Court of appeals wants new sentence for Trumbull Co. death row inmate

WARREN, Ohio (WYTV) – A court of appeals has determined that convicted murderer Danny Lee Hill should not be executed.

Hill was found guilty of the 1986 attack, rape and murder of 12-year-old Raymond Fife. Hill was 18 at the time of the murder.

The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a federal court’s decision that upheld Hill’s death sentence.

The Sixth Circuit overturned the death sentence, claiming there were errors in a ruling that Hill is not mentally disabled. The court said there was clear and convincing evidence that Hill is, in fact, mentally disabled.

It wants Hill resentenced without the death penalty.

Miriam Fife, the victim’s mother, does not believe Hill is mentally disabled. She’s in favor of taking the case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary.

“I’ve talked it over with my family…of course, they were upset but we have taken it this far, for 32 years,” she said. “Their idea, along with mine, is that we should encourage the attorney general’s office to file an appeal.”

The state will likely appeal the decision.

Hill had been on death row for almost 30 years, fighting his conviction.