WARREN - Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins will try to convince all members of Ohio's Parole Board that two convicted murderers from Trumbull County should not be released from prison even though the pair has served more than 20 years.
Watkins said last week that he was notified of the pending release of Mark Badilo, 44, an inmate in Richland Correctional Institution, and Jeff McClure, 44, in Chillicothe Correctional Institution, who were both turned down for parole in 2011.
Badilo and McClure were convicted of plotting and killing Badilo's brother, Tim, whose body was burned beyond recognition Feb. 24, 1988.
McClure and Badilo were sentenced to 15 years to life on charges of murder, arson, abuse of a corpse and obstruction of justice.
The prosecutor was successful in getting scheduled what's known as a full board hearing April 24 in Columbus to try and convince the Parole Board to keep the the pair behind bars. It will be a combined hearing for both men, Watkins said.
Watkins said he fears retaliation against an informant who helped authorities solve the case.
''The safety of our informant was threatened after he helped solve the case after almost three years,'' Watkins said.
Otherwise the case has a different twist since some Badilo family members want Mark Badilo released despite the loss of Tim Badilo.
The charred body of Tim Badilo, 24, formerly of DeForest Road S.E., Weathersfield, was found locked in the trunk of his 1987 Pontiac in a field on Bell Wick Road, Hubbard Township. The car had been torched.
The cause of death had been undetermined for about three years until the material witness surfaced, telling police and prosecutors he was urged to take part in the murder that Badilo planned in order to take over the cleaning business the two brothers operated.
The witness wore a wire to gain admissions on how Badilo was lured to a home and beaten over the head with a pool cue and then strangled before he was stuffed in his own car, remaining there for two to three days before the vehicle was set on fire.
Watkins said the death was originally thought to be a suicide until the witness came forth after reading about the cold case in the Tribune Chronicle. He told authorities he feared retaliation from McClure and Badilo.
''The brutality of killing one's brother and another's friend is beyond imagination,'' Watkins wrote earlier when opposing parole.
He said the evidence of premeditation in the ''senseless murder'' is overwhelming and the gross abuse of the body of the victim was ''incomprehensible.''