Summary of Offense:
On August 7, 1985, Wiles murdered 15-year-old Mark Klima at a farmhouse in Rootstown. Mark’s parents owned the farm where Wiles had worked until January 1983. When Mark caught Wiles stealing valuables from the house, Wiles stabbed Mark 24 times and left the butcher knife buried in his back. Wiles fled to Georgia, but later confessed to authorities in Savannah, Georgia and detectives from Portage County, Ohio.
april 17, 2012 source : http://www.dispatchpolitics.com
Mark Wayne Wiles, the condemned killer from Portage County, arrived this morning at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in preparation for his execution tomorrow. He was transported from the Chillicothe Correctional Institution where Death Row is now located.
april 6, 2012, source :http://www.newsmax.com
march, 23 source http://www.ideastream.org
clemency be denied
audio mp3 click here
Mark Wiles sat in front of a window at the Chillicothe Correctional Institution, wearing a T-shirt and looking directly into the camera.
For about two minutes, the man who stabbed a teenager to death on a Portage County horse farm tried to put into words the apology he said he’s been wanting to offer for more than 25 years.
“All these years, I’ve wanted to say to you that I’ve always been sorry for what I did to your son Mark (Klima),” Wiles said, directing the comments to the parents of the boy he killed in August 1985. “He was an innocent victim of my selfish needs. I truly am sorry for taking his life and causing you and so many others so much pain and loss.”
The image, part of a taped apology presented to the state parole board Thursday and earlier sent directly to the Klima family, stood in stark contrast to the picture of Wiles painted by prosecutors: a “burglar of occupied homes” with a history of criminal behavior; “one of the most belligerent individuals” his high school principal had ever experienced; a man who tried to convince investigators that it was his 100-pound victim who threatened him with a knife.
“I can’t understand why they have to prolong (the case and the death penalty) so long when there’s a confession,” Charlie Klima, father of the murder victim, said in his own taped statement to the parole board. “He said he did it and he didn’t want to appeal it. I just don’t understand what the purpose of delaying it any longer or delaying it as long as it was. It just doesn’t make sense.”
He added, “I believe in the death penalty, and I think that he murdered our son and I think he should be executed….”
Wiles, 49, is scheduled for lethal injection next month, though it remains to be seen whether a federal judge will allow the state to resume executions, given the continuing legal battle over the constitutionality of Ohio’s death penalty protocols. A hearing on that issue is set for next week.
The parole board will offer its recommendation to Gov. John Kasich on March 23. The governor has final say on whether to grant clemency or allow the execution to take place as scheduled.
Members didn’t offer too many indications Thursday of the direction of their decision, though they did chastise Wiles’ attorneys for sending a copy of his taped apology directly to the murder victim’s family, calling the move insensitive.
The Klimas turned the tape over to prosecutors without watching it.
“I think after 26 years, an apology is kind of ridiculous,” Charlie Klima said in his taped statement to the board. “… I don’t have any interest in bringing back any more memories than has been (already) brought back in this situation.”
Wiles worked part time at Charlie and Carol Klima’s Shakespeare Acres in Rootstown from May 1982 until January 1983, when the family discovered about $200 missing from ransacked rooms of their home.
Wiles was the only other person on the property at the time; he left before being confronted.
Two years later, after serving time in prison for an unrelated burglary, Wiles returned to the farm, intent on stealing more money. He was caught in the act by Mark Klima, a straight-A student who had completed his freshman year of high school and who wanted to be a doctor.
Wiles subsequently stabbed the teen with a foot-long kitchen knife, stole $260 and fled the state. Five days later, he turned himself into police in Savannah, Ga., signed a confession and returned to Ohio.
Legal counsel for Wiles based their clemency request on Wiles’ admission of guilt, his remorse over the killing and his good behavior while in prison.
“Mark does not believe that he deserves mercy, but he wants to live,” said Vicki Werneke, a federal public defender. “… Mark is so consumed with remorse and regret. … Mark doesn’t offer any excuses for what he did.”
A neuropsychologist testified, via video, that a head injury stemming from a bar fight in the days before the murder could have affected Wiles’ behavior.
A psychologist said Wiles abused alcohol and drugs, displayed anti-social behavior and likely suffered a brain injury that affected his actions and thinking.
Former and current legal counsel described their interaction with Wiles during his trial and post-conviction proceedings, saying he was respectful but was so remorseful about the killing that he did little to avoid the death penalty.
And two sisters and a brother-in-law described Wiles’ emotionally stifling upbringing, the industrial explosion that killed their older brother and their mother’s untreated bipolar disorder.
“I need you to know that I am sorry,” Wiles said in his taped apology, adding later, “When I’m executed, honestly, I hope that in some way it eases some of the pain that I’ve caused.”
But Portage County Prosecutor Vic Vigluicci said Wiles didn’t take responsibility for the crime at the time, initially denying involvement and then attempting to blame the teen for pulling a knife.
The prosecutor showed images of the murdered boy and described, in detail, the fatal wounds Mark Klima received to his back, the defensive wounds he had on his forearms and the bruises and scrapes on this face and forehead.
Prosecutors also said that Wiles had said he wasn’t drunk or high on the day of the crime. And they said a scan of Wiles’ brain days before the murder showed no damage or abnormalities.
Mark Klima’s parents were unable to appear before the parole board in person. Carol Klima recently suffered a stroke and has congestive heart failure. Her husband was at her side.
“We are a small family,” Virginia Klima Petrie, the murdered teen’s aunt, told the parole board in their place. “We don’t make a lot of noise. We live within our means and pay our taxes. We abide by the law. We are working members of our community. And we are the victims of a heinous murder of the only heir to the Klima family name.”
She added, “Enough is enough. … I beg you, let the parents of this murdered child have a moment of closure now before one of them dies. The family asks — no, we demand — justice now. Mark Wiles’ execution needs to be carried out as scheduled. Nothing else is acceptable.”
clemency hearing today
Execution date nears for murderer of Rootstown teen
Prison officials are moving ahead with plans to execute a Portage County man who murdered a Rootstown teen more than 25 years ago, despite delays on other executions this year after a judge raised questions about the state’s lethal injection protocol.
Mark Wiles will make his case for clemency before the state parole board next week in advance of his scheduled execution on April 18.
“We have not been made aware of any postponement for the Wiles execution,” said JoEllen Smith, spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. “We are moving forward with our preparations.”
Whether Wiles makes the trip to the Death House at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility remains in question, however, as the state works to convince a federal judge that its execution procedures are constitutional.
Two executions were postponed after federal district Judge Gregory Frost ruled prison officials hadn’t followed their own written guidelines for executing an inmate late last year.
A hearing on the issues is scheduled for later this month, during which the state could present a revamped execution protocol. If it meets the judge’s approval, he could allow executions to take place as scheduled.
“The governor’s office at some point will approve a new protocol that DRC has been working on,” Attorney General Mike DeWine said. “Once they approve that protocol, we will present that to Judge Frost. … Judge Frost at that point will decide whatever he decides.”
There are executions scheduled in the state through January 2014, with Wiles next in line. He was sentenced to death for the 1985 murder of 15-year-old Mark Klima.
Wiles worked part time at the Klima horse farm in Rootstown several years before the murder but left after the family discovered $200 was missing.
After serving part of a prison sentence for an unrelated burglary, Wiles returned to burglarize the home, and Mark Klima caught him in the act.
Wiles stabbed the teen, a straight-A student who had completed his freshman year of high school, with a kitchen knife 24 times, stole $260 and fled the state.
Five days later, Wiles turned himself into police in Savannah, Ga., and signed a confession.
His clemency hearing is set for 9 a.m. Thursday, March 15.