David Sneed was sentenced to death by the State of Ohio for a robbery murder. According to court documents David Sneed would shoot and kill the victim Herbert Rowan during a robbery. David Sneed would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death. David Sneed would later be resentenced to life in prison without parole
David Sneed 2021 Information
Gender Male Race Black
Admission Date 08/08/1986
Institution Chillicothe Correctional Institution
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Appellant was then tried on the indictment commencing on May 19, 1986. A jury found appellant guilty of all charges and specifications on June 11, 1986, and at the conclusion of the penalty phase, on July 27, 1986, the jury recommended that appellant receive the death penalty. The trial court adopted the jury’s recommendation and imposed the death sentence.
On November 17, 1984, the victim, Herbert M. Rowan, a resident of Chicago, Illinois, arrived at a friend’s house in Canton, Ohio, to visit for the weekend. The following day, sometime between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m., Rowan left his friend’s home to go drinking. Rowan went to a bar and was observed by one witness leaving around 1:30 to 1:45 a.m. on November 19.
According to the testimony of Chevette Denise Brown, a nineteen-year-old prostitute, she was standing outside Andre’s Restaurant near the 300 block of DeWalt Avenue, wearing a rabbit coat, when Rowan drove by in his rented Buick automobile around 2:30 to 3:00 a.m. on November 19. Brown stopped Rowan and asked him if he “want[ed] a date.” Rowan declined the offer, circled the block and again drove down the alley at the 300 block of DeWalt Avenue. Brown again propositioned Rowan, who then circled the block a second time and again approached Brown. Appellant, who was apparently in the background near Brown, wearing a trench coat, instructed Brown to ask Rowan if he would give them a ride home. Brown complied and the two entered Rowan’s car. Brown opened the front passenger door and sat down in the passenger seat, appellant got in the back, directly behind the driver.
Appellant directed Brown to another destination and, en route, asked Rowan to pull over, turn the car off and to “give him some money.” Rowan refused, stating that he only had enough money to get to where he was going. Appellant then pulled out a gun and pointed it at Rowan’s temple and told Rowan that “this * * * [is] a robbery.” Upon Rowan’s refusal a second time, appellant pulled the trigger, shooting the victim. Brown related that Rowan’s head immediately struck the steering wheel causing the car horn to sound. In response to the prosecutor’s question concerning the likelihood of this particular shooting to cause Rowan’s death, the Chief Deputy Coroner and pathologist for the Stark County Coroner’s Office stated: “Generally speaking, any bullet which goes in through the skull and perforates the brain or goes into the brain itself is with rare exceptions fatal, so this could have been the fatal bullet.” Furthermore, Brown stated that appellant then exited the vehicle, pulled Rowan off the steering wheel and pushed him over. Brown got into the back seat and appellant drove the car to an alley by a house.
While hidden in the alley, appellant purloined Rowan’s jewelry and wallet. Next, Brown testified, appellant handed the gun to her over the front seat of the car and Brown, following appellant’s orders after being threatened with the gun, shot Rowan in the back of his head. Appellant then drove to another alley where Brown helped appellant place the body into the trunk of the car.
Brown stated that after the shooting they drove the car to appellant’s apartment and changed clothes. Appellant removed Rowan’s boots, socks and jacket while Brown cleaned the front seat with a brush, towel and bucket of water. Afterward, the two drove in the victim’s car to the house of appellant’s brother, Theotis Dillard. Dillard and appellant went outside where appellant opened the trunk and disclosed the body. The three then drove back to the appellant’s apartment. Brown related that Dillard and the appellant cut electrical cords from lamps, obtained two cement blocks and a plastic garment bag. Dillard in his car and the appellant and Brown in the victim’s car drove to the Allen Street bridge. Brown testified that she watched as appellant and Dillard tied the two cement blocks with the electrical cords to Rowan’s feet. The two then tossed Rowan’s weighted body off the bridge and into the creek below. The body, however, did not become hidden beneath the water in the creek; it landed on the bank and was found the next day.
On November 19, 1984, Rowan’s body was discovered on the banks of Nimishillan Creek underneath the Allen Street bridge in Canton, Ohio. The corpse was partially enveloped in a plastic garment bag bearing the name “Joe Slaughter Men’s Store.” A cement block was tied to the ankles by an electrical cord and a piece of speaker wire later found to have been severed from Rowan’s car stereo. A second electrical cord and also speaker wire were tied around the neck. Another cement block tied with an electrical cord or speaker cord lay within two feet of the body. The body was without shoes, socks or jewelry, clothed in a cowboy shirt and jeans. Two bullet holes were in the victim’s head: one toward the rear of the skull, the other beside the right eye.
In addition to the testimony indicated supra, the jury also received testimony from Dillard which corroborated that of Brown. Additionally, Dillard testified that while he and the appellant were in the process of disposing of the body, appellant admitted that he had shot the victim. Dillard was not prosecuted for his involvement with the appellant and Brown on this crime. Brown was indicted for aggravated murder and pled to the indictment in a plea bargain wherein she would not have to face the death penalty. She received a sentence of twenty years to life.
The events which gave rise to appellant’s arrest are as follows. On December 6, 1984, parole officer Patrick Munford met with Roxanne Goosby, a patient in Timkin Mercy Hospital, after Goosby informed Munford about a telephone threat that appellant had made against her. Munford then arranged for appellant to come to his office the following day “to discuss some matters of alleged activity.” Present with Munford at the interview was Munford’s supervisor, senior parole officer David Slater. Shortly thereafter, two policemen arrived with a warrant for appellant’s arrest on an assault charge filed by Goosby. After appellant was taken into custody, the parole officers requested his permission to search the premises of his apartment at 1460 Water Court. Although appellant denied that he agreed to the search of his home, Munford, Slater and one of the two policemen asserted that appellant approved the search, proclaiming that “he had nothing to hide.” Upon their arrival, Munford and Slater were met at the door by Chevette Brown and obtained her permission to search the residence. During the ensuing search, a .25 caliber handgun was uncovered in the bedroom of the apartment. Soon thereafter, the Canton police learned that the handgun taken from appellant’s apartment could possibly be the weapon used to kill Rowan. The suspicion was confirmed by subsequent ballistic tests.
Detective Michael O’Brien of the Canton Police Department testified that during the course of the investigation he was able to locate the victim’s car. Brown’s fingerprints were found in the car. Based on the evidence obtained, a search warrant was issued for the Water Court residence of appellant and Brown. In the course of the search, the police confiscated an imitation leather coat, a brown nylon jacket, a blue towel, two lamps with severed cords attached, a Zippo lighter, scrub brush and a rabbit fur coat. At the conclusion of the search, Brown was arrested on an outstanding warrant for contempt of court. After being advised of her constitutional rights, Brown confessed to her complicity with the appellant in the death of Rowan.
David Sneed Life Without Parole
A new Ohio law prohibiting the execution of people severely mentally ill at the time of their crime has led to the removal of another prisoner from death row.
Gov. Mike DeWine signed the bill into law last year covering killers diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, bipolar disorder or delusional disorder.
Last month a Stark County judge found that death row inmate David Sneed suffered from schizoaffective disorder when he fatally shot a man in 1984 . Sneed was resentenced to life without parole.
Last year judges removed inmates in Butler and Franklin counties from death row after their attorneys successfully argued they met the mental illness criteria.