Suspect in Clarke-Straub murders back in court - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Suspect in Clarke-Straub murders back in court

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Cameo Pettaway appeared in Lucas County Common Pleas court Monday for a competency hearing. Cameo Pettaway appeared in Lucas County Common Pleas court Monday for a competency hearing.

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Cameo Pettaway faced a judge in Lucas County Common Pleas court Monday for a competency hearing.

He is one of two suspects charged with the double murder of Johnny Clarke and Lisa Straub in Springfield Township back in January 2011. The couple was found inside the home of Straub's parents with their hands bound with duct tape and heads covered with bags.

The hearing was to determine if Pettaway, 23, has the mental capacity to face the death penalty if convicted.

Pettaway and a second defendant, Samuel Williams, are facing aggravated murder charges.

There was no decision in Monday's hearing. The judge will rule whether a death penalty specification on the charges can stand Tuesday afternoon. By law, individuals who are mentally challenged cannot face the death penalty.

The defense's witness, psychologist John Fabian, took the stand late Monday morning. Fabian presented a lengthy report revealing a series of tests he conducted on Pettaway. He testified that he believes Pettaway is mentally retarded.

The prosecution's expert was psychologist Dr. Charlene Cassell, who disagreed and testified that Pettaway is not mentally challenged, but does have an antisocial personality disorder.

Even if the specification is removed, trials for both Pettaway and Williams are scheduled to begin later this week with opening statements Friday following jury selection. Testimony in the trials could begin next week. They will both run simultaneously.

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