Shawn Ford Jr was originally given the death penalty in 2015 for slaughtering Margaret and Jeffrey Schobert
A convicted killer who murdered his girlfriend’s parents with a sledgehammer had his death sentence thrown out because of his low IQ.
Shawn Ford Jr had his death sentence thrown out on Thursday because of his low IQ for the murders of Jeffrey and Margaret Schobert.
Shawn Ford Jr, 25, will now be given a hearing to determine if his intellectual disability prohibits his execution after Ohio Supreme court ruled 5-2 in his favor Thursday.
Ford was given the death penalty in 2015 for slaughtering Margaret and Jeffrey Schobert in April 2013 at their home in Akron, Ohio.
At Ford’s sentencing hearing, his attorneys argued argued that his low IQ should have prevented Judge Tom Parker from ordering him to be executed, but their argument was unsuccessful and Ford was sentenced to death.
Ford brutally attacked the Schoberts after they banned him from visiting their adoptive daughter, Chelsea, in the hospital. She had been hospitalized by a beating she’d received at the hands of Ford
Prosecutors said Ford stabbed and beat Chelsea ten days before the murders after she refused to have sex with him at a party. Enraged that he could not see Chelsea, Ford enlisted the help of his 14-year-old cousin Jamal Vaughn to kill the Schoberts.
Vaughn, who was later sentenced to life in prison, said he first did not believe Ford was serious about the killings, but testified: ‘He told me he was going to force me to do it.’
Ford and Vaughn broke a window at the Schobert’s home, entered and waited for Jeffrey Schobert to arrive. When Schobert got home, Ford beat him to death with a sledgehammer.
Jamal Vaughn was sentenced to life in prison for helping Ford kill the Schoberts.
Vaughn said he ‘blacked out’ while Ford killed Jeffrey Schobert. The two then used Jeffrey’s phone to lure Margaret to the home and played video games until she arrived – and when she did, Ford struck her 19 times with the sledgehammer, killing her.
A contractor later arrived to do work on the Schobert’s home and discovered the horrific scene in the couple’s bedroom after sensing something was wrong.
Ford was arrested in the days after the murders. He has been in jail since his arrest.
It is unclear when the hearing is scheduled to determine if his intellectual disability prohibits his execution, which may determine that Ford is fit to be executed.