A man convicted of killing a young mother, her infant son and a toddler last year will be put to death.
Mark Pickens, 20, could have received a life sentence in prison, but Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Steve Martin followed the jury’s recommendation and rendered the death sentence on Thursday.
Pickens received three death sentences for each killing plus 18 years for other crimes including gun specifications which helped prosecutors charge him with aggravated murder.
Pickens was convicted in May of killing Noelle Washington, 19, her son Anthony Jones III and Sha 'Railyn Wright, 3, on June 1, 2009.
Prosecutors say Pickens was upset with Washington because she told police he had raped her. Pickens, who was 19 at the time, went to Washington's Pendleton apartment near Over-the-Rhine and fatally shot all three victims.
Reports say that in court documents, prosecutors point out that all the fatal shots came at close range in Washington's Pendleton apartment. They say Pickens "mowed down each of the victims, stopping to reload after his gun jammed."
Pickens told the court he did not kill anyone and had no reason to kill his ex-girlfriend, her baby son or the girl Washington was babysitting. Standing up at a podium, Pickens said, "The family, they might think I did this. People might think I did this. But I didn't do this. I had no reason to. Nobody to harm. Not Noelle Washington, not the babies. I had no reason to harm none of them."
Detectives say Pickens was also upset that Washington was continuing to have a relationship with the father of her baby and the fact she was planning to move out of town to start a new life in Nashville, Tennessee. Police say Pickens shot Anthony Jones II days before the triple murder.
Pickens' attorneys argued that the West End man should get life in prison instead of a death sentence because of his age and the fact that he would be able to help police with unsolved homicides.