Man appeals Warren County murder conviction, death sentence to U.S. Supreme Court

Terry Froman, center, was sentenced in June 2017 to the death penalty. He was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend on the side of Interstate 75 in Warren County. Froman recently filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.  GREG LYNCH/STAFF
Terry Froman, center, was sentenced in June 2017 to the death penalty. He was convicted of killing his ex-girlfriend on the side of Interstate 75 in Warren County. Froman recently filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court. GREG LYNCH/STAFF

Inmate fatally shot his ex-girlfriend in back of his SUV on I-75 near Middletown in 2014.

A man is appealing his 2017 aggravated murder and kidnapping conviction and death sentence from Warren County to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Terry Lee Froman, 47, formerly of Illinois, is on Ohio’s Death Row at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution and has recently submitted a petition for a writ of certiorari to the Ohio Supreme Court. Froman was convicted of fatally shooting his ex-girlfriend, Kimberly Thomas, 34, in the back of his SUV on Interstate 75 near Middletown on Sept. 12, 2014.

Froman later was convicted in Kentucky of Thomas’ son’s death and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

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Froman was involved with Thomas for four years until she ended the relationship in August 2014, according to court documents.

According to court records, Froman is also accused of fatally shooting Michael Eli Mahoney, her 17-year-old son, earlier that day in Mayfield, Kentucky. Police received a 911 call that a woman had been abducted at a gas station in Paducah, Ky., and security camera video caught Froman’s SUV and his Illinois license plates at the gas pumps.

The security camera video also caught Froman in the gas station store and a naked woman, later identified as Thomas, exit the vehicle and start running away. Froman rushed out of the store, grabbed Thomas by the hair, and pushed her into the back seat of the vehicle. Froman then drove away, according to court documents.

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Froman’s vehicle was spotted on I-75 and was stopped by Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers just south of Middletown. The troopers heard two gunshots and called for assistance. Two tactical teams arrived and found Froman in the front seat with a gun in his hand and a wound to his left upper chest near his shoulder. The troopers also found Thomas dead in the back seat with four bullet wounds.

Because portions of the crime occurred in both Ohio and Kentucky, Froman faced charges, including aggravated murder and kidnapping, in both states.

According to court documents, Froman’s attorneys said the writ should be granted because capital defendants are entitled to be tried before a fair and impartial jury. Froman’s attorneys claim at least four seated jurors expressed racially biased views on their juror questionnaires.

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In addition, the court documents claim trial counsel failed to conduct a meaningful questioning of potential jurors, which resulted in racially biased jurors sitting on the panel. It also said the trial court failed in its responsibilities to assure that a fair and impartial jury, free from racial bias, was seated in judgment of Froman.

The Ohio Supreme Court affirmed Froman’s conviction and death sentence in September 2020. A motion for reconsideration was denied in November 2020, according to court records.

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