By Frank Lewis
A judge has ordered the reopening of the case of an Ohio inmate who was convicted following the 1993 riot at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility (SOCF). The case involves James Were (Namir Abdul Mateen). Scioto County Proescutor Mark Kuhn has asked the Scioto County Commissioners to re-open a budget line item dealing with the riot.
“This is a case the Attorney General’s (Mike DeWine) office has been working on for several years,” Kuhn said. “I got a call from the special prosecutor (Mark Piepmeier) who worked the case. He was the one who was the lead on these cases back in (19) 93-94 and they have sent it back for a hearing based on that federal court ruling.”
Kuhn said he had not read the full court entry but that the case was going to require a hearing in the court the case was transferred to, Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.
“The particulars of it I don’t know yet, although I did talk to Piepmeier and he said he would be interested in being assigned to the case again,” Kuhn said. “He said he would use the same rate he used back in 1994 when he was appointed originally.”
“Judge (William T.) Marshall approved appointing him as special prosecutor,” Kuhn said. “So they’ll start working that case with the Attorney General’s office to prepare for this hearing. They probably started working on it yesterday (Wednesday) when the entry came through,” Kuhn said no hearing date has yet been set. On Thursday he met with Scioto County Auditor David Green concerning the reopening of the line item.
In addition to Were, Siddique Abdullah Hasan (Carlos Sanders), Jason Robb and George Skatzes were all sentenced to death after being convicted in the riot which occurred on Easter Sunday, April 11, 1993 at SOCF. During the riot, in addition to several inmates, SOCF corrections officer Robert Vallandingham was killed.
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.