentenced for killing mom with knife

CLEVELAND — A suburban Cleveland man has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for stabbing his mother to death with a steak knife.

Prosecutors said 22-year-old Sean White was sentenced Tuesday in the fatal stabbing last July 17 in Lakewood.

White pleaded guilty to one count each of murder and felonious assault just as his trial was to start Tuesday. His attorney, John Stanard, says White took the plea deal to have a chance to be released on parole someday.

Authorities say White killed 56-year-old Kathleen Meany with a steak knife and also stabbed himself in the torso. His mother had called 911 about 3:30 a.m. that day and said her son had cut himself and was bleeding to death, then the call abruptly ended.

Court to hear arguments for serial killer

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments over a new trial for a Cleveland man who killed 11 women and hid the remains in and around his home.

Attorneys for Anthony Sowell (SOH’-wehl) say he deserves a new trial because a judge wrongly closed a portion of jury selection and a hearing where attorneys argued about his police interrogation.

His attorneys say the judge in the case improperly closed a July 2010 hearing in which lawyers argued over an hours-long video of Sowell’s interview with police.

The Supreme Court on Wednesday scheduled an April 5 hearing.

Prosecutors say Sowell should get a new evidence suppression hearing, but not a new trial.

The 56-year-old Sowell was convicted and sentenced to death in 2011.