Donald Palmer scheduled for execution Thursday morning - WTRF 7 News Sports Weather - Wheeling Steubenville

UPDATE: Donald Palmer scheduled for execution Thursday morning

Posted: Updated: UPDATE

The man convicted of two aggravated murders in Ohio in 1989 is scheduled to be executed on Thursday morning.

Donald Palmer will be executed by lethal injection at the Southern Correctional Facility in Lucasville at 10 a.m.

Clemency was denied for Palmer earlier this month by Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

He is convicted of the murders of Steven Vargo and Charles Sponhaltz in Mt. Pleasant on a rural Belmont County road in 1989.

7 News is sending a crew to the execution and will bring you more Wednesday tonight, and on Thursday morning.

Meantime, capital punishment will be a topic of discussion at Wheeling Jesuit University on Thursday night.

Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, Fred Connors, and Dr. Jessica Wrobleski will be a part of the discussion at 7 p.m. in the NTTC Auditorium on campus.

The discussion is directly correlated to the Palmer case, and also anticipates the lectures on September 24 and 25 by Sister Helen Prejean, who is an internationally known advocate against the death penalty.

Prejean also wrote the book Dead Man Walking, which was later made into an Academy Award winning film. UPDATE

According to a news release, Ohio Gov. John R. Kasich has denied a request for executive clemency from Donald Palmer.

Palmer was convicted in 1989 of the aggravated murders of Steven Vargo and Charles Sponhaltz in Belmont County.

Palmer is scheduled to be executed on Sept. 20.  The execution will take place at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, Ohio. 

On Aug. 16, the Ohio Parole Board recommended against clemency for Palmer.  That was by a vote of 8-0. UPDATE


The Belmont County man who has been on death row for 23 years will have a clemency hearing next week.

Donald Palmer was convicted of shooting and killing Charles Sponhaltz and Steven Vargo in 1989.  Authorities said in a road rage case, Palmer shot the men twice in the head.

The Ohio Parole Board scheduled his execution for Sept. 20 of this year but the Governor will decide if he should receive clemency and not be put to death. UPDATE


A date has been set for the execution of a Belmont County man.

Donald Palmer, 46, shot and killed Charles Sponhaltz and Steven Vargo back in 1989.

The murders took place on Deep Run Road, northwest of Martins Ferry.

The Ohio Parole Board has set the execution date of lethal injection for September 20.

Palmer's co-defendant, Edward Hill, was convicted and sentenced to two life terms.



Donald Palmer, now 45 years old, has been on death row since 1989.

Palmer was convicted of aggravated murder in the road rage shooting deaths of Charles Sponhaltz and Steven Vargo. He shot them each in the head twice.

Now, Prosector Chris Berhalter says the death sentence needs to be carried out.

"I can't imagine how difficult it's been for families of these two victims to wait 21 years for Mr. Palmer to have finally exhausted all his appeals but that has occurred and we have filed a motion now with the Supreme Court of Ohio to set the execution date and carry out the sentence that was imposed back in 1989," Berhalter said.

In Ohio, executions are done by lethal injection.

Donald Palmer's co-defendant Edward Hill was also convicted of the murders. He got 35 years to life and is still in prison.

Powered by Frankly