Prosecutor: Keep killer away from the public
WARREN — Trumbull County Prosecutor Dennis Watkins opposes parole for a Warren man convicted of killing a beverage store worker during a 1975 robbery.
Pompie Wade of Warren, an inmate at Marion Correctional Institute, will have a parole hearing either Dec. 5 or 6 at the prison, a parole board spokeswoman said.
Watkins prosecuted the case in 1976. Wade was sentenced to death after being convicted of aggravated murder, attempted murder and aggravated robbery, but his death penalty was canceled in 1978 and commuted to a life sentence. At that time, Ohio had placed a moratorium on the death penalty.
Watkins said Wade was convicted at 18 and sentenced to a short prison term for manslaughter for killing one man with a gun.
While he was on parole, Wade and Mose Hurd robbed Austin Beverage Center on East Market Street, killing Dominic Chiarella, 51, and injuring Fred Piersol, 23.
Watkins said the prosecutor's office does not appear before the parole board for the parole hearing but added, "We would do everything allowed to ask them not to release a psychopathic killer like Pompie Wade."
He said his office sometimes appears before the parole board if the board makes a preliminary determination for paroling the person, but the board is not at that point now.
Watkins said the circumstances of Wade's case, however, leave no doubt in his mind Wade should remain in jail.
In the beverage store murder, Chiarella and Piersol were ordered into the cooler in the back of the store. While Hurd left the store to get into the getaway car, Wade stayed behind.
"Instead of going out with the money in his hand, Pompie Wade goes the other way, goes to the cooler, stares at them [victims] for a few seconds and fires three shots into the chest of Chiarella" and three into Piersol, killing Chiarella and injuring Piersol, Watkins said.
Wade and Hurd were arrested in possession of the firearm and ammunition used in the shootings. In 1976, Wade was tried, convicted and sentenced to the death penalty. "There was not a scintilla of evidence suggesting his innocence," Watkins said of Wade.
Wade was turned down for parole in 1995 and was scheduled for his next parole hearing in 2026. Parole is being considered this year, however, because of new guidelines that guarantee reconsideration every 10 years.