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Man Sentenced to Death for Akron Murders

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Dawud Spaulding (Photo Credit: Summit County Jail)

AKRON, Ohio — A man found guilty of fatally shooting two people and paralyzing another back in 2011 will receive the death penalty, the Summit County Prosecutor’s Office announced Thursday.

Prosecutors say Dawud Spaulding, 30, killed Erica Singleton, 28, and Ernie Thomas, 31, and seriously wounded Patrick Griffin on December 15, 2011, at a home on East Buchtel Avenue in Akron.

Singleton was Spaulding’s girlfriend, and the mother of his two kids. She had filed for a civil protection order, and was hiding from Spaulding at the time of her murder, a news release said.

But Spaulding found out where she was.

On the morning of the shooting, officials say Spaulding drove by the house and shot Griffin as he left the house. Later that morning, he returned and shot and killed Singleton and Thomas, who is Griffin’s uncle, in the driveway.

Because the jury found Spaulding guilty of the specification for murdering two people, Spaulding was eligible to receive the death penalty.

“This was a brutal, calculated shooting spree that left two people dead and a third near death, and it illustrates the seriousness of domestic violence,” said Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh. “I thank the jury and everyone who worked on this very difficult case for ensuring justice for Erica, Ernie and Patrick.”

Spaulding will be officially sentenced on February 15.