Danny Lee Hill wants new trial 30 years after murder of Warren b - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Danny Lee Hill wants new trial 30 years after murder of Warren boy scout

Posted: Updated:
Danny Lee Hill Danny Lee Hill
WARREN, Ohio -

More than thirty years after a 12-year-old boy scout was tortured, raped and murdered in Warren, the story continues making news headlines.

The man on Ohio's death row for the crime asked a judge on Monday for permission to file for another trial for the kidnapping, rape and murder of Raymond Fife in 1985.

The attorney for 48-year-old Danny Lee Hill claims that new evidence has been uncovered that would impact Hill's right to a fair trial. 

Two witnesses took the stand, including a forensic expert specializing in reviewing bites marks-- injuries that were taken into account in Hill's 1986 conviction. 

Dr. Franklin Wright says the criteria for identifying and analyzing bite marks changed in 2013 and should be considered.

The state questions the timing of the request to take this case back to court and whether or not any further litigation would result in a different outcome. 

"That's what this case is about, giving new testimony about a case that was concluded in the public and the system needs to have some continuity and end to the litigation," Dennis Watkins said, Trumbull County prosecutor.

After Monday's hearing, a visiting judge said he would rule in ten days on whether or not Hill can file a motion for another trial.

In 10 days the state can file a request for another hearing, otherwise Presiding Judge Patricia Cosgrove will issue her ruling.

BackgroundCaution: Some readers may find some details the following court record account disturbing.

According to court records, on September 10, 1985, at approximately 5:15 p.m., Raymond Fife left home on his bicycle to visit a friend, Billy Simmons.

After learning that the twelve-year-old had not arrived at his friend's home by 5:50 p.m., Fife's family began searching for him.

Raymond Fife's father found his son more than four hours later in a wooded field behind the Valu-King supermarket on Palmyra road.

The child was naked and appeared to have been severely beaten and his face was burned. Raymond's underwear was found tied around his neck and appeared to have been lit on fire.

Raymond died in the hospital two days later.

The coroner, who ruled Raymond's death a homicide, testified during the trial that the victim had been choked and had a hemorrhage in his brain. The coroner also said that Fife sustained several burns, damage to his rectal-bladder area and bite marks on his penis.

Through testimony from three Warren Western Reserve High School Students, the jury learned that Danny Lee Hill and Timothy Combs were in the area of the Valu-King and the bike trails on the evening Raymond Fife was assaulted. One of the students had also seen Fife riding his bike in the store parking lot.

A student who said he saw Combs on the trail also said he heard a child's scream. Another student says he saw Combs pulling up the zipper of his blue jeans.

Two days after Fife was found, Danny Lee Hill, who was 18-years-old at the time, went to the Warren Police Station to inquire about a $5,000 reward that was being offered for information concerning the murder.

According to Police Sergeant Thomas Stewart, Hill told him that he had just seen some he knew riding Fife's bike. When Stewart asked Hill how he knew the bike belonged to Fife, Hill replied, "I know it is."

Sergeant Stewart testified that during their conversation, it became apparent that Hill knew a lot about the bike and the underwear that was found around Fife's neck.

On the following Monday, September 16, Hill went to the police station accompanied by his uncle, Warren Police Detective Morris Hill.

Police say after waiving his Miranda rights, Danny Lee Hill admitted on audio and video tape that he was present during the beating and sexual assault of Raymond Fife, but that Timothy Combs did everything to the victim.

Combs was eventually convicted of felonious sexual penetration, arson, rape, kidnapping and aggravated murder.

Since Combs was 17-years-old at the time of the crime, he was not eligible for the death penalty and is serving a life sentence. He will be eligible for his first parole hearing in 2049.

Hill was convicted on the same charges, but since he was18-years-old at the time Fife was assaulted, he was sentenced to death.

Hill has filed several unsuccessful appeals, the most notable of which was a claim that he is mentally retarded and should not be subect to the death penalty.

  • More From wfmj.comHot ClicksMore>>

  • Arizona congressman blasts siblings who endorsed opponent

    Arizona congressman blasts siblings who endorsed opponent

    Sunday, September 23 2018 8:53 AM EDT2018-09-23 12:53:06 GMT
    (AP Photo/Matt York, File). FILE - In this Dec. 2013, file photo, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., speaks during a Congressional Field Hearing on the Affordable Care Act in Apache Junction, Ariz. Six siblings of  Gosar have urged voters to cast their bal...(AP Photo/Matt York, File). FILE - In this Dec. 2013, file photo, U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., speaks during a Congressional Field Hearing on the Affordable Care Act in Apache Junction, Ariz. Six siblings of Gosar have urged voters to cast their bal...
    Six siblings of U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar urged voters to cast their ballots against the Arizona Republican in November in an unusual political ad sponsored by the rival candidate.More >>
    Six siblings of U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar urged voters to cast their ballots against the Arizona Republican in November in an unusual political ad sponsored by the rival candidate.More >>
  • Travel still dangerous in flooded areas of North Carolina

    Travel still dangerous in flooded areas of North Carolina

    Sunday, September 23 2018 8:52 AM EDT2018-09-23 12:52:53 GMT
    (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert). A sign commemorating the rebuilding of the town of Nichols, which was flooded two years earlier from Hurricane Matthew, stands in floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Nichols, S.C., Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. Vi...(AP Photo/Gerald Herbert). A sign commemorating the rebuilding of the town of Nichols, which was flooded two years earlier from Hurricane Matthew, stands in floodwaters in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence in Nichols, S.C., Friday, Sept. 21, 2018. Vi...
    A North Carolina town where a levee breached is among the latest to feel the punch of Hurricane Florence.More >>
    A North Carolina town where a levee breached is among the latest to feel the punch of Hurricane Florence.More >>
  • Florence sweeps away motel and family's hard work, savings

    Florence sweeps away motel and family's hard work, savings

    Sunday, September 23 2018 8:46 AM EDT2018-09-23 12:46:49 GMT
    (AP Photo/David Goldman). In this Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 photo, Smita Depani, center, stands in the apartment she lived in while surveying the damage with her brother-in-law Jayanti Depani, right, and sister-in-law Puspa Manvar in the Starlite Motel...(AP Photo/David Goldman). In this Wednesday, Sept. 19, 2018 photo, Smita Depani, center, stands in the apartment she lived in while surveying the damage with her brother-in-law Jayanti Depani, right, and sister-in-law Puspa Manvar in the Starlite Motel...
    Hurricane Florence washed away half the rooms at the Starlite Motel in Spring Lake, ripping away the livelihood of a family that bought it in recent months.More >>
    Hurricane Florence washed away half the rooms at the Starlite Motel in Spring Lake, ripping away the livelihood of a family that bought it in recent months.More >>
  • More NewsMore>>

  • A nice end to the weekend before several rain chances

    A nice end to the weekend before several rain chances

    Sunday, September 23 2018 6:49 AM EDT2018-09-23 10:49:22 GMT
    A nicer looking day than Saturday is on tap for the Valley on Sunday; expect skies to turn partly cloudy with more sunshine and a high of 71. Increasing clouds Monday with a chance for showers late day and a high of 71. Look for rain throughout Tuesday with potentially strong thunderstorms late; high 76. Rain will be likely Wednesday as well with a high of 71. Skies clear Thursday, Friday and Saturday with highs in the upper 60s to low 70s.More >>
    A nicer looking day than Saturday is on tap for the Valley on Sunday; expect skies to turn partly cloudy with more sunshine and a high of 71. Increasing clouds Monday with a chance for showers late day and a high of 71. Look for rain throughout Tuesday with potentially strong thunderstorms late; high 76. Rain will be likely Wednesday as well with a high of 71. Skies clear Thursday, Friday and Saturday with highs in the upper 60s to low 70s.More >>
  • One person in hospital after ATV and motorcycle collide in Brookfield

    One person in hospital after ATV and motorcycle collide in Brookfield

    Sunday, September 23 2018 3:38 AM EDT2018-09-23 07:38:46 GMT

    One person has been sent to the hospital after Trumbull dispatchers said an ATV and a motorcycle collided on State Route 82 Saturday night. 

    More >>

    One person has been sent to the hospital after Trumbull dispatchers said an ATV and a motorcycle collided on State Route 82 Saturday night. 

    More >>
  • Former YPD chief drops YSU discrimination suit

    Former YPD chief drops YSU discrimination suit

    Saturday, September 22 2018 8:59 PM EDT2018-09-23 00:59:38 GMT
    Jimmy HughesJimmy Hughes

    Former Youngstown Police Chief Jimmy Hughes is dropping a lawsuit accusing Youngstown State University of discrimination.Hughes’ attorney and the Ohio Attorney General filed a stipulation in U.S. District Court on Friday saying both sides agreed to dismiss the suit and pay their own legal fees. 

    More >>

    Former Youngstown Police Chief Jimmy Hughes is dropping a lawsuit accusing Youngstown State University of discrimination.Hughes’ attorney and the Ohio Attorney General filed a stipulation in U.S. District Court on Friday saying both sides agreed to dismiss the suit and pay their own legal fees. 

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms