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Woman who murdered local grandmother gets early parole thanks to new Ohio law

Published: Mar. 9, 2022 at 9:03 PM EST
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - A woman convicted of murder more than two decades ago has been granted parole thanks to a new Ohio law signed last year.

Mincey Meece, 43, wasn’t supposed to be up for parole for another decade on a 40-year sentence. But in 2021, Gov. Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 256 [full text], which grants parole hearings to convicts serving long sentences for crimes committed as juveniles.

Meece was a minor in 1995 when she killed Stella Ellison at the 86-year-old’s Elmwood Place residence.

The Ohio Parole Board voted 5-4 to grant Meece’s release on Wednesday.

“It doesn’t feel like justice. It feels like now a number was put on a value of my grandmother’s life,” Valerie Ellison-Germain said Wednesday.

According to prosecutors, Meece murdered Ellison to get money so she could attend a country music concert in Nashville, Tennessee.

At the time, Meece was with her friend, Therisa Frasure, a tenant of Ellison’s whom she was reportedly trying to evict. After Ellison’s murder, the pair searched the residence and found $27.

“Mincey first hit my grandmother over the head. And when that did not kill her, she pushed her onto the couch with a pillow over her and sat on her. And she sat there for 15 minutes,” Ellison-Germain said. “In her own words, she said that she sat there 15 minutes ‘to make sure that she was dead.’”

Ohio Parole Board member Steven found that fact particularly galling.

“The worst part of this case—at least from my perspective—is the 15 minutes of suffocation,” he said at the hearing. “But why does Ms. Mincey not fall into that category of people who would deserve parole?”

The hearing was virtual, but Ellison-Germain was able to speak on her grandmother’s behalf.

“Stella was a wonderful mother, grandmother, and great grandmother who had so much love for everyone,” she said.

Cincinnati criminal defense attorney Mark Krumbein characterizes SB 256 as a “pretty serious” change in the law. He says many juvenile sentences in Ohio could chance in the near future because of it.

“We’re going to find out if this is a good thing or not because we’re going to find out if these juveniles—that became adults and are serving life sentences—if they’re going to re-violate the law or not,” he said.

Ellison-Germain says she will continue to speak out against SB 256 in the hopes the bill can be rewritten.

Statement from Assistant Prosecutor Sean Donovan, who handled the parole hearing:

“The Parole Board decided, 5-4, to release Mincey Meece on parole. As you know, the Hamilton County Prosecutors Office strongly opposed Meece’s release due to the brutal nature of her crime and the fact that she has only served the bare minimum of her sentence. We would like to thank all the individuals who responded to our post on Parole Watch and wrote letters in opposition. We would also like to thank the family members who spoke at the hearing for having the courage to be a voice for Stella and for having the strength to relive her death through their testimony. We share in their disappointment at the Parole Board’s decision.”

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