August Cassano Ohio Death Row

August Cassano

August Cassano was sentenced to death by the State of Ohio for a prison murder. According to court documents August Cassano who was serving a life sentence for murder would stab a fellow inmate, Walter Hardy, over seventy times causing his death. August Cassano was convicted and sentenced to death.

Ohio Death Row Inmate List

August Cassano 2021 Information

Number A145242

DOB 01/23/1954

Gender Male Race White

Admission Date 05/26/1976

Institution Chillicothe Correctional Institution


August Cassano More News

Cassano was serving time at MANCI because he had been convicted of aggravated murder in Summit County on May 25, 1976.

{¶ 3} On January 31, 1992, five years before he killed Hardy, Cassano stabbed inmate Troy Angelo inside Angelo’s locked prison cell. Cassano had tied a shank to his hand with a shoestring and had stabbed Angelo approximately thirty-two times in the face, neck, chest, back, arms, head, and hand. Angelo escaped when a correctional officer opened the cell door. As Cassano was being led away, he looked at Angelo and said, “I hope you die.” On November 6, 1992, Cassano was convicted of felonious assault for stabbing Angelo.

{¶ 4} Inmate Gerald Duggan testified that when Cassano became his cellmate in 1996, Cassano had told him that “if [Duggan] ever snitched on him he’d kill [him].” Duggan also said that Cassano “liked a lot of time in the cell by himself” and that Duggan had requested a night job to accommodate Cassano. Cassano had told Duggan that he didn’t fight anymore, he stabbed. On September 18, 1997, Cassano reminded Juanita Murphy, a case manager, that he “had stabbed an inmate in 1992 and that that was why he had been sent to Lucasville.”

The Killing

{¶ 5} On the morning of October 17, 1997, Cassano sent a written message to Unit Manager Ted Harris, noting that he did not have a cellmate and that he wanted Alfred Gibson to be his cellmate. Harris denied this request. Cassano had not received Harris’s written reply when he stabbed Hardy.

{¶ 6} On the afternoon of October 17, Hardy moved into Cassano’s cell. Hardy and others had been in the segregation unit for two days under suspicion of possessing a shank, but Hardy had been exonerated. Inmates described Hardy as weak, even though he became paranoid when he used drugs.

{¶ 7} According to Ollie King, a MANCI sergeant/counselor, Cassano was very upset about having Hardy as his cellmate. On October 17, Cassano told King that “he didn’t want that snitching ass faggot in his cell and that we better check [Cassano’s] record.” King told him to send a message to Ted Harris, the unit manager. Cassano’s friend, inmate Michael Cruz, agreed that Cassano was “very angry” about having Hardy as his cellmate. He also stated that Cassano had told authorities, “You just can’t put any type of motherfucker in my cell, * * * check my record.”

{¶ 8} After Hardy moved in, Cruz remarked to Cassano that he had a new cellmate. Cassano replied, “Not for long.” That same day, Cassano told Duggan that when Cassano had been in Lucasville, prison authorities would not assign him a cellmate unless it was absolutely necessary.

{¶ 9} Cassano became very upset when Hardy broke a TV cable outlet. On October 18, Cassano told inmate James Pharner that Hardy “was driving him nuts, that [if] Harris didn’t move [Hardy] out [of] the cell, that he would * * * remove him himself.”

{¶ 10} On October 21, 1997, at 2:25 a.m., Donald Oats, a MANCI correctional officer, noted that all was quiet. He recalled that the two inmates in Cassano’s cell had been in their bunks doing nothing unusual. Around 2:35 a.m., upon hearing a commotion, Oats hurried to Cassano’s cell. He saw two inmates fighting and ordered them to stop. He also signaled a “man down” alarm and went to call for help. Oats heard Hardy yelling, “[Cassano] has a knife and he’s * * * trying to kill me.” When Oats looked into the cell, Cassano was standing over Hardy and stabbing him with a shank.

{¶ 11} Oats yelled and banged on the cell door and ordered Cassano to stop. Twice, Cassano looked at the light Oats shined on him and then “went right back to sticking inmate Hardy.” Cassano continued to stab Hardy “hot and heavy, except for the two times that he looked at [Oats] for a second or two.” Cassano never said anything, but Hardy was “pleading for help.” Cruz heard Hardy screaming, “[L]let [sic] me out, * * * he’s killing me, he’s stabbing me.”

{¶ 12} Corrections officers James Miller and Dwight Ackerman responded to the “man down” alarm within a minute. Ackerman looked into the cell, saw Cassano bent over “assaulting the other inmate,” and ordered him to stop. Cassano stood up, and Ackerman saw that Cassano had a shank in his right

hand. Cassano then continued stabbing Hardy. Miller ordered Cassano to stop, but Cassano “didn’t look at [Miller.] He looked down and plunged a weapon into inmate Hardy.”

{¶ 13} Although unarmed, Oats opened the cell door and ordered Cassano to the back of the cell. Cassano obeyed that order; he continued to hold the shank, which was tied to his right hand by a laundry-bag string. Cassano “was trying to untie it” but apparently had difficulty because his hand was covered with blood. Cassano wore a glove on his right hand.

{¶ 14} When Miller pulled Hardy out of the cell, Hardy told him, “I am not going to make it.” Within three to five minutes of the alarm, MANCI nurses arrived and began to treat Hardy. Then Hardy was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 3:37 a.m.

{¶ 15} Dr. Keith Norton, a pathologist, concluded that Hardy bled to death and that his collapsed lungs contributed to his death. Dr. Norton found approximately seventy-five knife wounds, including eight wounds to the head, nine to the neck, twenty-four to the back, fifteen to the chest, and various other wounds to the abdomen, hips, legs, arms, and hands. Any one of ten specific wounds could have caused Hardy’s death, including several to the lungs and one that pierced the heart. Dr. Norton also found abrasions and scratches on Hardy’s body. A toxicologist found cocaine residue in Hardy’s urine but not the blood, which indicated use within the last twenty-four to forty-eight hours.

{¶ 16} In Cassano’s cell, investigators found many bloodstains, including some on the top bunk sheets where Hardy slept. They also found a bloody right-hand glove on the floor and the unsoiled left-hand mate of that glove in a closed desk drawer that belonged to Cassano.

{¶ 17} Throughout that morning, Cassano made various unsolicited comments. As Cassano walked by Hardy after the attack, he asked, “Is he dead?” While in the TV room, Cassano told Miller, “[t]hey’re going to have to check [Hardy] for internal injuries.” At the clinic, Cassano asked if Captain Ben Rachel remembered him as “the one that had stabbed a guy thirty times” several years before.

{¶ 18} At 3:50 a.m., Wanda Haught, a nurse, examined Cassano at the MANCI clinic and found no injuries except red marks caused by handcuffs. Cassano stated that he was not injured but that his shoulder was tired. At 5:15 a.m., Haught noticed a superficial scratch on Cassano’s left side that had not been present at 3:50 a.m.

{¶ 19} Cassano’s pants, T-shirt, and tennis shoes had blood on them. Cassano

asked investigators prior to his giving a blood sample, “What do you need my blood for, that’s all his blood?” Cassano’s blood tested negative for drugs and alcohol.

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1 thought on “August Cassano Ohio Death Row”

  1. The DOC was complicit in Hardy’s death. Cassino had a history of attacking cellmates and warned the CO that he didn’t want Hardy and reminded them of what he did to his cellmate in 1992. They ignored his threat. No doubt he has no cellmate on death row. Too late for Hardy.

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