Killer seeks parole

WARREN – Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins calls Sheldon Jackson a ”sociopath” who should never be released from prison.

The 41-year-old inmate from Warren has served nearly 19 years of a 20-year-to-life sentence for the murder of an elderly man from his neighborhood.

”Jackson plunged a screwdriver in a 78-year-old man and then unmercifully beat and kicked the victim to death,” Watkins said in a recent letter to Ohio Parole Board members.

Jackson, imprisoned in Grafton Correctional Institution, is scheduled for his first parole hearing this month.

A co-defendant in the case, Warren Cromety of Warren, will come up for his first parole hearing in November 2016. He was given additional time for an attempted escape.

A third defendant, Carvin Clemmons, whom prosecutors describe as the least culpable of the trio, was released after a manslaughter conviction and a 10-to-25-year prison sentence.

In August 1994, a three-judge panel sentenced Jackson for the aggravated murder of Theodore Emerson. They could have opted to send him to prison for 30-years-to-life.

He also was sentenced to concurrent prison terms for the attempted murder of Emerson’s wife, Cathryn, 72, the burglary of their home at 1444 Jefferson St. S.W., the robbery of Emerson and the unrelated robbery of Ralph Boyle, 136 Vermont N.W., which occurred earlier the same evening. Mrs. Emerson has since died.

Jackson pleaded guilty in exchange for the death penalty not being considered as a possible sentence. The case qualified for the death penalty because it involved a murder performed along with another felony crime.

Police said the trio forced their way into the Emersons’ home, and knocked Emerson into the basement. While two of them allegedly followed Theodore into the basement and severely beat him, a third went upstairs and beat and stabbed Mrs. Emerson. Some personal items and $46 were stolen in the attack.

The prosecutor points out that Jackson’s prison record includes infractions like unauthorized possession or consumption of illegal drugs, stealing or embezzlement and establishing and having an inappropriate personal relationship with a staff member along with threats to an officer.

Watkins pointed out in his letter to board members that a daughter of the Emerson couple strongly opposes any release for Jackson and Cromety.

”Society cannot afford the likes of Jackson and Cromety on the streets,” Watkins said in the letter.