CINCINNATI — A convicted killer returned to a Hamilton County courtroom Friday to hear a judge’s decision on whether his name would be added to Ohio’s violent offender registry.
The answer: yes.
Earlier this month, Deonte Baber, 27, was sentenced to 18 years to life in prison for the 2017 death of Jamie Urton.
Ohio’s new law requiring violent criminals to register where they live was enacted in 2018. People who commit violent crimes in Ohio now have 30 days to register with their local sheriff’s office after they are released from prison.
“With the violent offender law, it’s my understanding that Mr. Baber was the principal offender,” said Judge Patrick Foley.
Baber’s defense attorney, Arica Underwood, argued the incident happened before the registry became law.
Urton was driving on a Walnut Hills street on March 24, 2017 when he accidentally hit a 4-year-old boy.
“Any testimony by Mr. Baber would possibly compromise his appeal,” Underwood said. “So we would not have any evidence to present with regard to a hearing on the registration.”
Urton stopped the car, and the child’s father, Jamal Killings, allegedly beat Urton before Baber shot him. A jury found Baber guilty on two counts of murder, including one with gun specifications.
Underwood said they will appeal. Killings also faces charges in connection to Urton's death. His next hearing before Judge Foley is scheduled for June 5.
The judge also ruled Friday that the jurors’ information will not be made public.
“It would have a negative affect of public safety,” Foley said, “and negative affect of the fairness of the judicatory process.”
The violent offender registry, known as Sierah’s Law, is named for a University of Toledo student kidnapped and killed by a man who'd been convicted of abduction.
The registry will only be available at the police station or sheriff's office and will not be published online, but anyone can go there and view it.
WCPO’s Kristen Swilley contributed to this report.