Prosecutor opposes parole for two men

WARREN — Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins is opposing the release of two inmates who are scheduled for parole hearings next month.

Watkins has written letters to the Ohio Adult Parole Authority asking that convicted murderer Carlos Cox and convicted rapist William Judson be kept behind bars.

Cox, now 44, has served 23 years of an 18-years-to-life sentence on a conviction of murder with a firearms specification. He was convicted in the Sept. 27, 1992, shooting death of Jarrett Kellar, 23, at the Highland Terrace Apartments on Lane Drive SW in Warren.

According to court files, Cox, a cocaine dealer, shot Kellar two to five times at close range while he was sitting inside a vehicle with his younger brother. Kellar was shot in the left side of his head and face.

Cox was a fugitive for more than two years before turning himself in to police in February 1995, court records show.

This is the sixth time Watkins has written a letter opposing parole for Cox. He previously wrote June 17, 2008, Nov. 19, 2009, Nov. 26, 2012, Oct. 1, 2014 and July 28, 2016, according to Watkins’ most recent letter. Cox is jailed at the London Correctional Institution.

“Although inmate Cox’s re-entry risk score is presently considered moderate (at 10), this office views his crime as an armed drug dealer randomly shooting into a car and killing someone as an act (life plus three years) that should demand his continued incarceration (especially at age 44) to protect society and prevent future crimes of violence. It’s better to be safe than sorry!,” Watkins wrote in the most recent letter.

Judson, now 52, has served nearly 25 years of a 15-to-50-year sentence on a conviction on two counts of rape. He was convicted in 1993 of repeatedly raping two children between the ages of 5 and 10, according to court records.

This is the fourth time Watkins has opposed parole for Judson. He previously wrote letters Aug. 24, 2011, Sept. 16, 2014, and July 25, 2016, according to his most recent letter. Judson is serving his sentence at the North Central Correctional Institution in Marion.

“This man has been recycled once without success. In our opinion Judson’s criminal and behavioral history and anti-social character traits obviously require his continued imprisonment until year 2042,” Watkins wrote in his most recent letter.

Watkins notes that Judson violated his parole several times in 2009 and returned to prison in 2011. Judson tested positive for having marijuana in October 2012 and had another infraction that month when prison guards confiscated a large folder full of pornographic material from his bunk, court records show.

“In our opinion, the state of Ohio would be only wasting time and public resources on releasing a sociopath, at age 52, on parole doomed to wreak havoc on the community and commit more crimes,” Watkins’ letter states.