This Morning’s Execution: Frederick Treesh, Ohio

This is a developing story. Check back for updates. 

UPDATE: Frederick Treesh has been executed.

Ohio carried out its first execution of 2013, with the lethal injection of a man who killed a security guard in a multi-state crime spree in 1994.

Frederick Treesh, 48, was convicted of fatally shooting 58-year-old Henry Dupree during a robbery of an adult bookstore on Aug. 27, 1994. According to court documents, Treesh and three companions had been driving around for several hours smoking crack cocaine when they decided to rob a business to get more money for drugs.

According to an Associated Press story, “prosecutors contend Treesh intentionally murdered Dupree and tried to kill others, including police officers who pursued him, after a three-week spree of increasingly violent crimes. They said Treesh and a co-defendant had robbed banks and businesses, committed sexual assaults, stole cars, committed carjackings and shot someone to death in a Michigan robbery during a spree that also took them to Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin.”

In a clemency plea to the Ohio Parole Board, Treesh’s attorneys argued that he had accepted responsibility for the killing and was deeply remorseful, but that it was unintentional and had taken place during a struggle for a gun during the robbery.

“Hindsight, regret and remorse cannot turn back the clock and cannot return Mr. Dupree’s life,” they said according to the AP. “What Fred can do and has tried to do is to help prevent others from making the same mistakes he did” by teaching them to avoid drugs.

The attorneys said Treesh has become a changed man in prison, working to educate young people about the pitfalls of drug use and addiction through the DARE program. They also pointed to their client’s ADHD and cocaine addiction as reasons for mercy. Treesh chose not to be interviewed during the hearing.

The board unanimously rejected the appeal for clemency on Friday, Feb. 8, writing that “Treesh’s ADHD and his cocaine addiction do not warrant the exercise of Executive clemency….That addiction, even in combination with his ADHD, does not excuse or significantly mitigate his behavior. Nor does it explain why Treesh acted so violently and so unconscionably during his criminal rampage.”

Later in the 23-page report, the board also pointed out Treesh’s history of disciplinary problems in prison.

“That Treesh displays these negative qualities in prison, a structured and sober environment, strongly suggests that this is simply who Treesh is, with or without the intoxicating effects of cocaine,” the board wrote.

Gov. John Kasich followed the board’s recommendation and denied to grant clemency on Feb. 28.

Treesh was transported to the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday in preparation for this morning’s execution. He had his last meal Tuesday night at 8:06 p.m., when he ate steak, eggs, hash browns, cottage cheese, onion rings and a hot fudge sundae.

Ohio’s last execution was in November, when the state executed Brett Hartman. The state uses a single-drug method, a large dose of pentobarbital, for their current lethal injection procedure.

Tracey Read, the police/court reporter for The News-Herald in Willoughby was at the prison and tweeting coverage of the execution.

According to Read’s account of the execution, “Treesh remained stoic the entire 32 minutes he was strapped to the gurney, even as blood trickled down his left arm from the prison staff injecting drugs into his veins.”

24-Hour News 8 reporter Karen Hensel was the only television reporter inside of the execution. According to Hensel’s report, Treesh made the following final statement:

“I would like to thank Karen Hensel for following up on a job after 20 years. This is where drugs lead you. This is true life. I wanted her to take a picture of the execution. You can’t, but I’m sure you can go to the morgue to take a picture. I’m not here to say I’m sorry to any of these victims that are here.  I’ve never been tried, never been charged with that crime.  I’m here for Henry Dupree and I’m sorry. I’d like to apologize to their family for what I’ve done.

You want closure? Closure only comes with a book. You close it and put it on a shelf.  There is no closure. Every holiday, every birthday, everything, you will think about the victim.  So, if you want me murdered, just say it. I’d also like to thank the Major at the Southeastern Ohio Correctional Facility for being such a wonderful person, and the execution team.  They treated me very well. I also want to thank Mike Benza (death penalty attorney) and my best friend James Goff (death row inmate). That’s it.”

Related Reading: 

Ohio Executes Frederick Treesh for 1994 Eastlake Killing

John Kasich Rejects Clemency For Frederick Treesh, Condemned Ohio Killer

Execution of Frederick Treesh Moves Forward After Clemency Denied by Governor

Ohio Parole Board Recommends No Clemency for Death Row Inmate Frederick Treesh

Former MANCI Inmate Treesh Set for Execution

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