COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A man condemned to die for the slaying of his former girlfriend in Hamilton County has killed himself on death row, the state prisons agency said Monday.
Inmate Patrick Leonard died Sunday night of an apparent suicide on death row in Chillicothe, the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction said in an email to The Associated Press.
"It's about time someone on death row died," current Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters said Tuesday. His predecessor, Mike Allen, was in charge of the prosecutor's office when Leonard was tried and convicted.
Leonard was sentenced to death for the 2000 killing of his ex-girlfriend, 23-year-old Dawn Flick, in Hamilton County.
The 47-year-old Leonard was angry at Flick for ending their relationship and refusing to reconcile, according to court records.
Records say Leonard handcuffed Flick, tried to rape her and shot her three times.
Leonard was unusual among death row inmates in that he did not have a previous criminal record.
"Prior to this incident, Leonard was not considered violent and had not been in trouble with police," the Ohio Supreme Court noted in a 2004 ruling upholding his death sentence. "The fact that Leonard had committed these crimes was described as shocking and extremely out of character."
Leonard didn't have a scheduled execution date. A message was left with his attorney.
The last death row suicide in Ohio was in 2013, when Billy Slagle hanged himself just days before his scheduled execution. Slagle used a belt in his cell on death row, also at Chillicothe Correctional Institution.
In a note, Slagle called his nearly three decades in prison torture and said he was taking his destiny into his own hands, according to a State Highway Patrol report.