George Earl Deck was denied parole for the murder of Glenna Rose Brammer

The Ohio Parole Board has denied parole to a Stark County man who kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered 9-year-old Glenna Rose Brammer in southeast Canton in 1987.

The board voted 5-0 on April 11 to keep 67-year-old George Earl Deck incarcerated for at least 10 more years. His next parole hearing is scheduled for February 2034. He is serving his sentence at Grafton Correctional Institution.

Then-Stark County Common Pleas Judge Sheila Farmer sentenced Deck in 1989 to 30 years to life in prison for aggravated murder and 10 to 25 years for kidnapping, with parole eligibility within 6 1/2 years of receiving the minimum sentence of 30 years had served. Deck was eligible for parole this year.

Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Deck in 1989, but a jury could not reach the necessary unanimous decision to sentence Deck to death. Two of the twelve jurors would not support the death penalty.

“Incarcerated adult Deck has served nearly 37 years for the brutal murder of a young female victim,” said the parole board’s written decision, released Friday. “He did not complete a cognitive program but rather addressed his criminogenic factors with prison staff. Furthermore, his behavior has improved significantly in the institution. His discharge plan is undeveloped. The Board concluded that the negative aspects of this case outweighed the positive factors in this case.” The Board determined that additional detention was appropriate.

The panel found it likely that Deck would reoffend if he was released or did not comply with the conditions of release, and that a suspended sentence would pose an unreasonable risk to public safety.

Glenna Rose Brammer: A pivotal point for Canton

Reaction of the Brammer family to the board's decision

Brammer's older sister, Kimberly Elmerick, could not be reached for comment.

But she told Fox 8 in Cleveland that her sister's death “devastated me and still does. I can’t do anything on her birthday, I can’t do anything on her birthday.” [anniversary] the day she died.”

The group Block Parole heard about the case and started an online petition to object to Deck's release.

It is not clear who represented Deck before the parole board. Documents presented to the board arguing for or against parole or pardon are not public records in Ohio, a board spokeswoman said.

A message was left with the Ohio Public Defenders Office, which often represents inmates before the parole board.

Bradley Iams, who was Deck's attorney in his 1989 trial and the death penalty phase, declined to comment on the panel's decision in a text message Friday. But he said he did not participate in making any arguments on Deck's behalf before the parole board.

Richard Reinbold was the Stark County deputy prosecutor who led the prosecution of Deck in 1989. Reinbold is a retired Stark County Common Pleas Judge and is currently the Democratic candidate for Stark County Prosecutor.

Reinbold said he agreed with the parole board's decision. He called Deck “one of the scary ones.”

“He should perhaps be locked up in one of the government hospitals. But he shouldn’t be released,” said Reinbold, who remembers the case vividly even though nearly 35 years have passed. “It was a terrible crime he committed. I don't think he is mentally capable of understanding what he did. … I fear that if he were released he would commit the same crime.”

Deck, who was homeless at the time of his arrest, apparently has no family members with whom he could live if released. And it is not clear where he could live.

What happened to Glenna Rose Brammer?

Late Friday evening in July 1987, Roberta Brammer of Seventh Street NW reported to police that her daughter Glenna had disappeared just days after her ninth birthday. Glenna was a member of Brownie Troop 555 and was scheduled to enter third grade at Summit School the following September.

The clerk at a store near the park at Sixth Street and High Avenue NW, where Glenna played kickball and other games with her friends, told police he saw her with a man at 7 p.m

Roberta Brammer said Deck was seen at the park where her daughter was playing. Deck had gained her trust by buying her pop and candy.

On Sunday, two days after Glenna failed to return home, police arrested Deck, then 31, who confessed to sexually abusing and kicking the girl to death. Deck led investigators to a wooded area southeast of Canton. There they found Glenna's body buried in a shallow grave in the woods in southeast Canton near Fourth Street and Madison Court SE.

Then-Stark County Coroner James Pritchard said she was struck with a blunt instrument, which police said was a club. Her chest was crushed, her skull was fractured and she was strangled. And a pathologist found evidence of genital injuries.

Prosecutors sought the death penalty for Deck.

The trial was delayed because Judge Sheila Farmer determined in January 1988 that Deck was mentally unfit to stand trial. After spending more than a year in a facility in Columbus, she found in February 1989 that he had regained competency, understood the nature of the charges against him and could assist in his own defense.

The trial began in July 1989.

Reinbold presented the jury with a police recording in which Deck confessed that he brutally sexually assaulted Glenna and beat her to death.

“I just didn’t know what I was doing,” Deck told investigators, citing abuse from his mother and her boyfriend. “I was pushed around so much. … I just lost my mind.”

After a trial lasting more than a week and deliberating for more than six hours, the jury found Deck guilty of aggravated murder and kidnapping.

Deck grew up in a foster family and later became an alcoholic

Iams in the death penalty phase called witnesses who testified that Deck, who had a developmental disability, grew up in the early 1960s in a house with no heat or lighting and with animal feces.

His mother was addicted to alcohol and traded sex for beer and money. His mother and stepfather were charged with parental neglect. As a child, Deck lived in three foster homes.

Witnesses and witnesses said Deck was sexually abused by older boys at an orphanage near Alliance, his mother and stepfather. When his mother lost custody of him, Deck spent years at Apple Creek State Institute. He often ran away to return to his mother.

In 1987, Deck was homeless and an alcoholic himself. His mother's boyfriend had kicked him out of his mother's house, which, according to a psychologist, was the trigger for his anger at being separated from his mother.

Another psychologist testified that Deck suffered from significant brain damage and years of alcohol abuse.

Reach Robert at X formerly Twitter: @rwangREP.

Anna Harden

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