Board rejects mercy for Cincinnati killer citing abuse, mental illness

Parole board recommends against clemency for Cincinnati killer set to be executed in July 2018 (Ohio Dept. of Corrections)

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- The Ohio Parole Board has recommended against mercy for a condemned killer whose attorneys cite a history of abuse and untreated mental illness.

The board ruled 8-1 Friday against the clemency request by death row inmate Robert Van Hook.

Van Hook was sentenced to die for fatally strangling and stabbing David Self in Cincinnati in 1985. Van Hook's execution is set for July 18. Ohio Gov. John Kasich has the final say.

Prosecutors say Van Hook made a practice of luring gay men to apartments to rob them.

The Hamilton County Prosecutor's Office also notes Van Hook has an extensive history of violence while incarcerated, including stabbing a fellow death row inmate in November.

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