AKRON– The state of Ohio carried out the execution of convicted murderer Brett Hartmann on Tuesday, fifteen years after a jury found him guilty of brutally killing an Akron woman.
Winda Snipes, 46, was stabbed more than 130 times in her Akron apartment. She had been strangled with a telephone cord. Her hands were also cut off and have never been recovered.
Before his execution at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Lucasville, 38-year-old Hartmann said only, “I’m good. Let’s roll,” according to Jacqueline Brown, a friend of the victim who was there as a witness.
“Fifteen years for them to execute him, that was a hard thing to go through,” Brown told FOX 8 News afterwards, adding, “That was fifteen years of injustice you know and him not receiving his just punishment.”
Brown said being there to see the sentence carried out was not difficult for her, saying she has no doubt in her mind that Hartmann was guilty. “It was actually a day of anticipation, that you have peace and justice for Winda,” said Brown.
In a video recorded interview from death row last month, Hartmann continued to deny having anything to do with the crime. Throughout the interview, he was extremely critical of prosecutors and investigators who he believed ignored evidence that might have cleared him.
Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, however, said all of the DNA evidence they had pointed toward Hartmann, and even when they did additional testing since his trial, he was the only person it matched. “The evidence was very very strong here,” said Walsh.
“The family and friends of the victim in this case have waited a long time to see justice carried out, to see the verdict and the decision of the jury carried out. So, I think to them this was certainly a great relief that this finally happened today,” added the prosecutor.
Brown said Snipes’ father died in 2005 still waiting for the sentence to be carried out. Snipes’ mother is still alive, though in declining health.
“I’m glad that she lived to see this go through, because Winda’s dad passed away with a heart condition and all he ever wanted was to make sure that this went through. That was my promise that I would would be there for the execution,” said Brown.
Hartmann was pronounced dead at 10:34 Tuesday morning. Members of his family were also there as witnesses.