Parole denied for pair of murderers
A Trumbull County convicted murderer who is serving a 15-years-to-life prison sentence will have to wait another decade for another chance at parole.
The Ohio Parole Authority recently extended Richard G. Anderson Jr.’s prison stay in Chilicothe Correctional Institution through April 2032, according to the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation website. Anderson’s next parole hearing is scheduled for February of that year.
Anderson, who will turn 45 on July 4, was convicted in 1998 of two counts of murder in the Jan. 1, 1997, death of 18-year-old Charity Agee, whose body was found in McDonald two days later, and the April 1997 death of 16-year-old Wendy Clay.
Authorities believe Anderson killed Agee at his Logan Arms Drive home in Liberty, while Clay’s body was found about three months later near a wood pile at the rear property line of the Anderson property.
Police said Anderson beat, stabbed and tortured Clay.
According to family members, Agee went out on New Year’s Eve with some friends to celebrate the year coming in, but she didn’t come home. Two days later, a man on a bike found her body wrapped in garbage bags and dumped in a field in McDonald.
In a recent letter to the parole authority, Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins called for Anderson’s continued incarceration, calling him “without question … a dangerous incipient serial killer.”
A friend had told Liberty police that Anderson at the time of the murders had a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” personality. “When he drinks, he goes crazy,” according to Andrew Leskovac’s remarks in a police affidavit.
Another Trumbull County convicted murderer must also remain in prison as the parole board announced it will schedule another parole hearing for Gary Allan Betz in November 2023.
Betz, 68, who is housed in Marion Correctional Institution, had faced three members of the parole panel earlier this year. He had undergone a full board hearing in 2020 and had been released on parole three previous times, according to prison records.
Serving a 15-years-to-life sentence, Betz was convicted of a 1976 fatal shooting at a tavern near Lake Milton. The victim was Newton Township tavern owner Ronald Goche.
According to Watkins, Betz had violated the terms of his 2007 parole in 2011 because of drunken driving offenses in Carroll and Columbiana counties, and he was returned to prison.
Watkins noted Betz was on parole twice before the Goche killing.
“As the facts show, what Betz did is one of the worst of the worst cold-blooded premeditated murders of a helpless person one could envision,” Watkins wrote to the parole board earlier this year.
Laura Austen of the Ohio Public Defender’s Office said it is her organization’s policy to not comment about parole hearings that have not been resolved.