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Kenneth Biros

The Ohio Supreme Court has set Jan. 23 as the date for convicted murderer Kenneth Biros to be executed by lethal injection.

Biros, 48, formerly of Brookfield, has been on death row for 15 years after being convicted in 1991 of murdering Tami Engstrom of Hubbard.

A clemency hearing will be held before the scheduled execution in which Biros will be able to argue that the death penalty is excessive or to convince the court that he deserves to live, said Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Sean O’Brien.

On Feb. 7, 1991, Biros killed Ms. Engstrom after offering to take her out of a Masury bar to get coffee.

Coroners ruled her death an asphyxiation, likely due to strangulation. An autopsy showed she had suffered 91 premortem injuries, suggesting a “severe beating” and mutilation.

Her body was dismembered and scattered throughout parts of Pennsylvania and Ohio.

Members of the victim’s family and the prosecutors will have an opportunity to speak at the clemency hearing.

Ohio Gov.-elect Ted Strickland will also have an opportunity to pardon Biros when the death penalty warrant comes before him.

Ohio’s Supreme Court upheld Biros’ conviction and death sentence in September and decided in early October not to hear Biros’ latest appeal. The decision comes despite defense attorney John P. Parker’s attempts to stop the execution of his client.

Parker has also gotten Biros into a federal case challenging the constitutionality of Ohio’s lethal injection execution method.

O’Brien said, though, that in the unlikely event that lethal injection is found to be unconstitutional, Biros could still be executed by other means.

He added that similar challenges to lethal injection in other states did not hold up. Moreover, another death row inmate who was a part of the challenge was already executed, and so O’Brien said it was unlikely the case would stall Biros’ execution date.

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