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Death sentence reversed for man convicted of killing Lake County woman in 2010

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Posted at 11:24 AM, Oct 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-04 11:46:47-04

The Ohio Supreme Court has reversed its decision on a death sentence that was handed down to a man convicted of raping and killing a woman who worked in a bar in Lake County in 2010, according to court documents.

Joseph L. Thomas has been on death row at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution since he was convicted of the murder of Annie M. McSween of killing her on Black Friday in 2010.  He was sentenced to die in 2012.

Investigators found her body the next day laying naked in a wooded lot about 150 feet from the bar where she worked.

An autopsy revealed McSween was strangled and died from blood loss from a stab wound to the neck. 

Court documents said that a knife collection belonging to Thomas and submitted during the trial was used as an "admission of irrelevant, prejudicial evidence," against him and was a deciding factor in the decision to give him a new trial.

A new court date has not been set.