LEBANON, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio prison inmate who confessed to killing a fellow inmate in a letter sent to a newspaper has been convicted in the slaying and sentenced to death.
A three-judge panel found Joel Drain guilty of aggravated murder and two other felonies on Monday, taking about an hour to reach their decision. The verdict will automatically be appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.
The Findlay man’s attorneys presented little evidence in his defense. Drain had waived his right to a jury trial and pleaded no contest to the charges that stemmed from the April 2019 slaying of 29-year-old Christopher Richardson. Both were then inmates at a state prison near Lebanon.
The Columbus Dispatch reported in July 2019 that it had received a letter from Drain confessing to Richardson’s slaying. Drain was serving a life term at the time for a 2016 slaying.