James Were was convicted of aggravated murder in Vallandingham's death in 1995, and was sentenced to death.
"I remember he was indicted in April of 1994, on two counts of felonious assault and one count of assault," said Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn. "And on July 29, 1994, Were was indicted on four counts of murder and one count of kidnapping. I know his appeal, at least, was held in September of 1995 in Hamilton County."
On appeal, the same court that upheld his death sentence reversed the original conviction, stating Were had not received a fair trial, because the trial court did not have a competency hearing.
In 2003, a new jury convicted Were, pronouncing the death sentence.
Dr. W. Michael Nelson, a clinical psychologist, testified as the state's expert. Nelson testified Were's score of 69 on the Stanford-Binet IQ tests does not show he is mentally retarded.
The court of appeals affirmed the decision, which was upheld Tuesday, by Ohio Supreme Court.
In a 7-0 opinion, the high court said it rejected arguments a trial court erred in imposing a death sentence on Were because he is mentally retarded, and therefore ineligible for capital punishment.
Justice Paul Pfeifer wrote Were's school records completed at the time of his first IQ test showed he was not mentally retarded.
On April 11, 1993, the first day of the riot, a group of inmates - led by members of a Muslim gang - seized control of L-Block at SOCF. The Aryan Brotherhood and Black Gangster Disciples also joined in.
On April 15, after power and water to L-Block had been turned off, Were demanded the utilities be turned back on and told authorities, "We give you a certain time. If it's not on in a certain time, that's when a body goes out."
At 11:10 a.m. on that same day, inmate Sherman Sims and three other masked inmates carried Vallandingham's body from the prison into the recreation yard.
After the riot ended, several inmates - including Were - were charged with murder.
In making the announcement of its decision, Ohio Supreme Court said, "We find that the aggravating circumstances outweigh the mitigating factors beyond a reasonable doubt. Were murdered Vallandingham while he was a hostage during the Lucasville prison riot. Compared with these serious aggravating circumstances, Were's mitigating evidence has little significance."
The court than announced its final decision.
"Finally, we hold that the death penalty is both appropriate and proportionate to death sentences approved in other Lucasville cases."
FRANK LEWIS can be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232.