Clayton man’s death penalty appeal taken to U.S. Supreme Court

The death penalty appeal of a Clayton man has been filed in the U.S. Supreme Court.

A petition for “writ of certiorari” was filed on Oct. 30 and docketed in the nation’s high court in the case of Austin Myers, a Northmont man sentenced to death in Warren County for murdering Justin Back, 18, of Warren County.

Such appeals are filed by appeals courts to review pending cases.

Ohio Public Defender Bethany O’Neill filed the motion asking the nation’s high court to take up the case, according to the U.S. Supreme Court docket.

RELATED: Prosecutor calls death penalty appeal ‘frivolous’

Last month, Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell called the latest motion filed in the Ohio Supreme Court to overturn a Clayton man’s death sentence “frivolous” and “frustrating.”

In that motion filed in the Ohio Supreme Court, lawyer Elizabeth Orrick claimed, among other things, that lawyers previously handling the appeal of Austin Myers, now 24, provided "ineffective counsel."

Orrick also claimed Myers’ trial lawyers erred in his defense, and alleged misconduct by prosecutors and errors by Judge Donald Oda II should warrant reopening of the appeal.

This morning, Fornshell said, “We will respond to both, and are obviously opposing both efforts, as we believe there is no merit to the underlying arguments in their motions.”

Myers was convicted in 2014 of murdering Back, a childhood friend. Back was about to join the U.S. Navy.

Myers was the youngest person on Ohio’s Death Row at the time.

RELATED: Co-defendant pleads guilty in teen’s murder

Timothy Mosley, the other Clayton man charged in the case, entered a plea to life in prison without parole and cooperated with prosecutors.

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