Man convicted of brutal murder up for first parole hearing

WARREN — A man convicted in the August 1993 brutal attack of an elderly married couple from Warren that left the husband dead and his wife badly hurt will have his first parole hearing later this month.

Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins is opposing the release of Warren Cromety, 41, who was given a 25 years to life sentence on multiple charges, including aggravated murder, in connection to the stabbing death of Theodore Emerson, 78, and the violent attack of his wife, Cathryn, 72, more than two decades ago.

Though Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Corrections records show few behavioral infractions for Cromety, Watkins said the magnitude of his crimes should not be overlooked.

“As the parole board knows, good behavior in prison does not necessarily mean lawful behavior outside prison walls when an inmate is released on parole,” Watkins wrote to the Ohio Parole Board.

In his letter, Watkins details the crime 23 years ago involving Cromety and co-defendants Sheldon Jackson and Carvin Clemmons that involved a knife and screwdriver as weapons.

According to court records, Jackson was accused of stabbing Theodore Emerson, who died six weeks after the attack, while Cromety repeatedly slashed and stabbed Cathryn Emerson, causing near fatal injuries.

“Someone who is capable of such a predatory attack and can’t control their violent impulses on senior citizens must be warhoused and confined. Secondly, any release of Cromety at his first eligibility hearing would demean the sentence and punishment in this matter and not serve the interest of justice,” Watkins wrote.

Cleveland attorney Gregory Scott Robey defended Cromety in the original case and his subsequent appeal. Messages seeking comment were left with Robey.

Cromety was also among four inmates who escaped in July 1995 from the Trumbull Correctional Institution by commandeering a truck and ramming it into a fence. They were recaptured in about five hours. Records show that Cromety received an additional 5 to 25 years for the escape conviction.

Jackson, convicted of multiple charges, including aggravated murder, was denied parole in 2013 and won’t be able to reapply until 2023, Watkins said. Clemmons, who pleaded guilty to an involuntary manslaughter charge and received a 10 to 25-year sentence, has been released from prison. Watkins said Clemmons is the least culpable of the three co-defendants in the case.