Parole denied for man convicted of brutal 1995 slaying of Franklin store clerk

Aug. 27—A man serving a 20-year prison sentence after being convicted as an accomplice in the brutal 1995 stabbing of a Franklin convenience store clerk was denied parole for the third time this week.

Genis McGuire Jr., 64, appeared at a parole hearing in June at the Chillicothe Correctional Institute where he is being held. The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction continued that hearing on Aug. 9 for a Central Office Board review. The decision was released Friday and included the rationale from the ODRC for denying parole.

“Offender McGuire has served more than 27 years to life in prison. The offender’s case is aggravated by the specific factors of extreme violence where the female victim was stabbed multiple times resulting in her death,” the report said.

Shop assistant Helen New was stabbed more than 60 times.

The report cited McGuire’s “extensive criminal history.”

“The offender has completed relevant programming but has struggled to discuss ways in which he might reduce his risk to the community. There is strong opposition that needs to be addressed,” the report says. “The aggravating factors in this case lead the board to conclude that release would detract from the seriousness of the offense and would not advance the interests of justice.”

The parole board also noted “There are substantial grounds to believe that the inmate will engage in further criminal conduct or that the inmate will not comply with such conditions of release as may be established” under the Administrative Rules.

McGuire’s next parole board hearing will be June 1, 2025, according to the document.

Warren County District Attorney David Fornsell said, “Our office does not believe that Mr. McGuire should ever be released from prison, so we would have liked to have seen a longer period of time before he was considered for parole again. But We are grateful to the parole board for this decision.”

Complicity in aggravated murder

McGuire and his co-defendant, Willie Ledford, stopped at the Dairy Mart on East Second Street in Franklin sometime after midnight on Jan. 6, 1995, according to a summary from the Warren County District Attorney’s Office.

According to the summary, Ledford entered while McGuire waited in the car. Ledford attempted to take money from the cash register and then grabbed the employee, Ellen New, by the hair and dragged her out of the Dairy Mart and into a waiting vehicle.

Ledford beat and stabbed New, then he and McGuire dumped her body on a country road and set fire to the car in an attempt to hide evidence, according to the prosecutor’s summary.

McGuire testified against Ledford, implicating Ledford as the primary perpetrator.

After McGuire pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of accessory to aggravated murder, the jury dismissed two counts of aggravated murder with four counts. four counts of kidnapping, two counts of aggravated robbery. and a single tampering with evidence.

Interestingly, the three-judge panel hearing the Ledford case found that Ledford was not a “principal offender”. That’s consistent with the views of law enforcement who believed at the time, and still believe, that McGuire was far more involved than he admitted, according to the Warren County District Attorney’s Office.

Ledford died in prison in 2014.

McGuire’s brother was executed

McGuire’s brother Dennis was executed by lethal injection on January 16, 2014 for the 1989 rape and murder of Joy Stewart, 22, of Preble County, who was newly married and 30 weeks pregnant at the time of her death.

Dennis McGuire’s execution used a novel two-drug combination of midazolam, a sedative, and hydromorphone, a morphine derivative. The two drugs had never been used in an execution before in the U.S. The state switched to the new drugs because pentobarbital, the single drug used before, is no longer available as the manufacturers won’t sell it for use in executions.

The execution of Dennis McGuire sparked international attention and legal challenges after he was cut short and took longer than usual to die.

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