Judge spare killer’s life despite jury’s execution recommendations

A jury’s death sentence recommendation was overruled by a judge in Cleveland for a triple killer.

County Judge Joan Synenberg in Cuyahoga Ohio cited defendant Douglas Shine Jr.’s prolonged physical and psychological abuse as a child, mental health problems and years of incarceration in sentencing him to life in prison with no chance for parole on Dec. 19 instead.



Testimony during the trial’s death penalty phase showed that Shine’s early childhood was chaotic and “characterized by persistent neglect and physical and psychological abuse,” Synenberg said. She noted that Shine lived in youth detention facilities from age 10 to 16 followed by two years in an adult prison.

Prosecutors said Shine walked into a Warrensville Heights barber shop in February 2015, pulled two guns from beneath his coat and opened fire, killing three people and wounding two men and a woman.

Police responded to a shots fired at Chalk Linez barber shop on Harvard Road. According to the medical examiner’s office, Walter Lee Barfield, 23, of Cleveland, Brandon White, 31, of Warrensville Heights and William Gonzalez, 32, of Garfield Heights died in the shooting. Gonzalez was the owner of the barbershop.


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