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Butler County killer’s death sentence overturned

Published: Oct. 22, 2021 at 2:02 PM EDT

HAMILTON, Ohio (WXIX) - A Butler County man’s death sentence has been overturned into life without parole, court records show.

Donald Ketterer, 72, received the reprieve due to new state law barring the death penalty if people are mentally ill at the time of the offense, according to the ruling.

Ketterer pleaded guilty in 2004 to the murder and robbery of 85-year-old Lawrence Sanders in 2003.

He stabbed the 85-year-old man to death and hit him in the head with a cast-iron skillet. The Butler County Coroner at the time said Sanders was “tortured to death.”

Ketterer was moved Oct. 6 to a state prison in Warren County, according to JoEllen Smth, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabiliation and Correction.

Butler County Prosecutor Mike Gmoser told FOX19 NOW Friday he will not appeal the case.

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